A westerner by birth and so entitled to the legacy of snap, energy, push and progression that imbue the residents of this frontier land, our subject has come no whit behind in manifesting his ability to keep abreast of the times and secure for himself a place both in the financial world and in tile confidence and esteem of his fellows.

Orville G. Thornton was born in the vicinity of Salem, Oregon, in 1807, being the son of William E. and Susanna (Chinoweth) Thornton, native of Missouri and born in 1842 and 1840, respectively. The father is a Baptist minister, also handles stock and came across the plains to Oregon in 1855. The mother crossed the plains in 1853. When Orville was two years old, he was taken with the balance of the family to California, where they remained two years, when a return trip was taken and settlement made near Roseburg, Oregon. Here our subject was educated and the father raised stock and farmed. When eighteen, Orville G. went to do for himself and rode the range for a time and then settled down to the dray business in Palouse, Washington. Then he farmed in Latah County until 1807, the date when he settled on his present place, about two miles northeast from Melrose. He has added to his original quarter eighty acres by purchase and also owns a quarter of land near Lewiston.

In 1896. Mr. Thornton married Miss Josie, daughter of James and Alary Nifond, who reside west of Moscow on a farm. The wedding occurred in Latah County. Mrs. Thornton was born in 1802 and has five brothers and five sisters. Mr. Thornton has the following named brothers and sisters: Samuel G, Ella Ladro, Sarah M. Wiley, Ollie A., Murray and Bertha. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Thornton, Anna Pearl and James L.

Mr. Thornton is a member of the school board and is active in his efforts to have good schools. He is a Republican and intelligent in the issues of the day. He has sold his homestead and bought land one mile and a half northwest from Melrose. He also sold his farm near Lewiston and bought property in Melrose.

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