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Biography of Joseph Thorn

Joseph Thorn, deceased, was a pioneer of 1854. He was born in New York State, December 22, 1811. His parents were Richard and Mary Ann (Armstrong) Thorn, the former a native of New York, the latter of England. Mr. Thorn was a blacksmith by trade.

He was married at Niles, New York, June 19, 1836, to Lorana Camp, daughter of Jonah and Barbara (Keith) Camp, from near New Haven, Connecticut. About seven years after his marriage he moved with his wife and four children to Hancock County, Illinois, where he lived five years. He then moved to Council Bluffs and staid one year, when he joined the Mormons and went to Salt Lake. He soon got sick of them, however, and went back to Iowa where he remained six years.

He then moved to California, starting from Iowa in 1853. He spent one winter in Salt Lake, and in June 1854, arrived in San Bernardino. In February he went to Stockton with stock, came back the same year, and bought fifty acres of land where the Santa Fe Railroad tracks are now located, which was nearly all wild and unimproved. He bought land also on Warm creek, and dealt considerably in stock and engaged in farming. He was an energetic and enterprising man and gave each of his children a good farm. He had served as Supervisor and was a Mason in good standing. He died May 20, 1887, leaving a widow and four children, viz.: Joseph Camp, Helen Loran, wife of Michael Mulvaney; Orissa A., wife of John Osborn; Susan, wife of Hardin Patterson. His widow, Mrs. Lorana Thorn, is still living, at the advanced age of seventy-five years, well preserved mentally and physically. Her recollections of the journey from New York State to California are vivid still. She has endured with patience the hardships of pioneer life and worked to make a home, and has lived to see all her children well settled in life. She resides comfortably in her neat residence on Third Street, San Bernardino.

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