History of Thornton Township Buffalo County, NE
From: Buffalo County, Nebraska and its people
BY: Samuel Clay Bassett
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago 1916

THORNTON TOWNSHIP

The first settlers in town No. 10, range No. 15, in Buffalo County, were C. A. Borders, N. Turner, F. Chisler, F. J. Welding, M. Conners, J. C. V. Kelley, B. J. Holmes, W. S. Hall, in 1873; and S. S. St. John, J. M. Smith, J. Gass, N. E, Coombs, Joel Miller, N. Fellers, J. Trumbull, W. J. Neely, J. E. Holloway, F. G. Hamer, B. Streigle, G. H. Cutting, W. G. Patterson, S. W. Thornton and E. Goodsell, in 1874.

When township organization was adopted in the county in 1883, the county board named the township "Thornton," in honor of Hon, S. W. Thornton, a soldier of the Civil war and one of its earliest settlers.

In the life of the township there was organized a Catholic Church, which erected a church building. The church organization is still in a flourishing condition.

At an early date there was an organization of the Methodist Episcopal Church, their church building being known as Haven Chapel, which is still a religious center for a considerable extent of territory.

At an early date a postoffice was established and which was continued until the advent of free rural delivery, since which time people of the township have been served by a carrier from the Kearney office.

One of the first farmers telephone companies in the county was organized largely through the efforts of people residing in this township, a history of which, kindly furnished by George Bischel, appears elsewhere in this volume.

Hopewell Camp No. 4522, M. W. A., was instituted at Hopewell school house, School District No. 35, in Thornton Township, February 8, 1897. The first officers and charter members were: D. M. Arbuckle, V. C.; I. F. Henline, B.; J. C. Powers, A.; David R. Mathieson, clerk; L. N. Hollingsworth, P. W. Snook, George Bischel, J. N. Johnson, E. E. Thorn, J. H. Fester, J. S. Burton, William R. Fisher, F. S. Musil, William Ochirich, Ed Galling, David McCan, Louis J. Meyers, George H. Gilding, Ed A. Poole, A. J. Frederick, Peter J. Gilding, C. L. Greemhalge, George S. Hayes, Ed A. Rose, Nicholas Gass, Fred A. Rynese, A. E. Debrie.

George Bischel served as clerk of the camp for eight successive years.

In the year 1897 the camp erected a hall, 29 by 36 feet, on section No. 16, in Thornton Township. The membership so greatly increased that in the year 1901 the hall was enlarged by an addition of sixteen feet. In 1911 the membership of the camp was 105, and in 1915 the membership was seventy six. The officers: J. M. Stiles, V. C.; Frank Stiles, A.; W. J. Turner, B.; Fred Sitz, clerk.

Prairie View Camp No. 2228, Royal Neighbors, M. W. A., was instituted in Thornton Township June 13, 1900. The officers and charter members were: Mrs. Hannah Smith, oracle; Mrs. Luella Rogers, recorder; Mesdames Mary Altmaier, Bessie Bischei, Maggie Baily, Gertrude Burton, Maude Clark, Edith Debrie, Jannette Cass, Jane Foster, Ethel Giliming, Alma Howe, Mary Hayes, Etta Richards, Flora E. Weller, Miss Lucretia Snider, George Bischel, A. E. Debrie, Luther McKee, George Richards.

This camp has the distinction of being the only Royal Neighbor camp in the State of Nebraska located in a rural neighborhood, its membership composed entirely of farmers, their wives and daughters. Mrs. George Bischel, who served eight years as recorder of the camp, writes that this organization meant much to its members, as it was the means of bringing them together in a social way when otherwise the members would probably never have all been known to each other. Of course there was always the faithful few who kept the camp alive.

In the year 1915 the camp had a membership of thirty. Its officers: Mrs. Mary Altmaier, oracle; Mrs. Minnie Mast, recorder.


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