Monday, February 3, 2014

1880s Autograph Album of Isaac Thornton of Lincoln, Ohio, and Harrison, Ohio, in Gallia County

Note: text in bold in the text and in the list of signers reflects the additional information provided by a reader.

1880s autograph album that belonged to Isaac Thornton of Lincoln, Ohio, and, later, Harrison, Ohio, both in Gallia County.  Isaac signed several pages.  See a photograph of Isaac here.

The album is approximately 6" x 3-3/4" and contains the sentiments of nearly 40 of Isaac's relatives and friends.  An alphabetical list of the signers appears at the end of this post.

From online research, hopefully correct:  [corrections and additions welcome!]

Isaac E. Thornton was born 4 December 1855 at Moody, Ohio, the son of Henry Warden Thornton and Susannah (Dewitt) Thornton.

Two of Isaac's siblings signed pages in the album.  His sister Hannah Thornton of Lincoln, Ohio:

Isaac's brother Firman Thornton of Lincoln, Ohio:

Isaac's cousin Abraham Dewitt signed a page.  He was the son of Isaac Dewitt, who was a brother to Isaac Thornton's mother, Susannah (Dewitt) Thornton.

On 4 June 1885, Isaac E. Thornton married Mary Ann Saunders, daughter of John Anderson Saunders and Elizabeth Frances (Martt) Saunders.  Mary Ann signed pages in Isaac's album before and after their marriage.  She signed a page as M. A. Saunders of Saundersville, Ohio.

She signed a page as M. A. Thornton of Moody PO, Gallia County, Ohio, on July 9, 1885, just over a month after her marriage.

The latest autograph in the album apparently occurred after the album came to light in the early 1900s.  It was signed by Virgie May Thornton, the daughter of Isaac and Mary Ann (Saunders) Thornton, on November 22, 1907.

By 1900, Isaac, Mary Ann and their six children were living at Harrison, Ohio.  Isaac died in 1937.  Mary Ann had predeceased him in 1933.  Isaac was a school teacher for a few years; then after his marriage he settled on a small farm. He also ran a hotel there in Gallia Co., Ohio for a while. He and his family were members of the Mt. Carmel and Lincoln Chapel Methodist churches in Galllia Co.

If you have corrections and/or additions to the information above, or information on any of the signers listed below, please leave a comment or contact me directly.  Thanks!

List of signers:  [Note: given names within a specific surname may not be in alphabetical order.]


  • L. D. ?; possibly Fillings; signed at Lincoln, Ohio, on September 25, 1881
  • Unsigned
  • W. S. Arthur, signed at Moody, Ohio
  • H. F. Bolton of Rutland, Ohio; not sure of middle initial
  • Effie Carter of Moody, Ohio
  • Jennie Clark
  • Abraham Dewitt.  Perhaps the Abraham Dewitt who was the son of Isaac's mother's brother Isaac Dewitt, Jr.  [Abraham L. Dewitt became the husband of signer Dora Irwin.]
  • Augusta Dickey of Lincoln, Ohio
  • S. A. Drummond; bird sketch
  • Hattie Drummond, signed at Lincoln, Ohio, in 1883
  • V. M. Fulton of Rio Grande, Ohio, in Gallia County
  • Effie Fulton of Bulaville, Ohio, signed on May 28, 1884
  • Mary M. Grant of Lincoln, Ohio, signed on June 7, 1882
  • Evan Griffiths of Wales, Ohio, signed on June 13, 1882, with a later date added on November 12, 1903
  • William Harbour, signed on December 29, 1881  [William Harbour is most probably relation of Martha Harbour, wife of Jesse Thornton, brother of Isaac.]
  • S. P. Humphrey of Rio Grande, Ohio, signed on August 25, 1881
  • May B. Irwin
  • Dora Irwin  [Dora became the wife of signer Abraham L. Dewitt.]
  • Harry Jewel, signed on August 28, 1881
  • Mary Jewel of Rio Grande, Ohio, signed on September 13, 1881
  • Ella Jewel of Rio Grande, Ohio, signed on September 24, 1881
  • Samuel E. Mossbarger, signed at Lincoln, Ohio, on June 13, 1882
  • N. E. Musser of Rutland, Ohio, in Meigs County
  • Ansel I. Notter of Sanders Ville, Ohio    [Isaac Thornton's brother John Henry Thornton had a daughter (Clara Effie) who married John Edward Notter. So the Ansel Notter is probably part of that family.]
  • William Pitchford
  • W. E. Russell of Wilkesville, Ohio
  • M. A. Saunders of Saundersville, Ohio, signed in August 1883.  This signer may have been Mary Ann Saunders, who would become Isaac's wife in 1885.
  • J. F. Shively of Lincoln, Ohio; middle initial might be T or ?
  • Jacob W. Smith of Saundersville, Ohio, signed on June 13, 1884
  • John F. Spangler of ?, Ohio
  • ? Stewart, signed at Gallipolis, Ohio
  • May Strong of Rio Grande, Ohio, signed on September 10, 1881
  • Rachel Stuart of Gallipolis, Ohio
  • Isaac Thornton of Lincoln, Ohio, album owner.  He inscribed several pages, one of them signed at Rio Grande, Ohio, on August 28, 1881
  • Hannah Thornton of Lincoln, Ohio; perhaps Isaac's younger sister
  • Firman Thornton of Lincoln, Ohio; younger brother of album owner Isaac Thornton and older brother of signer Hannah Thornton
  • M. A. Thornton, signed at Moody, Gallia County, Ohio, on July 9, 1885.  Likely, Mary Ann (Saunders) Thornton, who had become Isaac's wife the previous month.  The handwriting is very similar.
  • "Your Daughter Virgie", signed on November 22, 1907.  She was Virgie May Thornton, born 20 November 1889 at Harrison, Ohio.
  • Rhoda Walter
  • Isaac N. Wood of Mercersville, Ohio   [Isaac N. Wood is the son of Robert and Hannah (DeWitt) Wood. Hannah was a sister of Isaac DeWitt.  Isaac DeWitt and Hannah DeWitt were children of John and Sarah (Loucks) DeWitt. So Isaac DeWitt is not "Isaac DeWitt Jr." His grandfather was named Isaac, but not his father.]
Gallia County, Ohio

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