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Oakleigh Thorne
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Birth: Jul. 31, 1866
New Hamburg
Dutchess County
New York, USA
Death: May 23, 1948
New York
New York County (Manhattan)
New York, USA

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

W.O.S. Thorne, more generally known as Oakleigh Thorne (July 31, 1866-May 23-1948), was a publisher of tax guides who also served as a director of Wells Fargo & Company from 1902 to 1918.

Thorne was born in 1866 in New Hamburg, New York, the son of Edward Thomas Thorne and Charlotte (Pearsall) Thorne. He was educated in the schools of Poughkeepsie, New York. On February 26, 1889, he married Helen T. Stafford. The couple made their home in Millbrook, New York, which remains the family's principal place of residence.[1]

In 1892 he purchased a small printing company that under his management became Commerce Clearing House, a major publisher of tax guides for lawyers and accountants.

Thorne was elected a director of Wells Fargo & Company on January 2, 1902. This was at the time control of the express company passed to E.H. Harriman; the company headquarters moved from San Francisco to New York City in 1904. Thorne remained a director of Wells Fargo until the company ceased express service in 1918.[2]

Expanding into the realm of railroad speculation, Thorne and his partner Marsden J. Perry bought up a controlling interest in the failing New York, Westchester and Boston Railway in 1906. Combined with the assets of the competing New York & Portchester Railroad, the Millbrook Company was created as a holding entity that was transferred to the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad following the Panic of 1907.

Thorne was president of Trust Company of America when its main office on Wall Street was the target of a bank run starting on Wednesday, October 23, 1907, during the Panic of 1907. It survived, with the backing of J. Pierpont Morgan and an infusion of gold from the Bank of England and other European sources.[3][4]

In addition to his connection with Commerce Clearing House, Wells Fargo, and Trust Company of America, Thorne was a director of the Corporation Trust Company and of the Bank of Millbrook.[5]

Oakleigh Thorne died on May 23, 1948. He should not be confused with his great-grandson, also named Oakleigh Thorne, who sold Commerce Clearing House to the Dutch media firm of Wolters Kluwer in 1996. He was listed on Forbes' 2008 list of the world's billionaires as #1014 with a net worth of $1.1 billion. The family's holdings are now managed by his son, Oakleigh Thorne IV, who has been chief executive officer of eCollege.com since May 2000. 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Helen Seymour Stafford Thorne (1866 - 1952)*
 
 Children:
  Margaret Thorne Parshall (1893 - 1976)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Nine Partners Cemetery
Millbrook
Dutchess County
New York, USA
 
Created by: Tony Belmonte
Record added: May 15, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 90156186
Oakleigh Thorne
Added by: Susan
 
Oakleigh Thorne
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Linda Burton Kochanov
 
 
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