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,