History of Pettis County Mo 1919 by Mark McGruder, Pg 825
(Transcribed by Laura Paxton)
George W. Thornton, a successful farmer, Hughesville township, is a native son of Pettis County. He was born on the Claycomb place, eight miles north of Sedalia, December 22 1862, and is a son of Hiram Thornton, born in 1810 and died in 1872. Mr. Thornton was one of the best known of the early settlers of Pettis County. He was a son of Peter Thornton, of Virginia, who migrated to Missouri and settled near Arrow Rock when Hiram Thornton was but a boy. Nelson Cemetery is located on the old Thornton place in Saline County where Hiram Thornton was reared.
Hiram Thornton was married in Saline County to Miss Sophia Turley who was born November 19 1817 and died August 2 1876. She was reared on the old Turley farm in Cooper County; the town of Lamine now stands upon the old farm. Sophia Turley was a daughter of Stephen Turley, an early pioneer of Missouri. Hiram Thornton came to Pettis County, April 16 1836, at a time when the population of this county was small and this whole neighborhood was but sparsely settled. He settled on what is now known as the Claycomb place and was one of the first justices of the peace in Heath's Creek township. The post office of Thornleigh was named in his honor. The old Thornton home is still standing and around this home Mr. Thornton built up an estate of nearly 500 acres and resided there all of his days. The remains of both he and his wife rest side by side in a private burial ground on the old Turley homestead in Cooper County.
Hiram Thornton was a Democrat and a Presbyterian, and was one of the influential men of his day in Pettis County, filling many positions of honor and trust and at one time served as treasurer of Pettis County. The children born to Hiram and Sophia Thornton are: William Harvey born July 23 1836 and died October 28 1839; Mary Elizabeth born December 11 1837 and died February 27 1848; James Marion born January 31 1840 and died November 19 1917, his death occurring at the Soldiers' Home, Leavenworth Kansas; Selinda Jane born October 3 1841 and died February 12 1848; Stephen Turley born February 26 1843 and died June 10 1841; David Jones, Union Veteran, born December 4 1844 and died June 27 1876; Martha Helen Sneed born November 30 1846 and resides in Hepner Oregon; Benjamin Franklin born December 14 1848 and died June 10 1907 at Pueblo Colorado, his remains being interred in Nelson cemetery, Saline County; Adelia Merrill, born December 23 1850 lives at Marshall, Saline County, MO; Milton born March 5 1853 lives at Hughesville MO; Hiram Miller born May 15 1855 and died in California in 1917; Mrs. Sophia M. Phillips born June 13 1858 and lives at Marshall, Saline County; Lurany May Wampler, born August 7 1859, formerly lived in Johnson County, died in New Mexico in 1914; Henry Clay born November 30 1860, resides in Sedalia; George W., subject of this sketch.
George W. Thornton was left an orphan at the age of 13 years and began doing for himself at that age. He made his home with his brother, Benjamin, until he attained the age of 17 years and then hired out as farm hand for four years. In 1883 he rented land from the Fristoes for one year, and will always kindly remember the fine treatment accorded him by Mr & Mrs Fristoe, especially the kindness of Mrs. Annie Fristoe, whom he considers one of the finest ladies in the land. They made him one of the family. He then rented 160 acres in Hughesville township. In 1887, he rented the Hutchison place for one year. Then he and his brother Henry Clay formed a partnership and at the solicitation of George W. Crawford, and leased the Crawford farm of 320 acres for three years. This partnership was then dissolved and he then rented 600 acres adjoining the Crawford farm for the next three years. In the spring of 1906, Mr. Thornton moved to his present home place consisting of 192.5 acres which he had purchased in 1905. In addition to his own farm he is renting a tract of 70 acres. Mr. Thornton has placed practically all of the substantial improvements on his place and is comfortably fixed. He keeps a herd of high grade Poland China hogs and has sold hogs to the value of $2,500 during 1918, besides having 100 head on the farm at the present writing. He harvested 85 acres of wheat in 1918, which yielded a crop which sold for $3,500 and averaged 10 bushels to the acre. He has 130 acres for the harvest of 1919 and has specialized in wheat for the past 30 years. Mr. Thornton paid $60 an acre for his farm, now valued at over twice this much, the place being well improved, convenient to a school, located near the end of the rock road from Sedalia, with Hughesville, a convenient shipping and trading point, but one and a half miles to the north.
On December 28 1892, Mr. Thornton was married to Miss Bettie Carson, and they have one son, Donald George, born July 18 1909. Mrs. Bettie (Carson) Thornton was born February 14 1872, in Adams County, Illinois. She is a daughter of James and Narcissus (Garner) Carson, natives of Ireland, who settled in Franklin County Missouri, coming to the State from Illinois in 1879. They first resided in Hickory County for three years. In 1882 the Carsons came to Pettis County and Mr. Carson followed farming near Sedalia until his death. James Carson was born in 1836 and died December 29 1914. Narcissus Carson died December 24 1915 at the age of 74 years. Of ten children born to James and Narcissus Carson, seven are living; Alexander, born 1861 lives at Huntsville Missouri; Mrs. Martha McVickers, born 1863, lives at San Antonio Texas; Emma, wife of Dr. C W Merkel, lives at Ann Arbor, Michigan; Thomas J., born 1867 lives at Greenwood Arkansas; Mrs. Bettie Thornton of this review; Mrs. Mollie Harmon born 1869 lives at Kansas Illinois; Gilford and Stanley deceased; Ira lives at Mulberry Kansas; Garner deceased.
Mr. Thornton is a Democrat, a member of the Presbyterian Church and is affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America Lodge of Hughesville.