John Tharp, Mulberry, where he is now living retired from active pursuits, is an old-timer of Crawford county and has lived here and been a factor in industrial and civic affairs for some thirty-seven years. During this time he has witnessed the development of the county from pioneer conditions to one of the most flourishing and progressive counties of the state, and for his own part he has never been behind hand in assisting in this work of progress and advancement.
Mr. Tharp is also honored as one of the Civil war veterans now residing in this county. He enlisted in August, 1862, in Company F, Ninety-fourth Illinois Infantry, the company being successively commanded by Captains Walden and Denison. The regiment was in camp at Benton Barracks, St. Louis, was sent to Rollo, Missouri, then to Springfield, and took part in several encounters with Price's and Marmaduke's men; was later sent to the siege of Vicksburg, where it was when the city surrendered on July 4, 1863; then went on the Banks expedition up Red river, and was in operations throughout Louisiana and into Texas; was later put on transports and sent across the gulf to Brownsville, Texas, and after being in that state three months returned to Mobile, Alabama, thence to Galveston, Texas, during which time hostilities came to an end, was sent back to Illinois, and Mr. Tharp received his honorable discharge at Springfield in July, 1865.
Mr. Tharp was born in Delaware county, Ohio, November 12, 1828, being a son of James and Leah (Decker) Tharp, both natives of New Jersey and of German descent. Both parents died in Clark county, Illinois, the father at eighty-four and the mother at seventy-two. They were members of the Baptist church, and he was a carpenter by trade, and in politics a Democrat. There were the following children in their family: James D., Hiram, Ida, Phoebe, Mary A., John, Jackson and Harriett.
Mr. Tharp was reared and educated in Delaware county, Ohio, and was married there in February, 1850, to Miss Martha W. Trumbull, who had been a successful teacher before her marriage. She was born near Buffalo, in Erie county, New York, being a daughter of Samuel W. and Harriett (Wells) Trumbull. Her grandfather was a Revolutionary soldier, and her father took part in the battle at Sackett's Harbor in the war of 1812. Her father was born in Connecticut and her mother in Canada. There were nine children in the Trumbull family, of whom Mrs. Tharp is the oldest, the others being: Oliver, Robert, Celesta M., Louis E., Wescott S., Henry L., Leonard A., and Rachel. Four of the sons, Wescott, Henry, Leonard and Robert, were soldiers in the Civil war, and Leonard died during the war. The mother of this family died in Allen county, Kansas, at the age of seventy-two, and the father at Girard when eighty-seven years old. The latter was a vigorous and active man almost to his last days, successfully followed farming for many years, and in politics was a Whig and Republican.
Mr. Tharp left Ohio in 1853, and located in Clark county, Illinois, being there for eight years, and then lived near St. Louis, Missouri, for two years, after which he was in McLean county, Illinois, until 1868. In the latter year he came to this county, experiencing pioneer conditions for the first years of his residence, and he gradually became established as one of the substantial and prosperous farmers of the county. A few years ago he sold his fine farmstead of one hundred and sixty acres, and moved to a comfortable cottage home in Mulberry, where he and his wife intend to spend the declining years of their lives, surrounded by the comforts which worthy efforts and the friendship of many in their community have brought to them. Their three sons are now grown and have taken their places in the world of affairs as enterprising and honorable men, a credit to the rearing and training which they have received from their revered parents. These sons are Morris Vernon, who is a fine mechanic residing in Walla Walla, Washington; James A., in the creamery business in Girard; and Henry, who has been a teacher and was postmaster at Mulberry for seven years, and is now cashier of the Mulberry Bank. The boys, as well as their parents, are members of the Methodist church and actively support the cause of religion. Mr. Tharp is a stanch Republican, and is affiliated with the G. A. R. post.Pages 513-515 from A Twentieth century history and biographical record of Crawford County, Kansas, by Home Authors; Illustrated. Published by Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, IL : 1905. 656 p. ill. Transcribed by Carolyn Ward, in November, 2003.
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