John B. Thatcher, assessor and tax collector of Bannock county, and the owner of a valuable ranch on Bear river, where he carries on general farming and stock-raising, was born in Clark county, Ohio, October 22, 1834, being of English and German descent. At an early epoch in the history of Virginia, his ancestors, having braved the perils incident to ocean voyages at that day, took up their residence in the Old Dominion, and representatives of the family fought for the independence of the nation in the Revolutionary war. The parents of our subject, Hezekiah and Alley (Kitchen) Thatcher, were both natives of Virginia, and the father was an industrious and substantial farmer. He lived to be sixty-nine years of age, and his wife passed away at the age of eighty-two years. They were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and were people of the highest integrity of character. In their family were thirteen children, eight of whom reached years of maturity, while five are still living.
John B. Thatcher was the fourth child and is now the eldest surviving member of the family. He was reared and educated in Illinois and in Salt Lake City, Utah, and afterward engaged in mining in El Dorado County, California. On the 1st of January 1858, he returned to Salt Lake City. In 1860 he went to Logan, Utah, where he engaged in clerking in the Mercantile House, being there employed for fifteen years. In the fall of 1881 he came to Idaho and purchased three hundred and sixty acres of land, upon which he has since made his home. He has devoted his energies to general farming and stock raising, and his diligence, practical methods and energy have brought to him success. As his financial resources have increased he has extended the boundaries of his ranch until it now comprises six hundred acres, a valuable property, on which he raises hay, grain and stock. Upon his place are found all the modern improvements and accessories of the model farm, and the neat and thrifty appearance of the place well indicates the careful supervision of the owner.
In addition to his business cares Mr. Thatcher is ably discharging his public duties and is a most trustworthy official. In politics he has been a lifelong Democrat, and on that ticket was elected a member of the territorial legislature in 1882. On the 8th of November, 1896, he was elected assessor and tax collector, and in November, 1898, was elected to the lower house of the Idaho general assembly, where he has ably represented his district and labored earnestly for the best interests of his constituents. He has long been a close student of political questions, of the needs and demands of the public, and has taken his place among the foremost legislators of Idaho.
On the 9th of March 1858, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Thatcher and Miss Rachel H. Davis, a native of Ohio. Their union has been blessed with six sons and two daughters, namely: John B., a farmer of Wyoming; Milton H.; Nathan D.; Lulu, now the wife of Frank Thirkill; Lettie, at home; Howard E.; Gilbert, who is his father’s deputy; and Henry K., who completes the family. The mother was killed in an accident, in January 1882. She was a most estimable lady, held in high regard by all who knew her, and her death occasioned great sadness in the community as well as in her own home. Like her husband, she belonged to the Church of Latter Day Saints. Mr. Thatcher has the esteem and unlimited confidence of the citizens of his county, and is well known as a man of sound judgment and sterling rectitude of character.