GEORGE W THAYER
Since 1875 Mr. Thayer has been a resident of Doniphan county, coming to Kansas from Indiana. He is, however, a native of New England, his birth having occurred in Orange county, Vermont, on the 23d of April, 1825. His father, Zenas Thayer, is a native of Massachusetts, and his father was a soldier in the war of 1812. In the Green Mountain state Zenas Thayer was reared, and having attained his majority he married Sallie Burridge, a representative of an old New England family. By this union were born twelve children. five sons and seven daughters. The father gave his political support in early life to the Whig party and in the ante bellum days was a stanch abolitionist, so that when the Republican party was formed to prevent the further extension of slavery he joined its ranks and continued to follow its banners until his death. He held membership in the Baptist church and served as one of its deacons, and passed away at his old home in Vermont when sixty years of age, and his wife also died at the age of sixty years.
George W. Thayer was reared on the old home farm and the duties and labors of field and meadow early became familiar to him. He attended the public schools and when not engaged with his lessons performed such service as he was capable of on the homestead place. Subsequently he engaged in the boot and shoe business in Massachusetts, being connected with that enterprise for five years. In 1857 he removed to Elkhart county, Indiana, where he conducted a boot and shoe and clothing store, and in September, 1862, he responded to President Lincoln's call for three hundred thousand men to aid in the suppression of the rebellion and was assigned to Company G, Forty-eighth Indiana Infantry, under Captain Main and Colonel Eddy, of South Bend, Indiana. He participated in a number of battles, including the engagements at Cairo, Illinois, Fort Donelson, Corinth, Blue Ridge, the seven days' battle before Vicksburg, the memorable engagement at Gettysburg and the siege of Atlanta. He was in forty engagements altogether and for meritorious conduct was promoted to the rank of captain. He held that position when mustered out and with a most honorable military record he returned to his home.
When the war of the Rebellion was ended Mr. Thayer resumed his mercantile operations in Elkhart county, Indiana, where he remained until his removal to Kansas in 1875. In 1877 he was married, in Rock Island, Illinois. to Mrs. Sarah (Rought) Wright, the widow of Joseph Wright, who died during the civil war, after two years' service with Company G, Forty-eighth Indiana Infantry. He left two children, Etta and Joseph Wright, and by her second marriage Mrs. Thayer has two children, Burt G. and Frank, the latter now at home, while the former is a teacher in Emporia, Kansas.
Since casting his first presidential vote for John C. Fremont Mr. Thayer has given his political support to the Republican party, has kept well informed on the issues of the day and has done all in his power to insure the success of Republican principles. There are usually test periods in the lives of all people and this came to many men during the progress of the civil war, when strife waged high and the bullets of the enemy were falling thick and fast. Men showed the metal of which they were composed by the manner in which they braved danger in defense of the Union. At this time Mr. Thayer demonstrated his loyalty and his fearlessness and in a more quiet way these characteristics have been shown throughout his later career. He is accounted one of the representative men of Doniphan county and on the pages of its history he well deserves mention.