About Theodore J. Thorson (d. 1924), Aunt Clara wrote in Homestead that he became “a very successful businessman,” but also that he “played the violin and became a leader and instructor at Wimbleton” (p. 9). Later he returned to help his aging father save the family farm and he became a successful breeder of purebred Shorthorn cattle.
But Wimbleton?! Tennis? Yes, I know that’s “-don,” not “-ton,” but I thought it must have been a typo. I’ve always been intrigued by this seemingly out-of-place reference in the Borreson family history.
A few days ago, as I was following up on some ski jumping history at the La Crosse Public Library, I came across this bit of news on page 4 of the Whitehall Times & Blair Banner for January 18, 1912: “T. J. Thorson, a former Pigeon boy, now in charge of a lumberyard at Wimbledon, N.D., in sending along the wherewithal for a renewal subscription, says he is getting along nicely and that business is booming in his berg.”
A lumberyard in Wimbledon, North Dakota?! Population, 216, in the 2010 census. No kidding. Maybe not tennis at Wimbledon, England? I burst out laughing! That makes sense – and the joke’s on me. (And now I have no reason to travel to England to examine old tennis records for traces of our ancestor. Too bad.) I loved the surprise. Of course, I still don’t know: was he a leader and instructor of violin at Wimbledon, ND?