LIVERPOOL, Nov. 23---Thomas Henry Ismay, the founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the White Star Line Steamship Company, died suddenly this evening.
Thomas Henry Ismay was born in Maryport, Cumberland, England, Jun. 7, 1837, and was educated in the Croft House School, Carlisle. In 1852 he went to Liverpool, where he became an apprentice in the shipping firm of Imrie, Tomlinson & Co. After serving his term there he went in a sailing vessel to the west coast of South America, and on his return he directed his energies to developing the Australian wool trade. He became associated with the firm of Philip Nelson & Co. as junior partner, and in 1864 he became one of the Directors of the National line.
Two years later Mr. Ismay acquired the business of the old White Star Line of clipper ships, sailing to Australia, which dated from the old days of the gold fever in that continent. He substituted iron for wooden vessels, and in 1869 he formed the White Star Line of steamers. The following year he was joined by Mr. Imrie, the son of the senior partner of the firm with which he had served his articles, and who had also been his fellow-apprentice. In 1881 W. S. Graves became a partner in the firm, and later Mr. Ismay's two sons, J. Bruce Ismay, who was the New York agent of the firm, and James H. Ismay, were also admitted to partnership. T. H. Ismay retired from active membership, but still retained a lively interest in the affairs of the concern.
Mr. Ismay was Chairman of the Liverpool and London Steamship Protective Association, a Director of the London and Northwestern Railway Company, Deputy Chairman of the Royal Insurance Company, and served in several royal and departmental commissions. He was High Sheriff of Cheshire in 1892.
After the Russian war scare in 1885 Mr. Ismay built two vessels of the Teutonic type, to be used by the Government as fast auxiliary cruisers in case of war. He gave £20,000 as the nucleus of a fund for aged and indigent Liverpool sailors.
John Lee, the agent of the White Star Line in this city, said last evening that Mr. Ismay died at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, and that word was received here two hours later. Mr. Ismay's health had been failing since September.