Interesting Obituary: GGgreat-aunt Mary Ann (Hill) Thorn

(Capt. John Dixon Hill’s sister Mary Ann, wife & widow of Clane Thorn)
roughly translated from a very old newspaper* w/photo by
Larry Pearce, GGgreat-nephew

Mary Ann (Hill) and Clane Thorn
c. 1860

(top part missing) … born ___10, 1826; her maiden name was Mary Ann Hill, being the daughter of Wm. Hill, Sr. The first years of her life were spent at the place of her birth, Centerville [now Slippery Rock], Butler County. She moved to Lewisburg, this county, when she was about 12 years of age. On August 6, 1847, she was united in marriage to Mr. Clane Thorn at Leesburg, where they resided until 1874, when they moved to Mercer, PA. Her husband died June 17, 1886, and she has since lived with her daughter, Mrs. J.J. Alexander.

Mrs. Thorn was the mother of nine children, five sons and four daughters, of whom James S., Ruth, Emily, who inter-married with J.J. Alexander, R.M., and B.F. survive her. She united with the Presbyterian Church at Leesburg in the spring of 1857, and from that time until her death was an earnest, faithful, sincere, and considerate Christian wife and mother; her whole life bore public testimony to her love for Christ and his cause. She was kind, cheerful, thoughtful, and charitable to a fault; no one, no matter how wicked they seemed to be in the eyes of others, but secured from her expressions of sympathy and love, and she has often said to the writer of this when the characters of such have been under discussion, “Remember the Saviour’s words to the poor, despised and apparently characterless woman, ‘Neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more.’”

For the past thirteen years she has been an almost constant sufferer from complications of diseases, and time and again during that period she was brought, as her family thought, to death’s door, but until her fatal attack she always reminded her children that her time had not yet come — that God had something more in life for her to do. Each sick spell seemed only to add to her patience, humbleness, love for, and draw her nearer to, God, upon whom she confidently relied, and of whom she always declared that “He was good to her.” She was filled with faith in the promises of God and could be often heard quoting from His Holy Word those promises of comfort, touch, blessings, etc., which comforted the afflicted ones.

Her death occurred Friday, September 15, 1899, at her home on East Market Street, and her body was laid to rest in the cemetery at Mercer on Sabbath, September 17, 1899. All the later years of her life, as well as her peaceful death, proved the truth of the Evangelist’s words, “Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord, from henceforth, yea saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors and their works do follow the,” Peace to her ashes. 

*Note: It’s uncertain which of Mercer’s three newspapers operating at the time of Aunt Mary Ann’s death published this account, nor whom the author was. In addition, that part of northwest Pennsylvania had over a dozen newspapers at the time. Research continues as to the context of the Thorn family’s life.

Last revised 1/7/20

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