John Urban Thorn


John U. Thorn, One of City’s Best Known Citizens, is Called to the World Beyond.

John U. Thorn Grave Marker


All His Life He Ministered to the Sick, Poor and Needy, and Leaves a Fine Christian Record.

The Clarksburg Telegram., May 16, 1907, Page 2
The Daily Telegram., May 09, 1907

When the spirit of John U. Thorn took its flight Thursday morning just after midnight to that other land beyond the river of Death, the people of Clarksburg lost one of their truest and best and noblest men.

The Great Beyond

Mr. Thorn passed away at the home of his son, Senator Arthur K. Thorn on Mulberry Street, Thursday morning at 12:45 o’clock after a brief illness with a complication of diseases and the general frailties of old age.

Just before the end came the dying man rallied and rising up in bed he looked and beheld a heavenly vision.  A joyful light came to him surmounting the pain he had suffered and he gave up his spirit in peace and happiness, thus closing beautifully a long, useful and well spent life.

John U. Thorn was born March 8, 1819, near Morgantown, the son of John and Sarah Thorn.

He married in 1839 Miss Elizabeth Menefee, of Rappahannock County, VA., who died in 1880.

To Mr. and Mrs. Thorn were born the following children :
William Clark, who died in 1845;
Sarah Levenia, wife of Arnold Brandley, who died in 1876;
John W. Thorn, for many years a well known business man of Clarksburg, who died in 1893;
Edwin B. Thorn, who died in 1882;
Ella, the wife of Col. D. S. Thompson, deceased, who died in 1888;
and Senator Arthur K. Thorn, who is the sole surviving member of this family.

One brother also survives, A. B. Thorn, of Point Comfort.

Merchants National Bank

Mr. Thorn followed the occupations of farming; and merchandising. For fifteen years he was in the merchandise business in Clarksburg, being at the head of the firm of J. U. Thorn & Son, which for a part of that time occupied quarters at the corner of Third and Main Streets where the Merchants National Bank building now stands.

At the age of 22 Mr. Thorn became affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal church and since that time was a faithful and devoted member. For sixty years he was a class leader in the church and for more than a quarter of a century he was a member of the board of trustees of Goff M. E. Church, at the time of his death being president of the board. It would not be giving full and adequate expression to say that Mr. Thorn was a good man. He was a man of inflexible probity, of unflinching honesty, and exemplary rectitude. His character was flawless, irreproachable and his disposition such that all who knew him. Knew him but to love him.

People in trouble or affliction or when death entered their homes, often sent for Mr. Thorn for counsel, advice and comfort. He always graciously and gladly responded to these calls, comforting and cheering the sorrowing ones with messages of hope. Living and acting strong in the Christian faith Mr. Thorn was a missionary for good in this world. His death was a triumph of a Christian life and a friend who was present when his earthly life was closed, was reminded of the words of a noted American author–

“Hope saw the glimmer of a star, and listening, Love heard the rustle of a wing”

The funeral will be held in Goff Methodist Episcopal Church at 10 o’clock Saturday morning and will be conducted by the Rev. Dr. S. K Arbuthnot. The pall bearers will be Irwin Stealey, Judge C. W. Lynch, M. S. Riley, John Koblegard, John L. Ruhl and R. T. Lowndes. Interment will be in the I.O.O.F. Cemetery.


To the Memory of John U. Thorn Passed by the Goff Church Epworth League.

The Daily Telegram., May 14, 1907, Page 5

Epworth League Pendant

The following are the resolutions of respect passed by the Epworth League of the Goff Methodist Episcopal Church to the memory of the late John U. Thorn, the oldest member of our beloved church, president of the church board of trustees, and senior class leader, therefore, the Epworth League desires to express its sense of loss by the following:

Resolved, That in the departure of our venerable friend and well wisher, John C. Thorn, the young people of Goff Methodist Episcopal Church loses one of their best friends.

Resolved, That the many Christian virtues, which shown forth in the life of our leader, will always be as an inspiration and incentive to us, and should the Lord grant unto us many years, it will be our ambition to “Follow in the footsteps” of our aged friend as he followed his Christ and ours.

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be printed in the local papers, and a copy be sent to our fellow member, the bereaved son, to whom we express our deepest sympathy and assure him of our prayers, and that these resolutions also be spread upon the minutes of our League.

L. K. Richards, President.
Miss Alma Swiger, Secretary.

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