Woodward Thomas was the father of Taylor Thomas.
He lived on Route 2, in rural Urbana, where he celebrated his 89th birthday in 1964, when the above photograph was taken. He passed away on September 19, 1969. He was born September 17, 1875.
He was a cook for more than 30 years on the University of Illinois campus, where he cooked primarily for Zeta Beta Tau fraternity. He retired around 1930.
One of his co-workers at ZBT was Lou Gordon, former dishwasher, who went on to become an All-American football player. Gordon was, in 1964, a meat packer in Chicago.
Even at the age of 89, Thomas cooked at least once a day, with his favorite dishes being chili and lemon pie.
He was married for 59 years to Alice Taylor of Champaign, who passed away in 1961. He holds a 50-year pin from the Masons. His wife died in 1961.