Reading through Clara’s family history again, I am intrigued by what she wrote about one of her mother Gina’s first cousins. Theodore J. Thorson, son of Johannes, was born August 26, 1880, about a month after Gina herself. These are the lines that interest me:
“He became a very successful businessman, He also played the violin and and became a leader and instructor at Wimbleton. In 1913 he received an urgent all from his aged father asking him to come back and save the old homestead and he did. He purchased cattle of the breed known as Shorthorns and built up a a first class and profitable herd in the work of a lifetime.” When he died unexpectedly in 1924 at 44 years, “he left behind one of the best and largest herds of cattle in the county.” (Homestead, 9)
I assume Wimbleton is actually Wimbledon: so, from a farm in Pigeon Falls to being an instructor at Wimbledon, the tennis mecca? Wimbledon?? That’s a big question, and the other one I have is about his Shorthorn herd, which sounds as if Theodore may have been into purebreds when this was the exception. Both these personal achievements are notable, even unique.
Thus far I’ve located him and his wife Agnes [Lewis] on the 1920 U.S. Census for Pigeon Township, which of course is after he must have returned to take over the home farm. Residing with them were his father John, 88 years, and two hired men, Andrew Foss, 60, and Henry Paulson, 25. Apparently Theodore and Agnes had no children, and hired men provided the needed labor on their farm. I also found, of lesser interest, his World War I Draft Registration card, completed September 12, 1918, when he was 37 years.
Clara’s footnote indicates she had information on Theodore from his obituary, October 26, 1924, which brother Gilbert had provided her. Clara herself would have been only 19 when Theodore died. It sure would be fun to uncover more on this interesting relative.