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Joseph Henry Horton [h.]

Joseph Henry Horton was the first child of Joseph Horton & Mary Altham (nee Sproat) born April 22nd, 1878 in Smithfield, Utah, USA.

The 1880 census of Smithfield, Utah shows Joseph (listed as Henry J) living with his parents.  There were 2 other people listed with them – William H Altham (17) born in England & John S Altham (12) born in Utah - the children of Mary from her previous marriage to John Altham. 

In 1898 Joseph Henry, known as Henry, enlisted in the ‘C’ Company of the First Idaho Volunteers to fight in the American-Philippino war that took place from 1899-1902.  Henry was so keen to volunteer that he paid his own fare down to Boise to enlist. 

A newspaper report on October 10th, 1899, describes the celebrations in Challis to welcome home Henry, a local hero.  He fought in the Battle of Santa Ana where he was at the forefront of the charge when the Idahos crossed the bridge.  On his return to Challis Henry was noticeably weakened by sickness & the tropical climate. 


Joseph Henry Horton

(photo courtesy of Carol Coombs)

 Henry was a silver miner & the 1900 census shows him boarding in Bay Horse, Challis Precinct, Custer, Idaho.

Henry married Cecil Maude Elizabeth Cornish on June 23rd, 1904 at Meridian, Ada County, Idaho.  Maude was born on July 10th, 1882 at Blackhawk, Gilpin County, Colorado, the daughter of Margaret Elizabeth Stanaway & John Brown Cornish Snr., a farmer.

In 1910 Henry & Maude were living in Challis Village where Henry was a policeman.  They had 2 children at this time – Margaret L (3) & Myrtle F (1 year & 9 months). 

During WW1 Henry was drafted on September 12th 1918  & his occupation at that time was a lumberman.

In 1920 Henry & Maude were living at 4 Main St & Henry was now a sawyer at the lumber mill.  They now had 4 children at home (Margaret) Lois, Myrtle F, John Henry (7) & Mary E (3 years 2 months).

Sadly Maude died at the age of just 41.  She died on January 29th, 1924 & was buried at Meridian Cemetery, Ada County.

The children of Joseph Henry Horton & Cecil Maude Elizabeth Cornish were:

h.  Margaret Lois Horton born August 2nd 1906 at Dewey, Owyhee, Idaho; died September 25th, 1985 at Nampa, Canyon County, Idaho
h.  Myrtle Francis Horton born June 19th, 1908 at Challis, Custer County, Idaho; died August 4th, 1940 at Blackfoot, Bingham County, Idaho
h.  John Henry Horton born February 9th, 1913 at Challis, Custer County, Idaho; died October 18th, 1950 in Boise, Ada County, Idaho

h. Mary E Horton born c1916 at Challis, Custer County, Idaho

On November 17th, 1926 Henry married Maude’s younger sister, Myrtle Mary Ida Cornish at Ada, Idaho.  Myrtle was born April 20th, 1889 at Blackhawk, Gilpin, Colorado.

By 1930 Myrtle & Henry were living in the Lovell Precinct of Benewah County, Idaho & Henry was now employed as a blacksmith.  With them was Henry’s daughter, Mary E, from his first marriage & he & Myrtle now had a 2 year old daughter, Maude. Henry’s son John was listed with his grandparents, Margaret & John Cornish at the time of the census in Custer, Idaho. 

In 1940 the family were still at the same address & at home were daughter Maude & son William C (8).  Henry was still a blacksmith with the Indian Department.    Later in 1940 Henry retired from Government Service with the Indian Agency & returned to live in Meridian. Son John, a carpenter, had married Dorothy Dee Matthews & they were living in Ada County, Idaho with their 2 year old daughter, Carol in 1940.

Henry died September 19th, 1947 at his home in Meridian, Ada County, aged 69. After a service at the Methodist Church of Meridian Henry was interred at the Meridian Cemetery.

Myrtle died April 16th, 1948 at Meridian, Ada County, aged 58.

Son John Henry died aged 37 as the result of an accident in 1950. While working as a shop foreman at the Martin Tyre Company, he was struck in the abdomen by a lever while removing a repaired tyre. He died at Boise Hospital just 10 minutes after the accident. He left a widow, 2 daughters & a son.

Son William Clarence, known as Bill, served in the US Air Force after studying commercial art at the University of Colorado. He worked as an illustrator for the State Highway Department for 25 Years & was an art instructor at local galleries. He exhibited much of his own work in acrylics, watercolours & pastels & his works were collected throughout the US.

The children of Joseph Henry Horton & Myrtle Mary Ida Cornish were:

h.  Cecil Maude Horton born c1927 in Idaho
h.  William Clarence Horton born December 17th, 1931 in Idaho; died November 9th, 1983 in Boise, Ada County, Idaho



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