William Allen Horn

William Allen Horn

August 23, 1876 ( Appanoose, Iowa ) - July 20, 1954 ( Boulder, Montana )


William Allen Horn was born August 23, 1876, in Appanoose County, Iowa. He was the youngest of 10 children of Solomon Sturgess Horn and Catherine Hibbs.

The earliest picture we have of William was taken about 1886, when he was about 10 years old. He is stand with his brother Amos, and two of his sisters, Minnie and Rachel. These would have been the four youngest children in the family. With the exception of Catherine, all the other children would have been married when this photograph was taken. William's father was a teacher in Iowa, as well as persuing farming, carpentering and railroading. The family lived on a farm for 20 years until just prior to the birth of William. We know that they later moved to Seymour, Iowa, but it is unclear if this was a direct move or if there was a location inbetween the farm and living in Seymour.

Perhaps because his father was involved in railroading, this was the reason that William and Amos who was 11 years older, also joined the railroad, and persued this activity as their lifetime careers. There is a photo of William taken in Unionville, Iowa, in what appears to be a railroad uniform.

On June 21, 1900, we find William Horn, living on Pitkin Ave, in Grand Junction, Mesa County, Colorado, as a lodger in the home of Thomas Thompson and his three daugher Alta ( Matie ), Ethel, and Edna. The census records states that his occupation is a car inspector.

Thomas Thompson was also working for the railroad as there is a picture of him shown with a roundhouse crew in Grand Junction. The census states that his occupation at the time was a carpenter.

Just shy of two years later, on March 25, 1902, William Horn married the daughter of Thomas Thompson and Ruth Malinda Harnsberger, Ethel Vera Thompson who was born April 26, 1879, in Farnam, Nebraska. Her father Thomas had died in early January of that same year, her sister Matie had married Fordyce Byron Kerr in December of 1901, a few months previously, her sister Edna was still unmarried but would marry Frank Lowen the following year. So..... we coined the phrase 'Aha! Nana married the lodger'.

We know that William was a member of the union Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen for more than 45 years, so he could have been employeed by the railroad as early as 1897, as we have a photo of him taken in January of 1942 for his work ID picture.

William and Ethel had two children, Paula May who was born July 31, 1903, and Elaine Pearl who was born March 25, 1906 on her parents 4th wedding anniversary. They were both born in Grand Junction, Colorado.

William was working for the Denver and Rio Grande Railway, and sometime between the birth of Elaine in 1906 and 1920, they moved to Bingham Canyon, Utah.

Picture of the Grand Junction Railway Station taking in 1905A 1905B

In 1907, the Denver and Rio Grande Western completed a new line into Bingham Canyon to accomodate increased capacity at the Bingham mine. This could explain the move of the family to Utah.

In the 1920 census, we find William, Ethel, Paula and Elaine, living at #5 Heaston Heights, in Bingham Canyon, William is working as a switchman for the railroad.



Published by Pam Meyer

Meyer Family Homepage