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Notes for James Thornton

James Thornton was still in Virginia (Henry County) during 1830 (census) but moved to central Missouri in the early 1830s. James Thornton also appears in the Gasconde County, Missouri 1840 and Osage County, Missouri 1850 U. S. Census. According to "Honorable Mention" (Volume II, pages 65-66), a collection of histories of the first families in Hunt County, Texas, (Thornton entry written by Ruby Thornton Rudisill) the Thorntons "helped build the Katy Railroad from Missouri to Texas. James Thornton, his wife Martha Roister and three sons traveled in covered wagons along the railroad and brought their families and parents. The Thornton families settled just south of Lone Oak on adjoining farms only about seven miles apart. Their father built his house in the center of the land, and his sons' houses bordered on the corners.

The three brothers (and most likely their father, James) were Masons. The transferred their membership to Shiloh Lodge No. 307 around 1867. Besides farming around Lone Oak they also raised cattle. The three Thornton brothers, William L., Joseph and James were railroad builders, farmers, ranchers, conservationists, productive citizens and Masons, and were all affectionately referred to as "Uncle" in the community, known as Hooker, just a few miles south of Lone Oak, Hunt County, Texas".

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