Biography of Charles E. Thorne
North Central Ohio Biographies





Charles Embree Thorne. As president of the Wayne Building & Loan Company of Wooster, Charles E. Thorne is numbered among the influential citizens of North Central Ohio. He has also been identified with the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station for almost 40 years. He was born on a farm in Greene County, Ohio, Oct. 4, 1846, the son of Elijah and Mary (Charles) Thorne.

Elijah Thorne was born in Greene County, Ohio, in 1816, and his wife was a native of Wayne County, Ind., born in 1825. Throughout his life Mr. Thorne engaged in general farming and stock raising. He died in 1899 and his wife died in 1908. Both are buried in Friends Cemetery, Selma, Ohio. Their only child was Charles E., the subject of this sketch.

Charles E. Thorne was educated in the district schools and in 1866 attended Michigan Agricultural College. He was later a student at Antioch College and engaged in general farming in Greene County from 1870 until 1876. At an early age he manifested an interest in agricultural work and very ably filled the responsible position of farm manager at Ohio State University from 1877 until 1881. His prolific pen produced articles of more than ordinary interest and value to the agricultural world and he eventually became associate editor of The Farm and Fireside, at Springfield, Ohio, serving in that capacity from 1881 until 1887. Ohio State University, having recognized his ability, conferred upon him the honorary degree of Master of Science in Agriculture.

The record of Mr. Thorne as the director of Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station in Wooster is too well known to the people of Wayne County to need an introduction. He has been identified with the Station since 1887. The Station was organized in 1882 under a State Act sponsored by Col. J. H. Brigham, who was at that date a member of the Ohio Senate. For the first ten years of its existence the experiment station was located on the State University farms at Columbus, Ohio. In 1891 the State passed an Act authorizing the removal of the station and Wayne County contributed $85,000 to secure its establishment in that county. Under successive acts of the Legislature the station has been able to extend its work to numerous counties throughout Ohio. It now owns several thousand acres of farm land as well as 30,000 acres of forest preserve under the scientific management of a staff of 250 people. Mr. Thorne served as head of the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station until 1921, at which time he resigned from active service but continued in a consultative capacity.

On May 10, 1871, Mr. Thorne married Miss Viola J. Hine, who died March 26, 1924. She was the daughter of Daniel N. and Marinda (Brooks) Hine, whose ancestors were natives of Connecticut and early settlers of Erie County, Ohio. Both are deceased and are buried at Berlin Heights. To Mr. and Mrs. Thorne were born three children: Bertram, born in 1875, died in 1911; Bessie, married George Brooks, D. P. S., lives at Wooster; and Charles Brooks, a graduate of Case School of Applied Science, now associated with the Arthur G. McKee Engineering Company, Cleveland. He married Miss Estelle Tarbet, of Cleveland, and they have two children, Virginia Embree and Charles Brooks 2nd.

Mr. Thorne was honored with the presidencies of the American Society of Agronomy during 1914-15, the Association of American Agricultural Colleges and Experiment Stations during 1915-16, and the Society for the Promotion of Agricultural Science during 1915-16. In 1926 the College of Wooster conferred upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Science. Since his retirement as head of the station at Wooster he has been retained as consulting chief of the staff of the department of agronomy and devotes much time to the compilation of statistics relating to soil fertility. He is the author of many bulletins and publications concerning the maintenance of soil fertility, being recognized as a national authority on this subject.

From:
History of North Central Ohio
Embracing Richland, Ashland, Wayne,
Medina, Lorin, Huron and Knox Counties
BY: William A. Duff
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis 1931


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