Unedited - please excuse errors; OLDC = Oregon Donation Land Claims; Abstract from "The Kimseys, Crowleys, Simpsons, Burnetts and Their Connections," (to be publ. 2000):
The name of Thorp figures largely in the early history of Holt County, Missouri and the Crowley family and their connections. Two of William Thorp's children married two of John Crowley's children.
Rev. William Thorp was born in Virginia and was a pioneer in Kentucky and a pioneer in the Missouri counties of Howard and Clay. He was son of Dodson Thorp, born 1742 in Caroline County, Virginia and died about 1815 in Madison County, Kentucky (1810 Madison Co, Ky Census). Dodson was married twice. First about 1765 to Mary Holladay, daughter of William Holladay. Dodson married his second wife Margaret Orchard on 26 December 1788 in Madison County, daughter of John and Agnes Orchard. Dodson served in the Lincoln County, Kentucky Militia in 1782.
William Thorp Sr., son of Dodson Thorp and Mary Holladay, was born 25 January 1772 in Bedford County, Virginia [Dodson Thorp surveyed 217 acres in Bedford Co, 1773] and died 7 March 1853 in Clay County, Missouri.
William Thorp married 25 January 1795 in Madison County to Frances Owen, a daughter of Barnet Owen and Frances Whitlow. Both William and Frances are buried in the graveyard at Little Shoal Creek Church in Clay County, Missouri. Their stones bear the following inscriptions:
"Elder William Thorp, minister of the Gospel of the Regular Baptist Church, the first pioneer who smoothed the rugged paths of the Baptists in the western wilds of Missouri, constituted the first churches and organized the first Baptist Association in Upper Missouri. He was the founder of some twenty frontier churches in early day Missouri.
Â“He was born in Virginia in 1772, moved to Kentucky in 1786, to Missouri in 1809, died in Clay County on 7 March 1853, aged 81 years, 1 month and 10 days old. He was minister of the Gospel for 57 years. Our Fathers, where are they? And the Prophets, do they live forever? Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord. They rest from their labours and their works do follow them."
"Frances Owens Thorp died 30 July 1860, aged 87 years, 2 months and 5 days, 68 years of which time she studiously devoted herself to the cause of God as a member of the Regular Baptist Church; died in the triumphs of faith and henceforth rests from her labours." Frances died of dropsy at the home of her daughter Mary in Jackson County.
William and his wife Frances are shown on the 1830, 1840 Clay County, Missouri census. The 1850 Census of Clay County (#208) shows they were in Liberty Township; both were age 79 and born in Virginia. He was listed as a preacher with $3,000 in property. His son-in-law, George W. Stout, age 21 (1829) was a farmer living in the house along with wife Frances.
William Thorp Sr. was a traveling minister of the Baptist faith who carried a gun for protection and was the first man to preach the gospel in the boundaries of what later became Holt County. Four of his sons, John, William Jr, Greenberry and Owen and a daughter Elizabeth and Elizabeth's husband, James Crowley came to Holt County in the spring of 1839. They settled two and one-half miles southeast of the site of Oregon, Missouri where John Thorp, born 1796 in Madison County, Kentucky, and his wife Lucy Embree and William Thorp, born 1809 in Madison County and his wife Elizabeth Crowley built and operated the first mill in the county on Mill Creek on the northwest quarter of Section 2, Township 59, Range 38. Before its construction, it had been necessary to travel as far as Weston or Liberty, Missouri to have grain ground.
"Probably the first real church organized was 'Big Shoal Baptist Church' in Gallatin Township, eight miles southwest of Liberty, founded May 21st, 1823 by Elder William T. Thorp. Among the first members were George Burnett [1770-1838] and wife [Dorothy Harderman, 1786-1843, parents of Peter H.], Peter Burnett [Peter Hardeman Burnett, 1807-1895, was first Governor of California], Elisha Todd and wife and John Crowley [1768-1849], Elizabeth Moore, Christina Moore, Jane Cain and Daniel Hughes and wife, Richard Barnes and wife, John Atkins and wife, Edward Mails and Garrett Arnold.
"At first, services were held in the rude log school house which stood near the present site. In 1827, their first meeting house was built, a log structure, 18 feet by 20 feet, hewn from the virgin forest, whose "raising" brought people from miles around and gave date to happenings for years afterwards. This building had a vestibule in front and an offset in the back, each 8 x 6 feet and was called 'the church with the twelve corners.' It was unique in that it had a real board floor and a lathed and plastered ceiling. the lath were rived of oak and the plaster was made from the sand of near-by Shoal Creek and lime burned from neighboring rock ledges. The seats were of logs split, with flat sides up and had strong pegs for legs. One part of the room was set off for the Negro Slaves who came with their masters. The first paster was John Knight, a veteran of the War of 1812." ("Clay County, Missouri Centennial Souvenir").
The Thorp family loaned their name to another first of Holt County when the Thorp's Mill Post Office was established in 1839 in a hewed log cabin in Section 12 in Lewis Township. Judge R.H. Russell was the first postmaster appointed and served until 1842.
The first County Court of Holt County convened 24 March 1841 at the home of Justice of the Peace, William Thorp in the northwest quarter of Section 12, Township 59, Range 33 in what is now Lewis Township. It was at this meeting that James Crowley, William Thorp's brother-in-law, produced the commission signed by Governor Thomas Reynolds appointing him Justice of Holt County Court. And it was at this meeting that Green B. Thorp was appointed as the first Assessor of Holt County.
Children of William Thorp Sr., and Frances Owen, all went to Holt County in the spring of 1839.
1) Martha Thorp, b. 11 Sep 1795 in Madison Co, Ky; d. 26 Nov 1831 in Clay co, Mo; buried Little Shoal Cemetery. Married 25 Jul 1815 in St. Charles District, Missouri to Daniel M. Stout, son of Daniel and Elizabeth Stout. Martha and Daniel's daughter, Emerine Stout, b. 22 Apr 1823 in Clay Co, Mo; d. 3 May 1903 in Clarksdale, DeKalb Co, Mo; buried Thornton Cem; m. 1/ 26 Jul 1838 in Clay Co, Mo to John Crowley and had son, George Washington Crowley, b. 25 Oct 1841 in Clay Co, Mo; d. 13 Jan 1913 in Stockton, San Joaquin Co, CA; John Crowley was son of John Crowley and 1/ Elizabeth McClain; Emerine m. 2/ 23 Sep 1847 in DeKalb Co, Mo to Thomas R. Thornton.
2) John C. Thorp, b. 13 Oct 1796 in Madison Co, Ky; d. 9 Jan 1881 in Polk (?) Co, Oregon; buried Buena Vista Cemetery in Polk County; m. 23 Jul 1818 to Lucy Embree, dau of William Embree and Jane Bush. Oregon Donation Land Claim No.1194 of John C. Thorp; Settled Claim 1 Jan 1847; states "is not married" then says temporary absence from claim due to illness of daughter from Nov 1848 to June 1849, family remained on claim during absence; Affidivits of Edwin A. Thorp, Reason B. Hall.
3) William T. Thorp Jr, b. 13 Jan 1802 Madison Co, Ky; d. 20 Nov 1851 CA; m. 31 Mar 1825 in Clay Co, Mo to Elizabeth "Betsy" Crowley, b. 13 Jan 1804 Powell's Valley [Claiborne/Campbell Co], TN; d. 28 Jul 1879 in Oregon; dau of John Crowley Sr., and 1/ Elizabeth McClain. After William's death, Elizabeth m. 2/ Christopher Clymer/Climer, b. 1795 VA; living 1860 Linn Co (census p.368), age 65, with wife Elizabeth, age 56 TN, next door to Elizabeth (Dagley) Turnidge, widow of Rev. Joseph Warren Turnidge, kin of Rev. William Simpson and his wife Mary Kimsey of Marion Co, Or. "Elizabeth Climer" is named in John Crowley's estate in Clay County, Missouri.
Elizabeth Thorp of Linn County, Oregon: "Oregon Donation Land Claim No.490; widow of William Thorp, deceased; Arrived in Oregon Territory on 20 August 1853; Settled Claim 9 October 1855 by affidavits of Benjamin F. Munkers and B.P. Grant." Elizabeth named 5 children in her application:
Â“1.. William John Thorp" [his name was John Crowley William Thorp, b. 1 Mar 1826 Clay Co, Mo; d. 20 Aug 1858 Linn Co, Or] .
"2. James Riley Thorp" [James Riley Thorp, b. 10 Dec 1828 Clay Co, Mo; d. 12 Mar 1873 from drowning; Filed for Donation Land Claim in Linn Co; settled claim 16 Jun 1853 (No.4018) by Affidavits of William J. Thorp, George W. Crowley, John Thorp, Clarence Morrison].
"3. Frances Jane Munkers" [Frances Jane Thorp, b. 22 Jul 1830 Clay Co, Mo; d. Jun 1857; m. William Munkers/Munkres].
"4. Benjamin F. Thorp who d. Apr 1854" [Benjamin Franklin Thorp, b. 22 Jun 1832 Clay Co, Mo; d. 6 Feb 1854 Oregon]
"5. Joseph Thomas Thorp" [JOSEPH THOMAS Thorp, b. 18 Jan 1840 Holt Co, Mo; d. 1857]
[6 Martha Thorp, b. Apr 1842; died before 1850; was not named in ODLC file]
"Elizabeth Crowley Thorp married 2/ _____ CLIMER prior to 21 Sep 1857 - "Aff: Benjamin F. Munkers, B.P. Grant"
(Genealogical Material in ODLC, Vol 1:20)
4) Joseph T. Thorp, b. 13 Dec 1804 in Madison Co, Ky; d. 14 Jun 1890 in Liberty, Clay Co, Mo; buried in Little Shoal Cem; m. 1/ 9 Feb 1826 in Clay Co, Mo to Dorothy M. Vaughn; m. 2/ 21 Sep 1834 in Clay Co to Nancy Monroe.
From the history of the early primitive Baptist Churches of the "Early Days In The West," written by Judge Joseph Thorp, son of the pioneer minister Elder William Thorp. He says that in 1818-1819, some of the old settlers in Boonslick began to grow restless, feeling themselves crowded and so they packed up to go further west. He names many of them and mentions that there were several from Tennessee and North Carolina. Among these are the name of John Crowley. He went to Clay County. In another place he is telling about the organization of churches and says: 'The first church organized was the Mt. Pleasant, organized in 1812.' He writes of five churches which formed an association in 1818. The names of the old pioneer members who formed this association were: (he gives the names of about 18 men, one of whom was J. Crowley) the above was taken from their minutes. This history of Thorps, gives a long list of the names of the early settlers in Clay County, which he says is not complete but only so far as his memory goes. He states that he has recorded only those settlers who had come prior to 1826. He gives the names of JOHN CROWLEY SR, THOMAS CROWLEY, JEREMIAH CROWLEY, LITTLE SAM CROWLEY (this was son of John Crowley & Elizabeth McClain). They later moved to Savannah, Missouri from Clay County. John Crowley was a charter member of the Big Shoal Baptist Church which was the first church constituted in Clay County. It was organized May 21st, 1823. The Crowleys were members of the Big Barren Baptist Church in Powell Valley, Tennessee.
5) Owen Thorp, b. ca 1805 Madison Co, Ky; d. 1846 in Newton Co, Mo enroute to TX; m. 1/ 21 Jun 1821 in Ray Co, Mo to Elizabeth Heitt; m. 2/ 27 Aug 1831 in Clay Co, Mo to Nancy McGee, by Wm. Thorp MG; Nancy, b. 1805 Tn; dau of Zachariah McGee. Owen Thorp remained for a time in Holt County. He left for Texas with his father-in-law, Zachariah McGee in 1846. They both died enroute in Newton County, Missouri. Owen's wife, Nancy returned to Clay County, Missouri with her children to live.
1. Charles W. Thorp, b. 5 Nov 1840 Holt Co, Mo; d. 18 Apr 1910 in Calif, aged 69 years; m. Telitha Pennington, one of 11 children of James Pennington, the first sheriff of Nodaway County, Missouri. C.W. Thorp became a Methodist minister and returned to Holt County in 1903, taking charge of the Forest City Methodist Church Circuit.
2. Emily Thorp married Burris Smith. Emily Thorp and her husband Burris Smith and Melissa Thorp and her husband, Calvin Crowley left for Oregon Territory on 6 April 1846 with the Rev. William Simpson train. Calvin Crowley was son of Thomas McClain Crowley and Catherine Linville. Calvin, Melissa and their child died 1846 on the plains to Oregon. In this company of wagons that crossed the Missouri River at Iowa Point were Holt Countians, Dan Toole, Washington and John Crowley, the Linvilles, Joshua Adkins and David M. Guthrie who came to Holt County in 1842 and helped build the dam for Thorp's Mill.
3. Melissa Thorp, b. ca 1824 Mo; m. 13 Jul 1845 in Holt Co, Mo to John Calvin Crowley Jr, b. 1796 in Powell's Valley, Tn; d. 1846 enroute to Oregon;
4. John Thorp, b. 1834 Mo
5. Jane Thorp, b. 1835 Mo
6. Charles Thorp, b. 1838 Mo
6) Mary S. Thorp, b. 17 Jun 1807 in Madison Co, Ky; d. 1864 in Jackson Co, Mo; buried Christopher Mann Cemetery in Independence [Note: Christopher Mann married 1849 in Jackson Co, Mo to Amanda Malvina Harris, the sister of William Harris (1796-1847), who married in Patrick Co, Va, Rhoda Burnett, daughter of Jeremiah Burnett (III) and Effaniah Crowley, the sister of John Crowley who m. 1/ Elizabeth McClain and 2/ Agnes Munkers; see family elsewhere.
7) Elizabeth Thorp, b. 3 Nov 1809 in Booneslick, Howard Co, Mo; d. 28 Jun 1879 in Tulare Co, Ca; buried Exeter Cem; married 16 Jul 1829 in Clay Co, Mo to James Crowley, by Wm. Thorp, MG; James Crowley, born 3 Jul 1807 in Tn; d. 13 Nov 1880 CA; son of John Crowley & Elizabeth McClain; James and Elizabeth Thorp Crowley had son named after Rev. Greenberry Thorp: Greenberry Crowley, born in Clay Co, Mo; d. 2 Mar 1906 in Burbank, Los Angeles Co, Ca; m. 2/ Nancy Hutchins and had ch:
1) James Allen Crowley
2) William Henry Crowley
3) Sarah Elizabeth Crowley
4) Martha Jane Crowley
5) Roselin Crowley, b. 22 Nov 1858; m. 12 Apr 1881 Ca to Thomas J. Brundage
8) Greenberry Thorp, b. 6 May 1812 in Boonslick, Howard Co, Mo; d. 14 Apr 1865 in Holt Co, Mo; buried Mill Creek Cemetery; his first three years of life were spent in Cooper's Fort for protection against the Indians; m. 1/ 14 Oct 1830 in Clay Co, Mo to Nancy Linville by Wm. Thorp, MG, dau of Richard Linville & Mollie Yount; Nancy died Holt Co; her sister Catherine Linville m. 1/ Thomas McClain Crowley, [son of John Sr], b. 1798 Tn; d. 1846 enroute to Oregon with the Simpson train. Mrs. Catherine Linville Crowley m. 2/ James Monroe Fulkerson in Oregon.
Greenberry Thorp was instrumental in organizing the Regular (Hard Shell) Baptist group of worshipers that erected in 1843 the first church building in Holt County which they called the Mill Creek Church. It was located in Lewis Township, Section 36, Township 60 and Range 38. The Charter Members of this church were Mrs. Margaret Stephenson, Judges, James Kimsey and James Adkins, Abraham and Ethelbert Brown, John and Daniel Baldwin and their wives. Green B. Thorp served as their pastor until his death and was buried beside his wife Nancy Linville in the Cemetery nearby.
Greenberry was the first regular minister in Holt County and joined in Holy wedlock, on April 18th, 1841, Mr. John A. Benson and Miss. Edna Kimsey, a daughter of Judge James Kimsey ( Greenberry Thorp was the first regular minister in Holt County and joined in Holy wedlock, on April 18th, 1841, Mr. John A. Benson and Miss. Edna Kimsey, a daughter of Judge James Kimsey (II) and Hannah McCracken. This was the first marriage formally recorded in the records of the county. Greenberry was also the first physician in the county.
Rev. William Simpson's wife, Mary Kimsey was a daughter of James Kimsey (I) and Mary Crowley, a daughter of Samuel Crowley and Elizabeth McClain. Rev. Simpson was one of the first Regular Baptist Church ministers in Oregon and was instrumental in organizing and building churches soon after his arrival in 1846.
While living in Platte County, Missouri, Rev. William Simpson organized the Simpson Train to Oregon Territory, along with his wife, Mary Crowley Simpson and their large family of children and spouses, all except two (one babe died, the other was married and came later).
In this vast company of wagons, there were many friends and connections to the Simpsons, Kimseys and Crowleys. Those from Holt County, that crossed the Missouri River at Iowa Point were Dan Toole, Washington Crowley, John Crowley, the Linvilles, Joshua Adkins and David M. Guthrie who came to Holt County in 1842 and helped build the dam for Thorp's Mill. James Kimsey (II) was county judge in Holt County and was well known by all. James Kimsey and his family also went to Oregon Territory and settled in Polk County:
The first County Court of Holt County, Missouri convened March 24th, 1841 at the home of Justice of the Peace, William Thorp in the northwest quarter of Section 12, Township 59, Range 33 in what is now Lewis Township. It was at this meeting that James Crowley, William Thorp's brother-in-law, produced the commission signed by Governor Thomas Reynolds appointing him Justice of the Holt County Court. And it was at this meeting that Greenberry Thorp was appointed as the first assessor of Holt County. Greenberry Thorp was born 1812 at Boonslick, Howard County, Missouri and his first three years of life were spent in Cooper's Fort for protection against the Indians.
The granddaughter of the Benjamin Cooper who built Cooper's Fort in Boonslick, Howard County, Missouri was also included in this train to Oregon. Nancy Cooper married Ben Simpson (son of Elder William Simpson), who later became the train captain.
Abstract from a letter published in the "Liberty Tribune," Clay County, Missouri dated 11 February 1881 from Joseph Thorp (Obituary of John Thorp of Polk County, Oregon) - "Mr. Miller: Please give notice of the death of my brother John Thorp. He died at the residence of his son Elvin A. Thorp in Polk County, Oregon on January 9th, 1881. He was born in Madison County, Kentucky about 1794 or 5, came to Missouri Territory with his father Elder William Thorp in the year 1809 and grew to manhood in the wilds of Missouri, braving hardships of Indian Wars from 1812 to 1815. After peace was restored, he aided the government surveyor of the Kaw River 100 miles north, thence east to the Mississippi. He married Miss. Lucy Embree, sister of the late Ambrose Embree and aunt of our worthy fellow citizen, W.S. Embree. He came to Clay County in 1820 where his wife died, leaving him six children, four boys and two girls. In a short time he moved to Holt County and from there, in the year 1846, he fitted up his ox teams (as was then the mode of traveling) and joined a caravan to cross the plains to the Pacific. After about 5 months' toil he landed safely in the Willamette Valley. He then had the advantages of a new country and all the inducements that were held out by the government to emigrants, and he and his boys improved their opportunity and accumulated a very comfortable living. Finally, he quit business and made his home with his son, abiding his time.. /s/ Joseph Thorp."
In 1847, the patriarch of the Kimsey family, James Kimsey and Hannah McCracken were outfitted and ready to start on that great western trip across the plains accompanied by three stalwart sons. The sons were Duff and his new bride, Mandana [Smith], Benjamin and his wife Malinda [Smith] and Edson and wife Melinda [Walker]. Son, Anson preceded his parents to Oregon in 1846, with the Richard "Dick" Wisdom and Simpson families under the captaincy of John Wilson.
The James Kimsey family began their journey from Platte County, Missouri on 1 May 1847, joining at Independence, Jackson County, Missouri, the caravan that was captained by Doctor Smith. The whole train was comprised of 100 wagons. They came across the mountains by the new Barlow route and arrived late in the fall of the same year and settled in Polk County.
In Paxton's, Annals of Platte County, Missouri (p.410), it states "James Kimsey Jr to Oregon in the 1847 Smith Train. He and all of his children except son Samuel moved to Polk County, Oregon."
On arriving in Oregon Territory, James Kimsey (II) went to the Tualatin Plains and took out a claim (#2136) for 639.99 acres in four tracts: Township 7 South, Range 4 West, Section 31; Township 8 South, Range 4 West, Section 6 and Township 7 South, Range 5 West, Section 36 and Township 8 South, Range 5 West in Section 1.
The 1850 Census of Polk County, Oregon shows daughter Mahala was a spinster living at home, also son Duff, his wife and 2 babies were living with James and Hannah but moved within the census year to Marion County. That year, James' land was worth $3200 and he had $1078 in personal property. He lived near his sons Anson and Benjamin.
In the Oregon Donation Land Claims, James Kimsey of Polk County said he was born 1785 in Bedford County, Virginia and that he married June 1805 in Tennessee to Hannah J. McCracken. Rev. James Kimsey ran an ad in the "Oregon Statesman" on the 19th of July 1853 and said he was holding Baptist Church services at his residence on Rickreall (Vol.3, p.1).
The obituary of Anson Kimsey dated June 2, 1893 and published in the "Polk County Itemizer" said "...Rev. James Kimsey, Anson's father, who had been county judge in Holt County, Missouri for several years, came to this county in 1847 and took a donation claim on the Rickreall near Dixie. There he died in 1861 and there he, his wife Hannah and their daughter Mahala were laid to rest. Anson had for years lived on what has been known as the Robbin's place this side of Smithfield, but some thirty years ago sold it and went to take care of his aged and feeble parents..."
("History of Holt County," 1882; "Holt County Sentinel" Jan & Feb 1909 & Apr 1910; Three Volume "Northwest Missouri History;" "Early Days in the West," published in 1880 by Judge Joseph Thorp, son of Rev. William Thorp Sr, by James L. Holloway; "Church Letters" by Green B. [Greenberry] Thorp).
The following from Oregon Donation Land Claims (ODLC):
1852 Jun 30 - Arrived in Oregon
James R. Thorp of Linn Co, Or, b. 1828 Clay Co, Mo
Settled Claim #4018 on 16 Jun 1853
Aff: Wm. J. Thorp, GEORGE W. CROWLEY, John Thorp, Clarend Morrison
1853 Jun 15 - Arrived in Oregon
William J. Thorp of Linn Co, OR
b. 1826 Clay Co, Mo
In 1877, J.L. Miller was J.P. & T.J. Stites was County Clerk of Linn Co, George A. Miller & Dodridge Harrel gave Aff. that they knew Wm. J. Thorp to 20 Aug 1858 & he is now dead. Aff: James R. Thorp, George W. Crawley [Crowley].
In the 1860 Census, Eliza A. Thorp, born in Kentucky, aged 42 years, was listed as a member of his household. Green B. Thorp was also the first physician in the county. Dr. J.C. Norman who came to Oregon, Missouri in 1842 and died in California in 1870, was the second physician.
Owen Thorp, born in Clay County, Missouri remained for a time in Holt County. He left for Texas with his father-in law, Zachariah McGee in 1846. They both died enroute in Newton County, Missouri. Owen's wife, Nancy returned to Clay County, Missouri with her children to live.
Their son, C.W. Thorp was born in Holt County on 5 November 1840, became a Methodist minister and returned to Holt County in 1903, taking charge of the Forest City Methodist Church Circuit. His wife Telitha was one of 11 children of James Pennington, the first sheriff of Nodaway County, Missouri. C.W. Thorp died in California on 18 April 1910, aged 69 years. His sisters, Emily and her husband, Burris Smith and Melissa and her husband, C. Crowley, brother of James Crowley, left for the state of Oregon on 6 April 1846 with the Simpson train.
Melissa and her husband died enroute. In this company of some 40 wagons that crossed the Missouri River at Iowa Point were Holt Countians, Dan Toole, Washington and John Crowley, the Linvilles, Joshua Adkins and David M. Guthrie who came to Holt County in 1842 and helped build the dam for Thorp's Mill. Children of William Thorp Sr., and Frances Owen, all went to Holt County in the spring of 1839.
Simpson Train to Oregon: In this company of some 40 wagons that crossed the Missouri River at Iowa Point were Holt Countians, Dan Toole, Washington Crowley and John Crowley, the Linvilles, Joshua Adkins and David M. Guthrie who came to Holt County in 1842 and helped build the dam for Thorp's Mill.
(History of Holt County, 1882; Holt County Sentinel Jan & Feb 1909 & Apr 1910; Three Volume Northwest Missouri History; Early Days in the West, published in 1880 by Judge Joseph Thorp, son of Rev. William Thorp Sr; Thorp, 1772-1975 by James L. Holloway; Church Letters by Green B. Thorp).