Joseph Camp Thorn, residing four miles east of San Bernardino on the Base Line, is one of the pioneers of this county. He was born in New York, January 2, 1839, the son of Joseph and Lorana (Camp) Thorn. When the subject of this sketch was three years of age his father moved to Nauvoo, Illinois. The next year he removed to Council Bluffs, Iowa, and the following year he moved to Salt Lake.
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Our subject was then eight years old and he drove an ox team all the way from Council Bluffs to Salt Lake. Mr. Thorn lived at Salt Lake for ten days and, disgusted with the Mormon religion, went back to Iowa; then came on, in 1854, to California. The subject of this sketch, then a lad of fourteen, drove his ox team from Salt Lake to San Bernardino. While on the journey he stood a regular herd and guard tower with the men. After his arrival here he worked at various occupations, and in 1858 was married to Miss Mary H. Dickson, born in Iowa. Her parents, David and Nancy (Stevens) Dickson, natives of Canada, crossed the plains in 1853, losing a man and nearly all their stock by Indians, and located at San Bernardino. At one time Mr. Dickson owned the block where the Stewart Hotel now stands, and other valuable property. He died in April, 1886, while on a visit East. Mrs. Dickson died in 1880. They had reared a family of eight children, four of whom are still living. Mr. and Mrs. Thorn have nine children, viz.: Mary L., Nancy L., Joseph Camp, Hiram A., Helen Meneta, Walter W., John A., Hattie L. and Henrietta L. Socially Mr. Thorn is an I. O. O. F., subordinate lodge No. 282, Riverside; Morse Encampment, No. 54; San Bernardino Canton, No. 17; Magnolia Lodge (Rebekah), No. 94. Mrs. Thorn and her daughter, Minnie, also belong to the last named lodge. As a business man Mr. Thorn has been very successful, and as a citizen he enjoys the confidence and respect of his neighbors.