~~~ 1stOffer Eliza Esther Williams Thorpe Thornton b. 1874  ~~~
m. Jesse Blackburn Thornton b. 1875

b. 1874    d. 1974
       We addressed her, only, as "grandma" and she certainly deserved that respect. For years I assumed one of the names given her was Willia due to the fact that great Uncle Earle Thornton had referred to her using that name. Now, based on her own signature and other documents we have, it is apparent her name was Eliza Esther Williams Thorpe. Her name became so long when Thornton was added that Grandpa declared, "I will call her Dot". Thereafter she was known by that name and lovingly addressed as such by those in her generation.       

Grandma pictured here in India with children, Ruth and Samuel.

        She was the first born to the union of Lydia Henderson and Benjamin F Thorpe. Next born was her sister Effe Henderson, followed by two brothers, Edwin Lemen and Franklin Robinson.
        Little is known of her father who, early in their lives abandoned the family.
        She grew up in Greenfield prior to her mother moving the family to Carlinville, IL. where higher education was available at Blackburn College.
        Following the years at Carlinville, Lydia moved back to Greenfield and remained in a home she built until her death in 1917. Like their mother, we do know that both Grandma and Aunt Effe took membership in the Greenfield Presbyterian Church at a young age.
       How Grandma met Grandpa remains a mystery to me, but I consider that she may have attended the Rubicon Methodist Church on an occasion of Grandpa's ministry there? That was the home church at which her grandfather Edwin Henderson had been a member/teacher for some 40 years. We know that is one of the rural churches Grandpa (Jesse B) served as a fledgling Methodist minister. It seems most likely that they met during the two years, 1898 and 1899, that he was the visiting pastor at the circuit of Asbury, Rubicon, and Wrights. They were married in the year 1900 and moved to and served in the Methodist Church of Havana, Illinois.
       To make a long story short ........ (Oh! that cannot be done in Grandma's case!)
        I enjoyed living near Grandma from the year 1953 till the Lord called her home in 1974. During those years I came to appreciate the fact that my roots were in this community because she was born here, being in the line of  pioneers and early settlers in this County.
         The portion of Illinois where we are located was inhabited by Indians when James Henderson,  Grandma's great grandfather located and settled in this county. Just 4 years earlier the
Wood River massacre was carried out by a band who, some believe, made their home along the Macoupin Creek which constitutes the southern boundary of (todays) Greene County.
        The history of Grandma's ancestors is well documented at the
Greene County Historical Society . There are three pioneer/settler "families" from which Grandma descends. With the knowledge of Betty Silvey (cousin from the Williams branch) and the expertise of our own, David Vander Plaatz, we added three chapters to the 2016 publication of the book "Families of Greene County".
        1 - The earliest of these families to settle here was that of James Henderson. His account can be read here:
1818-19 - James Henderson, First Settler North of Apple Creek   
        2 - The next was Wm W Williams, with wife, Lydia and daughter, Eliza. .... (Written by Betty Silvey.)
1831-32 - William W. Williams, settled 5 northeast of Greenfield  

        3 - The last of Grandmas family to arrive in the County bore the Thorpe name.
cir 1840 - Martin Thorpe settled south east of Greenfield 
        Much of the Henderson data was left to us in a book titled,  The Genealogy and History of the Descendants of  Mercy Shreve and James White. Grandpa James Henderson wife, Mary, is a descendant of James White.
page 53 you can see the marriage of James Henderson to Mary White. (FYI: the notes you see in the margin of these pages were left by Kay Rasmussen, daughter of Hobert Henderson,who provided the book for this purpose).
Page 73 gives the date of Edwin Henderson marrying Eliza Williams
Page 74 list the birth of Lydia Henderson (first child born to Edwin and Eliza Henderson), her siblings, her marriage to Ben Thorpe and the first three of her four children.
        The first child was Grandma "Dot" Thornton.
        The second child was Effe Henderson Thorpe
        The third they named Edwin Lemen Thorpe, b. 1880

        Edwin Lemen Thorpe, b, 3/30.1880, married Edith L. ___?___ . To this union were born three sons, the only persons with the privilege to refer to Grandma Thornton as Aunt Dot.
        The first born to Edwin Lemen and Edith Thorpe was Christopher Wheeler Thorpe, b. 1904, m. Doreen.
        The second born was Everett Edwin Thorpe. b. 1906, m. Imogene Hays
        Third born was Franklin Robinson (Bob) Thorpe, b. 11/11/1907. Bob married Hulda Armstrong May 2, 1931. To this union three sons and one daughter were born.
        Bobby was born 2/8/1933 and died 1/23/1939.
        Kenny was born 9/18/1934 and died 4/13/1935. (It is my understanding that this infant is interred at the Morrison Cemetery, located at Tadmor, Cook Station, MO.)
        Larry was born in the farmhouse at Tadmor February 6, 1936 and died @ midlife.
        Nancy (Thorpe) Feraldi (bd. unknown, last known to live in Florida)

        Larry Thorpe, b. 1936, m. Alberta Turner Feb. 11, 1955. She lives today (4/26/2019) in Carlinville, Illinois, nearby the two children born to that union, David Thorpe and Sandra (Thorpe) Hobkirk.
Page 75  Franklin Robinson, Grandma's youngest brother is listed here. The little known to me concerning "Bob", as Aunt Effe referred to him,  or "Rob" as others made reference to him, is the historic account of his death found on the Aunt Effe page and duplicated here.
        Then follows Mary Frances (6th child and the 6th daughter born to Edwin and Eliza Henderson). She married Andrew Steckel and they became parents of Ray Steckel. Rand and wife, Lena, parented Helen (Steckel) McKenzie. .... The home in Greenfield where Grandma and Grandpa lived was owned by Lena Steckel. Aunt Effe shared this home with Grandma and, being an apartment house, it also was the home inhabited by Vince and Elsie Marquess when first married. Jim and Helen (Steckel) McKenzie also resided here with their family at a later date. ............. The McKenzie girls, Becky and Jan, recall their relationship with "aunt's Dot and Effe" from the period they resided "down the hall" from them. ......Becky shared the following, which embodies the influence the "sisters" had in developing a
lasting relationship from that period .....

from Becky (McKenzie) Bowman 6/17/2019

I remember when both Sam and Doug were born. I used to love going to Aunt Dot's to play with Sammie when you guys were visiting. Wonderful get togethers and reunions and Aunt Dot always made room whether it was four family members or forty. And no one walked away hungry. I was talking to my daughter just the other day about Aunt Dot and Aunt Effe and how I wish now that I would have spent more time with them. They were wonderfully wise ladies and always had time to talk, teach or just listen. They both were always in the word and willing to share their knowledge of the Bible. I still miss them. Aunt Effe gave me her ocean liner trunk that had been to Japan and back 3 times. I still cherish it and it's sitting in my living room next to the couch. Sorry, I didn't mean to travel down memory lane. I know when you sent your message you weren't expecting a whole novel. As to your request, I have a hat box full of pictures that Mom left behind. Nothing is written on the backs of them and I didn't recognize anyone, except Aunt Effe and Grandma Stickel Jones. If you would like, I'll try to find them and send them to you. I didn't want to toss them because I felt they may be of sentimental value to someone in the Greenfield area. Again, I apologize for my verbosity and will wait to hear from you. Your oh so distant cousin, Bekki McKenzie Bowman

and Jan provided a delightful, unique image of their home :

Jan McKenzie Rice with her quilt of the Steckel (her grandparents) home in Greenfield

        On Page 76 we are given a record of  Arthur Edwin (seventh child and first son of Edwin and Eliza Henderson) and his marriage to Effie Young. Three children were born to this union:
Frank Williams, b. 1889, m. Mona
Esther Mae, b. 1893, m. Dean Foster
(not in book) Hobert Felix, born 1901, m. Anita Metcalf

        You may view and/or reproduce the Genealogy and History of the Descendants of Mercy Shreve and James White
here . (Sorry that I was not aware of the proper method for the task. Each page must be loaded individually.)  

       At this time I cannot locate an obituary of Grandma - do not recall saving one - but while looking for it (which is what I seem to do most of the time) I ran onto this recording of a 5th Grade beginners band under the direction of my nephew, Kenneth Caldwell. Kenneth is the son of Stephen Caldwell, the son of Paul (Ruth), grandson of SW, and great grandson of "grandma" Eliza (Dot). Several more of his accomplishments are available on U-tube. He is one of the several gifted musicians we enjoy in this family!

More later, as God permits ........... date 5/26/2019