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James Thurber, Sr
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Birth: Dec. 25, 1791
Connecticut, USA
Death: Nov. 23, 1877
Hancock County
Illinois, USA

The following newspaper account is from THE CARTHAGE REPUBLICAN, Dec. 14, 1877:

"James Thurber--Dec. 10 - Grandpa Thurber's funeral was preached yesterday at the Brick Church, by Mr. Dennis Smith, of Carthage. Notwithstanding the condition of the roads the attendance was quite large. Mr. Thurber was the oldest person of our vicinity and probably had no senior in the county. He was born in New Jersey, Dec. 25, 1791. Before he attained his fifth year his parents moved to N.Y., within twenty-five miles of Buffalo. He remembered distinctly the year 1800, "for it was greeted with great joy and cut in the gable ends of barns," &c. He served as mail boy many months from their home post office to Buffalo. In 1812 he entered the army and continued until the close of the war, being under the command of Capt. Hull. At the close of the war he married Miss Elizabeth Johnson, bid farewell to friends and relatives and started for the far west. At Alleghany, Pa., he secured a flat boat, loaded it with furniture, &c., and floated down the Ohio to or near the present site of Laurenceburg, Ind., made his way to the interior of the state, erected a cabin, remained there one year, and then moved to Sangamon county, Ill., at which place he remained ten years. During his stay at Sangamon he accepted the christian faith and joined the Baptist church of which he remained a member until his death.
He was a man of great charity, never getting into difficulty and always lending a helping hand and wishing all well. His health, with but few exceptions, was good during his entire life. On the 23th day of November this venerable man was gathered to his rest, aged 95 (85) years and 11 months. To him was allotted a probation so long that he stood out as it were from the ranks of the living as the solitary representative of a past age. His children living are but three; grandchildren and great grandchildren are many. To few old age is granted with so many blessings to cheer its inevitable loneliness and to relieve the burden of many sorrows. Around him it is true he could summon neither wife nor early friends; but there were not wanting those who watched over him with unwearied love, and in some degree compensated him for the loss of friends whom "though he less deplored he never forgot." and yet more. Time in a most remarkable degree spared his affections and his intellect, for though nearly a century old, "he was rarely peevish and never lapsed into vacuity." On the contrary his cheerfulness was habitual and his intellectual faculties continued clear to the last. To what cause may his remarkable longevity and the remarkable exemption of his mind from the usual consequences of old age be ascribed?
Need we assign any other than his uniform obedience to those physical and moral laws which the Creator has seen fit to impose as rules of conduct upon man?"

This Letter was provided by Robert Webb, curator of The Primitive Baptist Church Library:

"Carthage, Illinois--December 17, 1877
Much esteemed Brother Goodson, be so kind as to publish the following obituary notice in the MESSENGER OF PEACE: Departed this life, at the residence of his daughter, Mrs. Belknap, in this county, on the 25th day of November 1877, our much esteemed Brother James Thurber, being 85 years, and 11 months old. He was born in the State of Connecticut, December 25th, 1791, and while young removed with his parents to the Western part of the State of New York, he was the youngest of a family of six children.
He was married to Elizabeth Johnson, June 30th, 1816, after having served in the War of 1812, and soon after removed with his family to the State of Indiana. In the spring of 1819 he removed to the State of Illinois. He was the father of eleven children of whom three survive him. His companion departed this life March 18th, 1847, since that time he has made his home with his daughter, Mrs. Belknap. Brother James Thurber was a consistent Baptist for more than 60 years, and died in full fellowship with the Middle Creek Church of Regular Baptists. He is a brother that will be missed in the church, but our loss, I have no doubt, is his gain. Your humble servant preached his funeral on the 9th of this month, to a large and attentive audience.--DENNIS SMITH"

And this newspaper dated December 10, 1947, is from THE CARTHAGE REPUBLICAN:

"Seventy Years Ago--December 1877--
Dennis Smith preached the funeral sermon of 'Grandpa' Thurber at the brick church Dec. 9 and in spite of deep mud the attendance was quite large. He died Nov. 23, aged 95 years and 11 months, having been one of the first settlers of Hancock township. He was born in New Jersey entered the army in 1812 and fought until the close of the war, married Miss Elizabeth Johnson, then started for the west via the Ohio river. He lived a year in Indiana, then came to Illinois and stayed ten years in Sangamon county, then located permanently in East Carthage. He had become a Christian in early manhood and was a fine citizen."

1850 United States Federal Census about James Thurber
Age: 58 Estimated birth year: abt 1792
Birth Place: Connecticut Gender: Male
Home in 1850 (City,County,State): Hancock, Illinois
Family Number: 22
Household Members: Name Age
William Thurber 23
Nathaniel Thurber 20
Janett Thurber 17
Oliver Thurber 14

1860 United States Federal Census about James Thurber
Age in 1860: 69
Birth Year: abt 1791
Birthplace: Connecticut
Home in 1860: Carthage, Hancock, Illinois
Household Members: Name Age
William Thurber 33
Casiah Jane Thurber 29
John W Thurber 8
Harriet Thurber 6
Palma Thurber 4
William T Thurber 1
James Thurber 69

This headstone picture might have been taken at the Oak Grove Cemetery southeast of Carthage.
Family links: 
  Nathaniel Thurber (1761 - 1848)
  Polly Shores Thurber (1766 - 1808)
  Elizabeth Johnson Thurber (1797 - 1847)
  Martin Thurber (1817 - 1864)*
  James Thurber (1819 - 1846)*
  Mary Polly Thurber Belknap (1824 - 1879)*
  William Thomas Thurber (1827 - 1866)*
  Nathaniel Thurber (1828 - 1875)*
  Jenette Barnes (1833 - 1873)*
  Oliver Perry Thurber (1836 - 1931)*
  James Thurber (1791 - 1877)
  Daniel Thurber (1803 - 1888)*
*Calculated relationship
Jas. Thurber
Hull's N.Y. Mil.
War of 1812
Old Brick Church Cemetery
Hancock County
Illinois, USA
Plot: Stone # 12 U21 - 47' from S. fence
Created by: Deebie
Record added: Dec 09, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 45277841
James Thurber, Sr
Added by: Larry and Jane
James Thurber, Sr
Added by: Deebie
James Thurber, Sr
Added by: Deebie
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- Susanna Webber Lewis
 Added: Oct. 30, 2012

 Added: Dec. 14, 2010

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