Samuel W. Thornton - Buffalo County, Nebraska

Buffalo County, Nebraska

In 1874 Samuel and his family moved to Buffalo County, Nebraska, a sparsely settled frontier land where farming was difficult and time-consuming. For the first few years, the farm teetered on ruin; however, by the end of the decade, Samuel began having tremendous success, and his reputation amongst local farmers grew accordingly. He served on various committees of the Buffalo County Agricultural and Mechanical Society. In 1883, the County Board named the area around Samuel Thornton’s homestead as Thornton Township, Buffalo County, Nebraska, in honor of his military service. This honor was followed by his being elected to the state legislature (1887).

For the last thirty years of his life, Samuel remained in Buffalo County. While he continued farming, he expanded his business interests into the grocery business and utilities. He also stayed close with his fellow Civil War veterans, serving as post chaplain and speaking at the unveiling of the Civil War Soldiers’ Monument, Kearney, Nebraska, on October 25, 1910. Pictures of Samuel Thornton’s old homestead can be located at the Nebraska Historical Society, Lincoln, Nebraska.

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