Putnam County Thorntons

The Putnam County, West Virginia Land Transfer Book shows that on July 2, 1870 A.H. Thornton bought 50 acres on Turkey Creek from Richard Byrnside and his wife. Addison’s brother Thomas S. sold 60 acres to James T. Young on November 24, 1876. The Young farm adjoins the farm of Addison that was later purchased by Thomas Jefferson Thornton from Fount Carpenter around 1921 before Buford Thornton was born.

Henry and Lucy Thornton had five children:

  • William P. Thornton born April 16, 1867
  • Catherine J. Thornton (Loftis)born July 8, 1869
  • Elendar Thornton(Austin) born October 22,1871 died February 28, 1908 in Lincoln County, West Virginia
  • Addison Lee Thornton born May 9, 1874 died February 28, 1953 in Perry
  • County, Kentucky
  • Thomas Jefferson Thornton born January 1, 1877 died September 10, 1946

The 1870 census of Putnam County, West Virginia shows Addison, age 29, as being a farmer, Thomas Sterling (in the same house) as farmer and laborer, (age 20) and Sarah and Lucy “keeping house”. It is known, though, that Addison operated a small grocery store. He often went to Hurricane, West Virginia to buy supplies for this store. Two months before his last child by this marriage was born, he made such a trip to town. No one knows for sure what life was like in the 1800’s, except that it was tough and hard. Maybe this is what prompted Addison to take the action that he did. He left his horse and buggy in Hurricane, and is believed to have gotten on a train, and was never seen by Lucy or his family again. Henry Addison’s second home was found to be Cornstalk, W.Va. (Greenbrier County) It is told by his daughter, Mrs. Earl Harford that he worked for a while in the lumber yards in Rainelle, W.Va., and it was here that he met his second wife, Mary Martha Wiley. They had thirteen children; the last being born when Addison was sixty-five years old. His children were:

  • Mamie J. born February 1887
  • Dove, (Mary F.?)(died young) born October 1890
  • Lou Ida born March 1896
  • Bertha A. born March 1900
  • Ica (Icy) born 1903, married Earl Harford
  • Olin (Wink) born September 1879
  • Theo born April 1882
  • Ode
  • George H. born January 1889
  • Grover C. born March 1983
  • Lewis (Lackis) H. born 1906

The names were given by Mrs. Harford.(Ica) Her mother, Mary Martha Wiley, was born 1880 and died December 1927. She and Henry (here he went by the name “Henry”) lived for a while in the “Old Company House” in Rainelle, W.Va. Their final home near Cornstalk, W.Va. at the foot of the mountain where the house was located is about a mile from the post office at Cornstalk. It was a two story log house, with “barn and two outbuildings”. His cherry orchard, reported to be one of the finest in Greenbrier County, was their main source of income. In addition he grew rye, wheat, corn, and some tobacco.   There are cherry and apple trees still standing, giving evidence to the fact of a splendid orchard. At this level of the mountain, a magnificent view of the Greenbrier Valley is offered. This mountain is now completely uninhabited, and has never known gas, electricity, or running water. The house itself was not very big: one main room downstairs, and three upstairs. After Henry died, (May 2, 1919) Mary Martha moved back to the town of Rainelle. The house in which they had lived was torn down some years later, (the late 1920’s) and all that is left is a pile of lumber stacked by the small mountain stream which still cuts its path down the mountain. Henry Addison is buried in a small, abandoned cemetery about a quarter of a mile southeast from the home site, on the old Crookshank farm. One has to keep his eyes open or he will completely miss it. An old fence surrounds the cemetery, as well as hundreds of wild rose bushes. The grave itself is completely covered by weeds and vines. There is no marker, but Mr. Harford pointed out his grave. Henry and his wife are buried side by side. The graves are completely unattended and have been for many many years. There is no road to the home site, and not even a path to the graveyard.


Lucy Goode Thornton awaited her husbands return for five years and then married Samuel Henry Bird in the year 1882 in Lincoln County, West Virginia. Samuel Henry owned a farm in Raccoon Hollow (just up Trace Fork of Mud River above Bridge Creek) near his father John and Rena Phebe Oxley Bird. William Page Thornton and his brothers and sisters lived with the Bird family while growing up to adults on Raccoon Hollow.


Samuel Henry and Lucy Goode Thornton Bird had two children:

  1. Effie Hopkins October 22, 1887-February 2, 1967 married Robert Maxey Allison.
  2. Noah Woodson January 21, 1890-November 10, 1978 married Audrey Brook Escue

Samuel Henry Bird’s first wife was Catherine McCallister (daughter of Richard “Turkey Creek” McCallister) and their children were:

  • Henry J. June 3, 1866-January 29, 1923
  • Parlee Alice born October 10, 1868 married Silas Dean Melton
  • Edica Jennett March 2, 1872-April 16, 1940 married Henry C. Bell
  • Rosa Ann January 3, 1874-June 1908 married Hersey Kingston Freeman
  • Abner J. June 8, 1876-1941 married Gertrude Louise Frisbee
  • Martha Ellen born August 5, 1879

Samuel Henry Bird and his wife Lucy Goode Thornton Bird are buried in a small cemetery near the Lincoln County, West Virginia line with Putnam County. This cemetery is often called the Goode Cemetery or Hoffman Cemetery. The location of the cemetery is on the ridge south of the farm that once owned by Addison Thornton.


The headstone of Lucy Goode Thornton Bird

The first child of Addison Henry and Lucy Goode Thornton was William Page and he was born in Franklin County, Virginia. William was born April 16, 1867 and was probably only two or three years old when the family migrated to Putnam County, West Virginia. William was about ten years old when his father Addison abandoned his wife and family. William was fifteen years old when his mother married Samuel Henry Bird. William Page married Nancy Jane Bird (daughter of Creed Meadows Bird) on March 16, 1890. William operated a country store near his father-in-laws farm until 1919. William moved his family to St. Albans, West Virginia after his son Alvin had lost his store due to a fire.

wptstore1The Thornton store located near the Creed Bird farm and Bird Cemetery. The store was owned by William Thornton for many years. Many of the Thornton family are in this picture. This store is where Thomas Jefferson Thornton worked with his brother before moving to his own store on Turkey Creek.

williamnancyWilliam and Nancy Bird Thornton had the following children:

  • Alvin Oral May 10, 1891-December 2, 1981 married Virginia West Bird
  • Millard Fleetwood January 8, 1896-March 5, 1968 married Jewel Tincher
  • Alberta Ada October 14, 1896-January 16, 1931 married James Henry Smith
  • Virgie Lily February 22, 1899-June 23, 1976 married Robert Lee Meadows
  • Vio Grace December 13, 1899-June 7, 1962 married William Matthews 2. Lance Dolin
  • Ida Velma July 17, 1901-June 19, 1970 married Charles Hill
  • Rosetta November 11, 1901-December 22, 1901
  • Clyde Adeli January 16, 1903-December 5, 1991 married Margaret Barnett
  • Veda Cora May 24, 1907-September 30, 1924 married Clayton Hill
  • Alma Lena October 18, 1910-September 26, 1999 married Emory Ross Spurlock
  • Agnes Marie September 3, 1912 married Lewis Oliver Gessel
  • Roscoe Leroy September 22, 1915-October 20, 2000 married Margaret Beane

William and Nancy are both buried at Teays Hill Cemetery at St. Albans, West Virginia.



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