About two months ago, I wrote a story that introduced the readers of this blog to a new name…Thorp. That post was titled, Rauh-Bergmann-Thorp-Fassold. Today, I will tell the story of a Thorp that comes in the next generation. That baby boy was born on this day 125 years ago, so today would be a special birthday for him.
Dayton Albert Thorp was born on November 8, 1897, the son of Oliver and Louise (Fassold) Thorp. If you follow the Thorp family back a generation or two, you find their surname spelled as Thorpe..with a final “e”. A rather thorough family tree on Ancestry.com traces this Thorp family back to the 1600’s. According to that tree, William Thorpe came to America in 1637 aboard the ship, Hector. William got married in 1640 in New Haven, Connecticut according to the record below.
Quite a few generations of Thorp’s lived in New Haven. Then, Dayton’s grandfather, Lewis Thorp, probably arrived in Perry County around 1837, because that is when he purchased some land in this county.
That means the Thorp name had entered Perry County before the Gesellschaft arrived in 1839. Dayton was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville. Dayton’s father, Oliver Thorp, died when Dayton was just 2 years old. So, when Dayton is found in his first census in 1900, his mother was a widow. Right below the Thorp household, you find the household of Elizabeth Fassold, Dayton’s grandmother, who was also a widow.
Next, we find Dayton in the 1910 census at the age of 12. His mother had married Ferdinand Bergmann in 1901, so we see the Dayton children along with several Bergmann children. His stepfather was a farmer in the Union Township.
Now, we will turn our attention to the woman who would become Dayton’s bride. Her name was Anna Clara Victoria Meier, who was born on March 4, 1898. Victoria was the daughter of August and Rosa (Funke) Meier. Her father was a charter member of Zion Lutheran Church in Longtown, which was established in 1897. Victoria was the 9th baptism in the new church books of that congregation. That baptism record is displayed below.
Victoria is found in the 1900 census at the age of 2. Her father was a blacksmith in the village of Longtown. A post was written on this blog about Victoria’s parents titled, Longtown Blacksmith Gets Funke.
In the 1910 census, Victoria is listed as being 12 years old. The Meier family had added several children during the previous decade.
Dayton and Victoria were in the same confirmation class of 1912 at Zion Lutheran Church in Longtown. Dayton Thorp married Victoria Meier on May 31, 1917. For some reason unknown to me, this couple was married in Chicago. Below is an Illinois marriage record for this occasion.
In 1918, Dayton had his World War I draft registration completed. He was living in Longtown and working as a cashier at the Bank of Longtown.
According to our German Family Tree, Dayton and Victoria had 5 children. All of them were baptized at Zion Lutheran Church in Longtown. In the 1920 census, we find this couple with just their first child. Dayton was once again called a cashier at a bank.
When the 1930 census was taken, we see the Thorp family living in the household of Rosa Meier, Victoria’s mother, who was then a widow. Dayton had no occupation at this time.
Two more children were born into this Thorp family in the 1930’s, so we find this household when the 1940 census was taken. The Thorp’s were once again living in the village of Longtown where Dayton was a farm-to-market truck driver.
Dayton had a World War II draft card completed in 1942.
The last census we can view is the one taken in 1950. The Thorp’s were still living in Longtown.
The Thorp’s moved to St. Louis sometime after the above census. In a 1956 St. Louis city directory, we find Dayton and Victoria.
Dayton Thorp died in 1960 at the age of 62. His death certificate says he died of bladder cancer at the Deaconess Hospital in St. Louis. This document says his usual occupation was the proprietor of a feed store.
Victoria did not die until 1996 at the age of 98. Both Dayton and Victoria are buried in the Lake Charles Memorial Park in St. Louis.
Since 4 out of the 5 Thorp children were boys, there is a good likelihood that there are descendants from this Thorp couple that still carry the family surname. I looked in a recent white pages phone book for this area and did not find any Thorp’s. That does not mean that there aren’t any. Few people have landlines anymore which are listed in a phone book. I hope there are some Thorp’s somewhere who are carrying on a surname that goes back to a time considerably before this country gained its independence in the Revolutionary War.