Biography - Joseph Thorp

CAPT. JOSEPH B. THORP, the efficient and popular County Treasurer of Jackson County, who makes his home in Murphysboro, was born in New York City on the 4tli of December, 1827, and is of English descent. His grandfather was a manufacturer of Yorkshire, England, and on leaving his native land took up his residence in New York City, but his last days were spent in Philadelphia, Pa. The father of our subject, Joshua Thorp, was also born in Yorkshire, but was reared in Philadelphia. In his youth he learned the tailor's trade, which he there followed throughout life. Ills death occurred at the age of seventy years, in the faith of the Episcopal Church. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Elizabeth Brooke, was also born in Yorkshire, and was a daughter of Ignatius Brooke, a machinist. In the family were five children, four of whom are still living.
The Captain is the second in order of birth. In early life he became a pattern maker in a machine shop. In 1848 he emigrated westward to Jackson County, Ill., making the journey by boat. For a time he worked as a millwright, afterward locating near Carbondale, and began the development of a farm, to the cultivation of which he devoted his energies until May, 1861. Prompted by patrotic impulses, he responded to the country's call to service and enlisted among the boys in blue of Company K, Eighteenth Illinois Infantry. He was mustered in with the rank of Sergeant, and participated in the battles of Fts. Henry and Donelson, and Shiloh, after which he was commissioned First Lieutenant by Governor Yates. He participated in the capture of Little Rock and in a number of skirmishes in Arkansas, also the expedition in Tennessee, during which he was wounded. On the 11th of June, 1864, he was mustered out at Springfield, Ill., and returned to his home. He was always faithful to his duty and to the Old Flag which now floats triumphantly over the united Nation.
On his return home. Captain Thorp again resumed farming near Carbondale, where he owned two hundred acres of rich and arable land, which he placed under a high state of cultivation. He successfully carried on general farming until the fall of 1890, when he was nominated and elected County Treasurer on the Republican ticket. He was the only Republican candidate for a county office elected at that time. In December following, he entered upon the discharge of his duties and has since creditably and acceptably filled the position.
In June, 1851, in Carbondale, Captain Thorp was united in marriage with Miss Harriet, daughter of Joseph Hinchcliff, a prominent pioneer farmer of this locality. The lady died during her husband's absence in the war. Five children were born unto them, four of whom are yet living, Joshua, a locomotive engineer on the Mobile & Ohio Railroad, living in Murphysboro; Samuel B., deceased; Sarah E., Ann and Mary E. Captain Thorp was again married, his second union being with Mrs. Cynthia Reeves, by whom he has one son, John R.
Socially, Mr. Thorp is connected with John W. Lawrence Post No. 297, G. A. R., of Carbondale. While living at that place he served as Supervisor for two terms. He is a man of sterling worth and strict integrity, who has a wide acquaintance and is well liked by all who know him.

Extracted from Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois, published in 1894, page 449.

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