A prosperous farmer, an upright man, a loyal citizen and a good friend and neighbor, such is the subject of this article, who has done a goodly share in the development work on the reservation and is a man of sound principles and wisdom.

John Thain was born in Scotland, on November 16, 1865 being the son of James and Mary (Forbes) Thain, natives of Scotland. The father was a boat builder and died in 1819. The mother was born in 1828, and still lives in North Dakota. John grew up in his native land and there acquired his education. In 1882, he came to the United States and thence he went to Canada, Ontario, where he settled to farming for a time. Next we see him in Dickey County, North Dakota, where he took a timber culture and for six years he farmed. Then a sale was made of this property and he came to the Hoodoo mining section in Latah County, where he mined and also on the Clearwater, for four years, doing well in both places.

In 1896, Mr. Thain came to the reservation, taking his place, immediately adjoining Melrose on the northeast, where he has bestowed his labors since.

On January 10, 1894 in Latah County, Mr. Thain married Miss Elsie, daughter of John and Belle (Taylor) Lorimer, natives of Scotland. The father was a veterinary surgeon. Mrs. Thain was born in Scotland and came to the United States in 1888. She has the following brothers and sisters: Charles, David, James, Isabella, Anna and Ellen. Mr. Thain has the following named brothers and sisters: Ana, Jane, James, William and Henry. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Thain. Alice, Douglas, Mary and Raymond.

Mr. Thain is a member of the M. W. A., at Melrose. He has served considerably on the school board and is a strong advocate of good schools. He is a staunch Republican and active in the caucuses.

Back to: Nez Perce Biographies

Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903