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Thorpe Family Papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: BC735

Scope and Contents

The Thorpe Family Papers collection contains five generations worth of the personal, political, war, and business correspondence, certificates, financial information, notices of death, booklets, transcriptions of family letters, genealogical materials, family scrapbooks, an autograph album, account books, yearbooks, notebooks, high school records, postcards, news clippings, diplomas, ration cards, business cards, papers and honors from the University of Illinois, and papers from Fort Knox and Camp Polk during World War II. The collection follows the descendants of Servetus M. Thorpe.


  • Created: 1825-2003
  • Other: Date acquired: 00/00/2006


Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.


7.20 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Family of Servetus M. Thorpe, a political leader and veteran of the Mexican-American War. Many of Servetus's children and grandchildren became doctors. Servetus's grandson, Leon G. Myers, was a teacher, principal, and superintendent in Clinton, Illinois. Servetus's great-grandson-in-law, Gale Corley, served as a Major in World War II.

Arrangement Note

The Thorpe Family Papers collection is divided into seven series: Series I: The Thorpe Family Papers, 1828-1930 (Boxes 1-2) consists of the personal, political, and business correspondence of the first generation of the Thorpe family, as well as certificates, financial information, notices of death, booklets, as well as transcriptions of family letters and genealogical materials pertaining to the Thorpe and Myers families. Specifically, Series I contains the papers of Alonzo M. Thorpe, Alonzo V. Thorpe, Jr., Anna Wood Thorpe, Elihu Mirando Thorpe, Elihu Monroe Thorpe, Elvira Thorpe, Jefferson Lee Thorpe, Martha Jane Dearborn Thorpe, Samuel L. Thorpe, Sarah J. Taylor Thorpe, Sarah Jane Stone Thorpe, Servetus Monroe Thorpe, Sophronia Osborn Thorpe, and Stillman Thorpe. Series II: The Myers Family Papers, 1825-1944 (Boxes 2-3) consists of the papers of Ada C. Thorpe Myers, J. C. Myers, Leon G. Myers, Rose Kent Myers, Samuel D. Myers, and Thomas B. Myers. These papers consist of correspondence, family scrapbooks and information, an autograph album, account books, club programs and membership applications, yearbooks, notebooks, memorial and death notifications, certificates, high school records, postcards, Leon G. Myers’s 1912 senior thesis, election notifications, Lillian Myers’s 1937 wedding announcement, news clippings, and cards. Series III: The Corley Family Papers, 1916-2003 (Boxes 3-5) contains papers concerning Gale and Lillian Corley, as well as their daughter’s baby book (Ellen Corley). These papers include: diplomas, yearbooks, personal and war correspondence, U.S. Army ration cards, documents and news clippings pertaining to the Second World War (WWII), certificates, business cards, postcards, papers and honors from the University of Illinois, papers from Gale’s time at Fort Knox, and selected copies from the Camp Polk Officers’ Wives Club publication, The Service Salute. Series IV: Miscellaneous Family Members Papers, 1828-1959 (Boxes 5-6) contains report cards, WWII correspondence, genealogical materials, and personal correspondence from Ada Rose Myers and Harlan T. Donaldson, Sarah Ann Gilbert, John and Anna Hand, Elmina Hendricks, John and Mina Hume, the Kent family, the Osborn family, Ella M. Thorpe Owens Wolfe, Samuel H. Owens, G. Henry Roberts, Abraham Seward, Mirando and Abba Stone, Stephen Stone, William Stone, James and Anna Wood, and Eliza Stone Wright. Box 5, Folder 36 contains a signed letter from poet, writer, and editor, Carl Sandburg, to Lillian Kent, Rose Kent Myers’s sister and a librarian. Series V: Miscellaneous (Box 6) contains four folders-Stephen Douglas Speech-“The War with Mexico”; News Clipping “Stream of Life Moves Past of U.S.”; Play/Musical Manuscript; and Speech regarding Industrial and Labor Association Series VI: Patents (Box 6) contains Gale Corley’s patents which includes panel carts; portable hoist for panel carts; artillery firing 1894, 1919, 1942 [1944]; cart for positioning building panels patents-construction 1958-1973; portable (Stork) crane; building foundation having controlled frost line. It also contains an article “Business of Building: Three Men and a House” 1965 Series VII: Oversize contains the following which are oversized and are in the oversize drawer: 1. State Board of Health Certificate of M.D. Degree Completion to J.C. Myers, 1880; 2. Miami Medical College Certificate of M.D. Degree Completion to J.C. Myers, 1912; 3-4. Clinton Daily Public, Vol. 22, No. 168, September 19th, 1917; 5. Map of Germany with International Boundaries, 1939; 6. Decatur Sunday Herald and Review, September 3rd, 1939; 7. The Decatur Daily Review, Vol. 67, No. 141, June 15th, 1944; and 8. Mount Pulaski Times-News, Vol. 55, No. 46, June 5th, 1958.

Method of Acquisition


Accruals and Additions

Additions acquired in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2016.

Separated Materials

Photographs and negatives have been transferred to the Audio-Visual Department. History of DeWitt County, Portraits and Biographies of the Governors of Illinois and the Presidents of the United States, Clinton Centennial: The Story of the Pageant, DeWitt County Home Bureau Cookbook, DeWitt County, Illinois History, Clinton, DeWitt County, and The Thundering Herd (8th Armored Division) have been transferred to the Published Collection. Selected copies of The Decaturian, The Margol, Turret Copies, University of Illinois Alumni News, and The Stars and Stripes were tranferred to the Newspapers Department. A map of Germany (ca. 1939), two copies of Clinton Daily Public, one copy of The Decatur Daily Review, one copy of the Decatur Sunday Herald and Review, one copy of the Mount Pulaski Times-News, and two graduation certificates were placed in an oversize folder.
Archon Finding Aid Title
Abby Kauerauf, Jonathan Bradshaw, Debbie Hamm, and Karl Janssen
Description rules
Other Unmapped
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collection Repository

112 North Sixth Street
Springfield IL 62701 US
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