Francis “Daddy” Thomas
Bethlehem’s Town Guide
Born in Wurtemburg, Germany on September 8th 1732, came to “The Colonies” when he was 6 years old. The Moravian Bishop Spangenberg made a particular impression on him when he was very young.
As a younger man he was known to have a fearlessness and total disregard for danger, as he was frequently involved with because of his job as a courier (quite a dangerous job to have in colonial times!)
Several times he came very close to death, once he was thrown from a horse and broke his neck, he was carried home for dead! On another occasion the horse he was riding broke through thin ice into the frozen deep water!
He learned the trade of cabinetmaker and was married to Anna Graeff on January 12, 1762. They were happily married for 53 years and, although they had no children of their own, the couple happily raised three children of missionary’s sent to Bethlehem to be educated at the famous girls Seminary.
His industry, honesty and faithfulness won him the respect and confidence of everyone he came in contact with, it was in this capacity that he found his true calling in life, attending visitors to Bethlehem. He conducted himself with such candor, obliging disposition and readiness to do any act of kindness that everyone who knew him loved and regarded him with fond remembrance.
He died on April 4th 1822……and some say he still attends to Bethlehem’s visitors and guest, with a wonderful sense of fun and humor.
Daddy Thomas has been seen in the Boiler Room area of the hotel.