Lake Maxinkuckee Its Intrigue History & Genealogy Culver, Marshall, Indiana

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Henry George Thayer



. Henry G. Thayer born at Euclid, Onondaga Co., N.Y., on the 20th of April, 1834 and died 18 Apr 1905 - Plymouth, Marshall, Indiana buried Oak Hill Cemetery Plymouth Marshall County Indiana He is the son of Rev. George Harris Thayer and Hannah Griffin

    For six years he serves as chairman of the Republican district committee of the thirteenth district and has frequently presided over district conventions and meeting of many kinds, political and otherwise in Plymouth.and other cities.

    In 1880 he was elected Presidential ELector for the thirteenth district voring for Garfield and Arthur. In 1888 he was an alternate delegate at large to the Chicago National Republican convention and contributed his woel and influence to the nomination of Harrison as President. In 1896 he headed the Republican Electoral ticket of Indiana and was chosen by the state electoral college to deliver the vote of Indiana for McKinley and Hobart to the Vice President, Adlai Stevenson.

    In 1893 Mr. Thayer was appointed by Governor Matthews as one of the trustees of the WOrld's Fiar in Chicago and discharged the duties of his position in a manner eminently creditable to the state.

    From the first organization of the Republican party in Indiana he has taken an active part and became a man of large influence in party counvils of the great mean whom the Republican party has given to the nation.

    He was a believer in the doctrine expounded by Hebry Clay when the Whig party was in existence, but became a Republican in 1854 and has since been an earnest supporter of that party.

    He was a convincing and pleasing public speaker and was in great demand in camgaigns, especially in this county and district where he was so widely known and respected.

    He has spoken at many great political meetings in Indianapolis and other large cities especially in northern Indiana on political and other subject.

    He had unusual powe as an orator and his batural gifts of a strong, sonorous voice, of great carrying power, pleasing and magnetic personality, quick wit and lively fancey were suplemented by strong and intuitive powers of perception which enabled him to grasp the elements of a problem quickly and comprehensively. He loved mankind and they knew it. This sypathetic quality was one element of his success as a speaker. He was especially strong as an ectempore speaker but he prepared many addresses carefully, and has spoken eloquently and eccexrively on a great many occasions of general intrest in Plymouth, Indianapolis and many of the large cities of Indiana, in Chicago and elsewhere, always eliciting the interest of his hearers. Many of his speeches have been printed with most hearty commendation.

    He made two trips to Europe, in 1883 and 1891, and after his second journey wrote a brochure on the countries visited - Great Britain, Ireland, France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Prussia and Belgium.

    He had delivered many popular lectures from the knowledge thus gained in foriegn coutries.

    When in Rome he visited the Mamertine prison, the traditional place where the Apostle Paul was in prison, as well as other memorable places with which the great Apostle's name is associated

    His lecure on St. Paul's Journey to Rome was delivered by him in most of the churches in Northern Indiana for the benefit of the churches and recived wide commendation by the pwople press and pulpit.

    His engaging social qualities have made Henry G. Thayer a man of great popularity and prominence in various fraternal organizations.

    He was been a member of the Odd fellows for forty years, having been Noble Grand of his lodge for several years, and was a member of the cmmittee to build the new temple at Indianapolis.

    He has for many years been active in the order of Knights of Pythias and filled all the offices of the lodge including that of Chancellor Commander and Representative to the Grand Lodge. He was prominent and active in both of these lodges and entertained feelings of strong attachment for them, and high regard for the good influences they exerted and to which his own efforts largley contributed.

    He made many addresses at meetings of these orders advocating and eloquently presenting their principles of friendship and good will.

    The Masonic orders with their fraternal associations and conprehensive philosophy of high and noble, early appealed to a man of his naturally religous and high moral character.

    He has been long and actively identified with the Masonice Fraternity of the city and state and his journey to Europe in the year 1883 with Apollo Commandery Knights Templar of Chicago extended his acquanitance beyond the seas.

    He was a life member Knights Templar of the U. S. and enjoyed an exteneded acquaintance among members of the order throughout the Union. He attended every triennial conclave of the order since 1871, except the one in 1883 when he went to Europe with the Apollo Commander, and the conclave of 1904 in San Francisco.

    He attended triennial conclaves in Baltimore, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, Washington, Denver, Cleveland, Pittsbirgh and Louisville. He was not well enough to attend the conclave in San Francisco in 1904.

    He received the York Rite degrees in 1857 and served four years a Worshipful Master of Plymouth Lodge No. 149; High Priest of Plymouth Chapter No. 49, one year; Thrice Illustrious Master Plymouth Council, one year; and Eminent Commander of Plymouth Commandery No. 26 K.T., three years.

    To him more than to any other one person belongs the honor of establishing and organizing Plymouth Commandery No. 26 Knights Templar in 1875.

    He was Grand Commander of the Knights Templar of Indiana in 1880-1881, when the triennial conclave was held in Chicago where Indiana bore a prominent part.

    He was for two years Inspector General Knights Templar of Indiana and his tours of inspection amounted to ovations in the principal cities of Indiana where the ' Commanderies paraded and gave bequests in his honor never equaled before or since. He aroused great enthusiasm and much good to the order resulted. He had held the office of Grand Patron of the Order of Eastern Star, and Grand Marshall of the General Grand Chapter of the Undited States order of the Eastern Star for two years.

    Member Royal Order of Scotland, Headquarters Edinburgh, Scotland; Member Indiana Masonic Veteran's Association; Member Illinois Masonic Veteran's Association; Member Of Order of High Priesthood, Indiana; Hon. Member ANcient EBor Preceptory, York, ENgland; Hon. Member Illinois College Inspectors General 33 degree, Chicago, Ill.; Hon. Member Asaclorf Commandery K. T. St. Louis, Mo,; Hon. Member Valparaiso Commandery Valparaisom Ind.; Hon. Member Franfort Commandery K.T. Frankfort, Ind.; Hon. Member Warsaw Chapter O. E. S. Warsaw, Ind.; Member of Indianapolis COnsistory A and A. S. Rite Boston, Mass; Noble of the Mystic Shrine, Indianapolis, Ind. This is a Masonic records propbably unsurpassed by any Mason now living in the state of Indiana.

    His great activity and zeal in Masonic Work was prompted by his social nature and the exalted and uplifting princples of the Masonic orders, espcially that of Knights Templar; which is founded on the Christian religion and incalculates the practice of the Christain virtues, which he exemplified in his life and eloquently advocated on a grat many occasiions.

    In November, 1903 he was presented with a Past Right Eminent Gran Commader's Jewel, voted to him by the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of the state of Indiana. The presemtation was made the occasion of a great gathering of Knights of Templar in Plymouth which has never been surpassed in numbers interest and enthusuasm by any meeting of Knights Templar in Plymouth. Plymouth Commandery had charge of the ceremonies and many Knights Templar South Bend, Laporte, Warsaw, Chicago and other cities. P. E. C. Roscoe A. Chase made the presentation speech, an eloquent gard for the recipient, to which he responded in words that showed his appreciation of the sentiments which the fraternity had for him and set forth in eloquent language the noble principles of the order.

    He was for nearly forty years a comminicant of the Episcopal Church and for eight years prior to his confirmatiob he was a member of the Presbyterian church. His reverence for all thay is good and true quickened his enery for the promotion of morality and Christianity in the community, and his liberality led him to contribute freely to the support of the church, and many benevolences.

    He was elected a delegate from his diocese to the triennial convocation of the Episcopal church which met in Boston last fall and which was composedf of representatives from all over the world and was attended by the Arch Bishop of Canterbury, England. He was prevented from attending by illness but highly appreciated the honor of being chosen a delegate to so important a convention.

    He was for many years a Vestryman of St. Thomas Church in Plymouth, to the support of which he contributed freely of his time and means. For many years he was superintendent of the Episcopal Sunday School and prior to that he had served a long time as superintendent of the Presbyterian Sunday School.

    He always took great interest in Sunday School work and received many tributes of friendship ans esteem from Sunday Schools and classes he taught. He was not a narrow sectarian but believed in spreading the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and of Jesus Christ whenever and wherever he could.

    Although an active member of the Episcopa hurch he taught a class of adults in the Presbyterian Suday School until failing health compelled him to relinquish the work which he did very reluctantly. He was greatly beloved by this class who made him a handsome present the last Christmas he was able to be with them, which he highly prized.

    He was President of the Marshall County Sunday School Association the last yeat of his life and notwithstanding his great suffering and physical weakness he did a large amoungt of valuable and effective work which greatly increased the efficiency of this association.

    As he withdrew in later life more and more from business activities, his energies found avenues of expression in this Sunday School work to which he gave a great deal of thime, thought and hard, earnest work. His nature was such that he enjoyed this activity and found pleasure in doing good. He disseminated good thoughts and upliftinig sentiments in many ways.

    He was honored with the friendship and regard of many great and influential men, yet he was modest and unassuming and not worshipper of wealth for wealth's sake. He honored and respected true manhood and sterling qualities wherever found and was friendly to all who possessed such qualities regardless of rank or station. He was opposed to everything low and vicious. He was always ready to extend the sympathetic and helping hand to the afflicted and distressed, and many are the young teachers and young men and women who owe to him the influence that gained for them their first appointments.

    He helped many young farmers get a start in life by loaning them money without secirity and in other ways. and many older ones who came to him in emergencies receives aid that tided then over difficulties that but for his timely help would have been disastrous and insurmountable. He was always ready to assist the deserving ones who needed his aid with sympathy, good council and financial help.

    He had a cheerful, strong, bright, helpful disposition, full of genuine humor and hearty food will. It was always an inspiration to come under the range of his influence. He was a true gentleman on innate and scrupulous honesty and unswerving intergrity. His word was not lightly given b yt carefully kept when once given. He was not grasping or avaricious. His success came from other and nobler qualities. He never ground the faces of the poor.

    He began business life a poor boy and achieved his successes through hi own efforts under the procidence of God. He favored helpful work on many lines and was active in temperance reform work.

    His reliability in financial affairs was only equaled by his fidelity in friendship; his benality, sympathy and vivacity contributed to his popularity as a member of society. He was a man of courage, and could be depended in emergencies. He bore his reverses with fortitude and endured his successes without boasting. WHile he liked appreciation he was never boastful of his achievements, although his career has been conspicuously active and of high endeavor.

    The foundations of his education were laid in the schools and by his father who was himself a natural logician, and he added to his knowledge by extensive reading, covering a wide range of literatire, deep thinking, extensive travel in this and foreign lands contact of men of affairs and culture, and by publice speaking and study of varied subjects. He became a will educated man.

    He enjoyed an intimate acquaintance with many of the editors of papers of Northern Indiana who were among his warmest friends and among these should be specially mentioned Alfred B. Miller, founder of the South Bend Tribune, who ere highly prized. He may be said to have done a large amount of literary work.

    He was not a narrow partisan in politics and enjoyed the friendship of men of all shades of political belief. He was a patriotic citizen who loved his country and stood corageously for the cause of the Union at much personal peril and sacrifice in "the times that tried men's souls".

    He was a good citizen, public spirited, forward in all movements to promore the welfare and upbuilding of this city which has been his home for nearly fifty-seven years. His influence for good will be felf in this community and in othered perhaps far distant, for many years, finding expression in the lives of others whose thoughts and characters have been influence by him for good.

    He was one of the eight members of the Lake View Club which purchased fifteen acres of lake front at Maxinkuckee Lake, improved it and later sold it to the Vandalia railroad company. The club was largley instrumental in the development of interest in beautiful Maxinkuckee and they passed many summers in social enjoyement with their families and dispensing a generous hospitality.

    The surviving members are: W. W. Hill., C. E. Toan and Daniel McDonald. The deceased membera are: Henry G. Thayer, Horace Corbin, Chester C. Buck, Nathan H. Oglesbee and Joseph Westervelt, all interred in Oak Hill Cemetery.

    Henry G. Thayer and Horace Corbin were largely instrumental in the purchase by the city of Plymouth what is now the principal part of Oak Hill Cemetery.

    He was of fine physique, dignified manners, sympathetic and generous. He has led a life full of activities and honors, and rounded out a career of great value to his fellow men. His life work has left its impress on his day and generation and he has an enduring monument in the hearts of many with whom he was associated, in his varied activities. His record and his memory are clean with neither spot nor stain upon them

    The last year of his life was full of terrible suffering patiently and grandly borne. He made the best of his pportunities and despite the suffering, the year was one of happiness to him, and of usefulness to others.

    Henry G. Thayer lives a Christian gentleman and died firm in the hope of a blissful immortality, where partings come no more and there are not tears nor sorrow.
      "We too must corss over the river of rest,
      Where the strong and the lovely before us have gone,
      Out sun must go down in the beautiful west,
      To rise in the glory that circles the throne."
      "Until then we are bound by our love and our faith,
      To the saints who ware walking in Paradise fair,
      They have passed beyonf sight at the touching of death,
      But they live like ourselves in God's infinite care."


    His father, Rev. George H. Thayer, his brother, John D. Thayers, and granson, Edgar Minso Thayer (oldest son of George H. Jr. and Mary L. Munson Thayer) have preceeded him into rest in recent years, his grandson passing into the future life March 23, 1904

    He was united in marriage at Plymouth, Indiana July 9, 1856 to Miss Mary E. VanValkenburg, who with three of the six children born to them survive him, to mourn the loss of a loving husband and father.

    The three surviving children are George H. Jr., James Wesley, and Mary Angelica (Mrs. W. H. Young). Three children have passed into rest: Harry Edgar, born July 8 1857 died October 4 1859; Alice Lavantia born April 4 1868 died January 8 1869; Horace born March 26, 1870 died April 5, 1870.

    His half sister, Elma G. Thayer (Mrs. Ferd Fribley of Bourbon, Indiana) and five grnadchildren, survive him.

    The granchildren: George H. Hr., Mary L Munson Thayer, Frances Arletta and Walter Wendell, children of James W. and Sarah A. Thayer; Florence Alice and Dorothy VanValkenburg daughters of William H. and Mary Angelica Thayer Young.

    His funeral occured on April 20, 1905, whouch would have been his seventy-first birthday.

    Many of those with whom Henry G. Thayer was associated in the varied activities of his useful live have passed before him into rest and happiness. Of those who remain on this side of the river, some who knew and loved him have sent letters and telegrams which are appended to this bried sketch of a long, honorable and useful life. - April 27 1905 Weekly Republican, Plymouth Indiana


He married 9th of July, 1856 Plymouth, Marshall, Indiana Mary Elizabeth VanValkenburgh born Oct 12, 1836 Schenevus Otsego County {Chatham, Columbia} New York and died 23 May 1910 London, England buried Oak Hill Cemetery Plymouth Marshall County Indiana daughter of James Fletcher VanValkenburgh and Angelica Crippen VanValkenburgh.

They are the parents of six children
    Harry Edgar Thayer born Jul. 8, 1857 Plymouth, Marshall, Indiana and died Oct. 4, 1859 Plymouth, Marshall, Indiana buried Oak Hill Cemetery Plymouth Marshall County Indiana

    George Henry Jr. Thayer born Sep. 5, 1860 Indiana and died Jan. 27, 1934 Plymouth Marshall County Indiana buried Oak Hill Cemetery Plymouth Marshall County Indiana; married Mary Louise Munson born 1862 died 1953 buried Oak Hill Cemetery Plymouth Marshall County Indiana

    James Weskley Thayer born 1 Apr 1864 Indiana and died 16 Dec 1922 Plymouth Marshall County Indiana buried Oak Hill Cemetery Plymouth Marshall County Indiana; married 5 April 1888 Marhsall county, Indiana Sarah Venetta Hall born Dec. 12, 1865 Columbia City, Dubois, 1911 they lived Haydon, Stormont Road, Highgate Hornsey Middlesex England

    Alice Lavantia Thayer born Apr. 5, 1868 and died Jan. 25, 1869 buried Oak Hill Cemetery Plymouth Marshall County Indiana

    Horace Thayer born 22 May 1870 and died 1870

    Mary Angelica Thayer born 27 Jan 1872 in Indiana and died 1966 buried Oak Hill Cemetery Plymouth Marshall County Indiana; married 1897 Wiliam Henry Young born Mar 1863 Seaton Carew, Durham, England and died 1950 buried Oak Hill Cemetery Plymouth Marshall County Indiana [or born Newcastle, Northumberland, England son of Benjamin V. Young and Catherine [-?-] 1911 they lived Haydon, Stormont Road, Highgate Hornsey Middlesex England
      Mary Angelica Young 415 PArk Ave. Mishawaka, Ind. Country of birth or Allegance USA-England Naturalization 1934
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    Hon. Henry George Thayer, is a resident of Plymouth, Marshall county, Indiana, where, for may years, he was been an active and prominent business man. He is the son of the Rev. Geo. H. Thayer and Hannah Thayer, nee Griffin, and was born April 20, 1834, at Euclid, Onondaga county, N.Y.


    His father, now an octogenarian, was born in Broome county, N.Y., Dec. 29, 1807, and is now ninety-two years of age and still enjoys a fair degree of health.
      He came to Indiana in 1846 when the subject of this sketch was twelve years of age. In his youth notwithstanding school houses were few and far between, he managed to acquire, in the district schools, and at the Onondage County Academy, where he graduated with honor, a good English education, and at the age of nineteen, commenced teaching school.

      At the age of twenty-three years he entered the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and has continued up to the present time, a period of sixty-nine years, more or less active in ministerial work, without compensation, relying on other resources of revenue for the support of himself and family.

      In his early years of preaching in New York, he often walked from five to twenty-five miles on Sundays to meet his appointments, and being zealous in his work, he preached from one to three sermons.

      It was a time when the church was laying its foundations for its future strength and glory, and when its young ministers with scarcely more equipment than the apostles and the "seventy" preachers possessed when they wrought a wonderful work in the cause of their Master.

      The old veteran of the Cross stands high as a theologian, and his spirituality and ability is acknowledged, not only by the laity, but by the bishops and clergymen of his church, and his elucidations of scripture is one of the distinguishing features of his still vigorous mentality.

      To hear him discourse is like listening to echoes from the pulpit in far-away days, when men were called, as Jesus called the fisherman, and the world stood amazed at their knowledge and achievements.

      A time when the Methodist church was on horseback, and laterally had its headquarters in the saddle. It was that grand era of camp meetings when the forests resounded with songs of praise and when men went to the meetings to laugh and remained to pray.

      In those early days the Rev. George H. Thayer was a participant in the great work of urging forward Christian civilization, not only in New York but in Indiana, and now, at the great age of ninety-two years, with mental and physical faculties well preserved, when in a reminiscent mood, doubtless find exhaustless satisfaction in retracing the pathways of his long life and in noting the monuments of progress he had helped to erect.

      His first presidential vote was cast for Andrew Jackson, one of the most illustrious warriors and statement America has produced, and to hear a man say "I voted for Andrew Jackson", carries the listener back more than half a century, and in all of our seventy-five millions of population, few are living with such a record, nor is it much more modern for a man to claim that he was an "abolitionist". It is required courage, both moral and physical, to be an "abolitionist", when the country was "half free and half slave", a condition which Abraham Lincoln said could not "always exist". It was a time, which, like the dark days of the revolution, "tried men's souls", a time when coming events cast their dark shadows athwart the pathway of the republic, and the Rev. George H. Thayer has a right to boast that he had an opportunity to plead the cause of the slave, and therefore an individual interest in the proclamation that struck the fetters from millions of chattel slaves and permitted them to realize the blessing of freedom.

      Since the organization of the Republican party he has been identified with it, and has contributed to its success.

      The Thayers in America are descended from the brothers, Richard and Thomas Thayer, who emigrated from England and settled at Braintree, Massachusetts, about the year 1630.

      They came from Braintree, Essex county, England, with the Massachusetts colony and assisted in founding the town of Braintree, Norfolk county, Massachusetts, under a grant of the colony. Their lineage is traced directly to Augustine Thayer of Thaydom, a village in the county of Essex, near London. He was a favorite of the king, was granted letters patent, a coat of arms, and became one of the nobility of England.


    The early education of Henry George Thayer, the subject of this biological mention, began in the common schools of New York, taught by graduates of the State Normal school at Albany, who were men eminently competent to give instruction to their pupils, and this elementary education was supplemented by a course in the Iron City Commercial College at Pittsburg, Pa. from which he graduated in 1857, when twenty-three years of age.

    He came to Indiana with his parents in 1847, who first settled at Peru, Miami county, Ind.

    The trip from New York to Indiana was made from Syracuse, N.Y. on the Erie Canal to Buffalo, N.Y., thence on Lake Erie to Toledo, O., thence by the Wabash & Erie to Peru. At that time Peru, though a small town, was a great trading and shipping port, to points east and west. From Peru, his parents moved to Marshall county in 1849.

    During his residence in Marshall county, he taught a country school one term and then took up his residence in Plymouth, where he has since resided.

    In 1851 Mr. Thayer accepted a position as clerk in the drug store of Henry B. Pershing, and studied Pharmacy, but the compounding of medicines not suiting his inclinations, he became the confidential clerk and bookkeeper of John L. Westervelt, a dry goods merchant, with whom he remained five years.

    In 1859 Mr. Thayer formed a partnership with N. R. Packard in the grocery business, and subsequently in the dry goods business, with Hon. A. L. Wheeler as a silent partner. Since 1858, the principal business of Mr. Thayer has been dealing in grains, in which he was been continuously engaged for forty years.

    In 1881 he formed a partnership with George W. Mears of Philadelphia, under the firm name of Thayer & Mears, commission merchants and buyers of grain, doing a large business in that city and throughout the west. This partnership was dissolved in 1882.

    Mr. Thayer is the president of the Indiana Novelty Manufacturing company, the largest plant in the world, engaged exclusively in the manufacture of bicycle rims, mud and chain guards and wooden handle bars. He was engaged for many years with his brother, Hon. John D. Thayer, deceased, of Warsaw, Ind., in the grain business at Warsaw, Huntington, and Bourbon, Ind., and Pittsburg, Pa. and is now vice-president of the Bourbon Elevator and Milling company, and is also the vice-president of the State Bank at Plymouth.






    Mr. Thayer has been a Republican from the organization of the party, to the present time, and an active and influential member of the party.

    He was president of the board of education of the city of Plymouth in 1874.

    He served as chairman of the Republican district, and held the position for six years.

    He was district president elector in 1880, and voted for Gen. Garfield and Chester A. Arthur.

    In 1888 he was alternate delegate from the state at large to the National Republican convention held in Chicago, and assiduously labored to secure the nomination of Benjamin Harrison as a candidate for the presidency.

    He was the first elector at large of Indiana in 1896 and was elected by the Electoral College of Indiana as a messenger to carry the vote of the state to the vice-president, Adlai Stevenson.

    Mr. Thayer was nominated in 1872 by his party for joint representative of Marshall and St. Joseph counties and in 1884, to represent the Thirteenth congressional district in congress, but in both cases was defeated with the other nominees of the party.

    In 1893 Mr. Thayer was appointed by Governor Matthews one of the directors of the World's Columbian exposition, to fill the unexpired term of the Hon. Clem Studebaker, and discharged the duties of the honorable position in a way eminently creditable to the state.

    Mr. Thayer occupies honorable positions in the great fraternities of the times.

    For thirty years he has been an Odd Fellow and has held the office of Noble Grand of his lodge for several terms and was appointed by the Grand Master C. F. Northem as one of the committee for erecting the new temple of the order at Indianapolis. He was filed the presiding chairs of all the various subordinate societies of Free Masons, and was elected an served as Grand Commander of Knights Templar of Indiana in 1880-81. He received the Scottish rite 32d degree in Indianapolis in 1876, and the following year at Boston, Mass., was elected Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the 33d and honorary member of the Supreme Grand Council of the Scottish rite, the Northern Masonic jurisdiction.

    In 1878 Mr. Thayer received the degree of Royal Order of Scotland at Milwaukee, and is now a member of Murat council of the Mystic Shrine at Indianapolis. Honorary membeship had been conferred on Mr. Thayer by the Masonic Veteran's association of Illinois, by the Illinois College of Inspectors-General Thirty-third Degree Valley of Chicago; the Ascolon Commandery Knights Templar, St. Louis, Mo. and by the commanderies of Valparaiso and Frankfort, Ind. Mr. Thayer is also a life member of the Grand Encampment of the United States and also an honorary member of Ancient Ebor Preceptory, York, England,having been elected in 1883. Besides, he has held the office of grand patron of the Order of the Eastern Star if Indiana, as also grand marshall of the General Grand Chapter of the United States. Mr. Thayer for thirty-three years has been a member of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Plymouth, Ind.

    On July 29, 1856 Mr. Thayer married Mary E. Van Valkenburgh, and six children have been of the union, three of whom have died. George Henry graduated from Cornell University, New York; James esley graduated from Pennsylvania Military Academy, at Chester, Pa; and Mary Angelicia, graduated from St. Mary's College, Indianapolis. Mr. Thayer's family take an active interest in Masonary. Mr. Thayer and his daughter are members of the Order of Eastern Star, and Mrs. Thayer is a past matron of the order, while the two sons, George H. and James W., are past commanders of the Plymouth commandery, Knights Templar.

    Mr. Thayer has earned the right be addressed as one of the progressive men of Indiana, since from the beginning his career had been conspicuously active and of high endeavor, and while having secured wealth and the comforts of life his home is dignified by the presence of his aged and justly distinguished father, whose sun is declining amidst surroundings of peace and repose.





    HENRY G. THAYER was born at the town of Euclid, Onondaga Co., N.Y., on the 20th of April, 1834. He is the son of Rev. GEORGE H. THAYER, of whom a few words may properly be said as a prelude to his sonís biography.
      He was born December 31, 1807, in Onondaga County, N.Y., and in early youth acquired such a limited education as the common schools afforded.

      By diligent study, however, he prepared himself for admission into Onondaga Academy, and graduated from that institution with high honors.

      In earlier youth, his line of reasoning made him skeptical in his religious views, but, with later years and a more careful study of the Bible, came the conviction of error, and he sought to amend the past by devoting his after life to the service of the church.

      In 1832, he entered the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and has ever since been a faithful laborer in the Lordís vineyard. That he is actuated in this by love and a sense of duty a evinced by that he has uniformly refused all monetary consideration for his pastoral labors, supporting his family by other means.

      He married Miss HANNAH GRIFFIN, in Onondaga County, N.Y., and in the labors of his life she proved a helpmate and a worthy coadjutor.

      In 1845, the family removed to Miami County, Ind., locating at Peru, and from thence they removed to Marshall County.

      At the advanced age of seventy-four years, the Rev. Mr. THAYER is still a strong and convincing speaker and a forcible writer, and his physical and mental faculties have suffered but little from the ravages of time.


    HENRY G., his son, and the subject of this biography, inherited all that strength of character and mind which has marked his fatherís life, and possesses, in addition, a strong individuality.

    In his youth he enjoyed but few educational privileges, as he came to Indiana with his parents when scarcely eleven years of age, and at a time when the school system of this State was in a very crude and unsystematic condition.

    Finally, a school was taught at Peru, Ind., and for three years he was a pupil under the fatherís instructions. Careful home training, assisted by diligent study on his own part, wrought good results, and, after the removal of the family to Marshall County, Ind., he was qualified to take charge of a school, and was engaged in teaching during the winters of 1849 -50 and 1850-51.

    He was yet a boy, with his plans for life all unformed; yet his natural inclinations were for a mercantile life, and in 1850 he entered upon his first mercantile experience as a clerk for H.B. PERSHING, with whom he remained for about six months.

    For the next five years, he was in the employ of JOHN L. WESTERVELT and RUFUS HEWETT, as salesman, book-keeper and confidential clerk. At the close of that period, he went to Pittsburgh, Penn., to complete his commercial education, and after a course in the Iron City Commercial College at that city, from which he graduated with high honors, he returned to Plymouth, and at once was tendered the position of book-keeper of the dry goods house of CLEVELAND & HEWETT, which he accepted. About six months later, he was appointed Deputy under JAMES F. VAN VALKENBURGH, then Sheriff of Marshall County, and, after serving in this capacity for a short time, in the grain trade, and erected the first grain warehouse at Plymouth.

    In 1859, he was associated with N.R. PACKARD in the grocery at Plymouth, and, at a later date, with A.L. WHEELER in the dry goods trade. Subsequently, he was associated with N. H. OGLESBEE the lumber trade, but in 1868 sold his interest in this industry to MATTINGLY & BLACK , in order to give the grain trade his sole attention. He has been constantly engaged in this enterprise ever since, his trade growing larger with each recurring season.

    He is now at the head of the house of THAYER & MEARS, 308 Walnut street, Philadelphia, Penn., buyers of grain for export, and commission merchants.

    One so prominent and valuable as a citizen could not remain long out of politics; but it is only justice to Mr. THAYER to say that, whenever he has stood before the people as a candidate, his action has been in response to repeated importunities from numerous friends, and not because he took any pleasure in being a candidate, or regarded politics as his element. His eminent qualifications have made him pronouncedly the man for the positions he has occupied, and he has served from a sense of duty.

    He was elected City Clerk of Plymouth in 18--, and served two years. In 1874, he was President of the Board of Education, and to his efforts the citizens owe much for the magnificent high-school building, which stands as an ornament to their city and a monument to the beneficence of free public education. In 1872, he became the nominee of the Republican party for Representative from the district composed of counties of Marshall and St. Joseph. He made a gallant fight, and his personal popularity almost overcame the Democratic majority, for he was defeated by only forty votes in the district.

    In 1874, he was the choice of his Republican friends for Congressman from this district, and, although not nominated, he received a flattering vote in the convention. Four years later, without his solicitation or consent, they again determined to present his name, and, at a County Convention, held in June, 1880, the following resolution was unanimously adopted:

    Resolved, That the delegates from this (Marshall County), to the Congressional Convention to be held at South Bend, on the twenty-fourth inst., are instructed to cast the vote of this county for Hon, H.G. THAYER, as a candidate for Congress, and to use all honorable means to secure his nomination.

    Apropos of the esteem in which he is held by the people of this county, the following, from the Plymouth Republican, is sufficiently expressive. Referring to the proceedings of the convention, it said:

    Mr. THAYER being called for, addressed the convention in a brief but able speech, thanking the convention for the distinguished honor shown him by the resolution, but respectfully declined to allow the use of his name as a candidate before the Congressional Convention.

    Notwithstanding Mr. THAYERíS positive declination, we believe he is the man for the place. Our reasons are, aside from the fact that he is a resident of Marshall County, that his ability is unquestioned; his well-known honesty and fair dealing command universal respect, and make him an available candidate; that his success in his own varied business is a guarantee that the interests of his constituents would be looked after; that he could not be bought or sold by any man, party or clique; that his name, ability, means and practical fitness for the position would add strength to the Republican ticket; that he would make a strong canvas, and there would be no disaffection in any party of the district.

    A Republican Convention was held a short time subsequently, at which Mr. THAYER became the unanimous choice of his party for Presidential Elector from the Thirteenth Congressional District, and received a large majority at the ensuing November election, casting his vote, with patriotic pride and satisfaction, for JAMES A. GARFIELD, of Ohio, for President, and CHESTER A. ARTHUR, of New York, for Vice President.

    During the progress of the late civil war in our land, Mr. THAYER was uniformly patriotic, and manifested his zeal and love for the Union in many substantial ways. Although he was exempt from duty, he procured a substitute at no trifling expense, and made handsome donations to the fund raised for the supplying the quota of Marshall County. He has stood unswervingly by the cause of right and national integrity in every crisis, and is bold in the defense of his position.

    He is identified with two of the leading secret organizations of the Untied States - the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons. In the former, he has passed the chairs of the subordinate lodge, and attained to the position of Past Grand; but his principal interest is with the Masonic Fraternity. He received the degrees of the York Rite in 1857, as was subsequently elected Worshipful Master of Plymouth Lodge, No. 149, serving, by re-election, for four years. He also served as High Priest of Plymouth Chapter, No. 49, Royal Arch Masons, and as Illustrious Master of Plymouth Council, No. 49, Royal and Select Masters. He was a leader in the organization of Plymouth Commandery, No. 26, K T., and was its first Eminent Commander, occupying that office for two successive terms. At the present time, he is the Eminent Grand Commander of Knights Templar of the State of Indiana, Order of the Eastern Star; also Grand Marshall of the General Grand Chapter of the United States. At the city of Boston, in 1877, he was made Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the thirty-third degree, and honorary member of the Supreme Grand Council of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States. He became a member of the Provincial Grand Lodge of the United States, Royal Order of Scotland, by election, at Washington, D.C., in 1878, and was initiated at Milwaukee, Wis. He is unflagging in his interest in the order, and in every respect a valuable member.

    For a number of years, Mr. THAYER has been an active church member and temperance worker. He first united with the Presbyterian Church, and afterward with the Protestant Episcopal Church, with which he is now identified. He is a liberal contributor to its temporal needs, and, by his example and influence, has added much to its higher interests. In his dealings with the world, he has always been actuated by a high sense of honor, and his fairness and promptness have gained him the unreserved confidence of all.

    He stands at the head of the business world in this community, and his identity with the mercantile interests is almost as marked abroad as at home.

    The position he occupies in the world and in society is the legitimate outgrowth of a nature that would not be satisfied with mediocrity, and whose aim and ambition was always upward. Few adventitious circumstances have occurred to aid his rise in the world, and his ample fortune is the result of his industry and native business ability.

    He is pre-eminently one of the self-made men of our day, and his career speaks eloquently of the possibilities attainable by a young man who starts out with the right spirit.

    On the 9th of July, 1856, Mr. Thayer was united in marriage with Miss MARY E. VanValkenburgh, daughter of James F. and Angelica VanValkenburgh. She is a noble Christian lady, and her kindly nature and loving disposition have been a potent instrument in her husbandís success. They are the parents of six children, named, respectively, Harry Edgar, James Wesley, Alice Lavantia, Mary Angelica and Horace. Of these, Harry E., Alice L. and Horace are deceased.





    Year: 1860; Census Place: Plymouth, Marshall, Indiana; Roll: M653_278; Page: 608;
    Household Members: Name Age
    Henry G Thayer 26
    Mary E Thayer 23
    Mary Ragan 12

    1870; Census Place: Center, Marshall, Indiana; Roll: M593_342; Page: 64A;
    Household Members: Name Age
    Sherry Thayer 36
    Mary Thayer 32
    George Thayer 10
    James Thayer 6

    Year: 1880; Census Place: Plymouth, Marshall, Indiana; Roll: 297; Family History Film: 1254297; Page: 133A; Enumeration District: 105;
    Household Members: Name Age
    Henry G. Thayer 46
    Mary Thayer 43
    George H. Thayer 14
    James Thayer 16
    Angelica Thayer 8
    Luvanda Cummings 50 Sister
    Jess F. Vanvalkinburg 72 Father [in-law]
    Catherine Shumaker 25 Servant

    Year: 1900; Census Place: Plymouth, Marshall, Indiana; Roll: 391; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0074;
    Household Members: Name Age
    George H Thayer 32
    Mary L M Thayer 38
    Edgar M Thayer 12
    Paul M Thayer 8
    Henry G Thayer 66
    Mary E Thayer 63