At the age of 28 J.L. was in the State Militia this is based on the following:
J.L. Thorp's name was on the original handwritten muster roll, state archives, Austin, Texas as follows:
"Muster Roll, First Frontier District Lt Chs Neuhous Co, Young County, Texas June 27, 1864, Company ‘B’
Thorp, J.L. age 28"417
Exactly as to when J.L. (James Luther) came to the Shackelford-Young-Throckmorton Counties area is not known. What is known that he was in the area prior to 1861 as he and Elizabeth Francis Frans married August 1861. He was to remain in this area the rest of his life except for brief periods to visit relatives in other parts of Texas. (Marriage in Young county is public record and is buried in Throckmorton)
According to Sam Newcombe diary the following information was given. On April 25, 1865 J.L. Thorp started building a blacksmith shop at Ft. Davis. On July 6, 1865 we see that J.L. left Ft Davis to visit kinfolk in lower Texas ( this must have been those Thorps in Llano and Milam counties). He arrived back at Ft Davis on Augus 11, 1865 from visiting his kin on Colorado River.
At Ft Griffin not only did he own a blacksmith establishment but also helped his father-in-law, M. Frans, with the Butterfield stage line that ran out of the town of Ft Griffin.
James Luther "J.L." Thorp was granted 160 acres in Shackelford County by the State of Texas in 1876 and was recorded July 21, 1877, at 2 p.m.417
Birth9 Feb 1846, Near Colbert’s Ferry, TX:Grayson417
Death27 Jan 1936, Throckmorton, TX:Throckmorton417
BurialJan 1936, Throckmorton, TX:Throckmorton417
We have always been told that Elizabeth was half Indian and in her photo she definitely has some of those charactistics-the high cheekbones and other facial features. However, in the search for information the Indian ancestry has not been verified. Black Dutch was the common term for those who were of Indian descent as sometimes it was very dangerous for them to openly state they were part Indian.
Her sister, Susan, had also told her family that they were part Indian and the connection was on the Frans side. Susan as well as their father, J.M. (Matt), also showed the same familiar native american characteristics. From what nation/tribe at this point can only be supposed and it's commonly thought by us cousins to be Cherokee.
She was a member of the West Texas Pioneers Association. At the time of her birth her father was operating a Red River ferry boat in Grayson county and on her ninth birthday she moved to old Ft Belknap in a covered wagon. She saw many cities and counties of West Texas organized and went through several Indian raids. (This from a copy of a clipping from an old Throckmorton Newspaper date 1936)
From a document when Elizabeth was 79 years of age we find that she could not write. The document is signed with an X as her mark, witnessed and notarized. This document having been filed in Throckmorton, Throckmorton County, TX the 5th day of May, 1935.417
Marriage29 Aug 1861, Shackelford Co, TX417
At Picket House at Ft Griffin (The Flat)417
James L Thorp married Elizabeth F Frans at Ft Griffin, Texas before it was actually a fort. They were married by A.D. Nance.
The settlement was known as the "Flat" and was located between the banks of the Clear Fork of the Brazos River and the Hill on which the army setup their post.
The whole area was later known as Ft Griffin. The army post of Ft Griffin was occupied by the US Army from 1867 thru 1881. All of their children were born at Ft Griffin except Byrd,who was born at Ft. Davis, TX.
James L Thorp had been granted 160 acres in the Flat where he raised sheep and established a blacksmith shop in the Flat.417