Trumbold Families

Elias J. Tharp


Elias J. Tharp was born January 12, 1832, in Kentucky to Reason and Elizabeth Tucker Tharp.  The Tharps came to Missouri by 1844 when Elias' father, Reason (Rezin) Tharp, died on July 30, 1844, in Callaway County, Missouri.  The Missouri state census for 1844 shows that Elias was living with his mother, "Widow Tharp/Thorp".  She would marry Jasper Newton Moore on June 19, 1845. 


This 1844 Missouri census actually has two entries for this family:


#1077  Widow Tharp/Thorp?? in Auxvasse Township

     2 males 10-17  [Elias, 12, and James, 10]

     1 female under 10   [Orintha, 6]

     1 female 21-45 [Elizabeth, 36]


#1106  Moore & Thorp/Tharp in Auxvasse Township

     2 males 10-17  [Elias and James]

     1 male 21-45   [Jasper Moore, 27]

     1 female under 10   [Orintha]

     1 female 21-45 [Elizabeth]        


I cannot find Elias (who would have been 18) or the Moore family in the 1850 census.


Elias J. Tharp married four times and each wife was named Elizabeth or a variation thereof.  He married Elizabeth A. Darm(sic) July 31, 18531.  A notation in the Jefferson City Inquirer (August 13, 1853) states that " On Sunday, the 30th ult. in Jefferson City, Elias J. Sharp [ sic, Tharp] and Miss Elizabeth Ann Darne, all of Callaway County, were married by the Rev. Mr. Perry."


Their children were:

William T., born May 7, 1854 who married Annie Allen in 1883, Lizzie Robertson in 1885

Arabella, born November 27, 1855 who married Joseph Reece Scholl


His wife passed away on January 22, 1856, at the young age of 24 - two months after Arabella was born.  William was only 20 months old.  "Aunt Orintha" Tharp Jackson apparently raised these two small children for awhile.


Elias married Elizabeth Menteer (or Mateer) on February 18, 1858.  She lived for only a few months.  He then married Eliza B. Maxey Fowler. 


The 1860 US Census for District 78 in Callaway County, MO, page 49, conducted on June 30, 1860 shows that Elizabeth Tharp Moore, the Elias Tharp family, and the James Tharp family lived next to each other.  Although the census indicates that they were living in separate households, they could have actually been living together as Elizabeth Moore is the only one with real estate.


Elizabeth Moore, 52, born in KY, real estate value of $2000, personal property of $200

  Amantha (wrong spelling if this is Orintha), 14 (Orintha would have been   22?), born in MO


Elias Tharp, 28, born in KY, farmer, personal property of $400

   William T., 6

   Arabella, 4


James Tharp, 27, born in MO, personal property of $300

   Matilda A., 24, born in MO

   Henry Dose (can't read spelling), 24, born in Hannover [Germany]


The 1870 US Census for Auxvasse Township (Portland Post Office) in Callaway County, MO, page 24, conducted on August 19 and 20, 1970, shows:


Elias J. Tharp, 38, farmer, born in KY, real estate value of $2000 and  personal property of $2000

   Eliza, 33, keeps house, born in MO

   William, 16, born in MO

   Arabella, 13, born in MO

   Levina Maxey, 17 [at home], born in MO


His stepdaughter, Dora Fowler, died in June 1870.  A death notice in the June 17, 1870, Fulton Telegraph says "Dora Fowler [died] at the residence of her stepfather, E. J. Tharp, in Callaway County.  Dau of William S. and Eliza B. Fowler (now Eliza B. Tharp) aged 4 years, 5 months, and 25 days."


On July 21, 1872, Sparrel Tharp, the infant son of E. J. and Eliza B. Tharp died near Readsville at the age of 5 months and 13 days2.


On September 26, 1872, his daughter, Arabella, married Joseph Reece Scholl.


Eliza B. Tharp must have passed away between July and December 1872 because on December 1, 1872, Elias married Sarah (Sallie) Elizabeth Hutts, daughter of Bluford Hutts3.  Their daughter, Pearl, was born about 1880 (and later married Art Lynes July 27, 1904).  Another daughter, Ethel, lived for only two months.


The 1876 Missouri census or Auxvasse Township, Post Office of Portland, (page 81) shows

E. J. Tharp, male, 21-45 (Elias was 44)

Sarah E., female, 21-45

James M., male 21-45 (he was 43)

Iantha Moore, female over 45 (the census take mixed up the ages for Iantha and Elizabeth)

Elizabeth Moore, female 21-45


This census also detailed livestock and crops.  Elias had 2 horses, 3 cattle, 12 hogs and raised wheat, corn, oats and tobacco.  His brother, James, who is apparently living with him had 1 horse, 2 mules, 2 cattle, 14 hogs and also raised the same crops.


The 1876 plat map of Callaway County shows that Elias owned 80 acres in Section 16 of Township 45 North, Range 7 West which is 3 miles south of Readsville and 3 miles north of Portland.  Bordering this land is that of TJ (Thomas Jefferson) Jackson who was married to Elias' sister, Orynthia in 1857.


Elias committed suicide on August 16, 1882, at the age of 50.  No one in the family has any idea why he shot himself.  He left a small child - Pearl, 2.  A newspaper account (source unidentified) of which we have a copy graphically describes his last day. 



A Well Known Citizen puts a Pistol to His Head

And Blows Out His Brains


On Thursday morning, August 16th, the residents in the neighborhood of Readsville were shocked to learn that in Joseph Scholl's pasture, about four miles north of Readsville, on the Williamsburg road, Elias J. Tharp, a well known farmer residing near Portland, had been found dead, sitting at the foot of a black oak tree.  In his right hand, which is across his lap, was a 38 calibre Smith and Wesson pistol, tightly clutched, and from a hole in his forehead dripped blood and brains.


The facts preceding the fatal act, as we learn them, are as follows:  Mr. Tharp was not known to be subject to any disease.  The day before he had complained of pain in his side and thought he had caught cold and was a little feverish and he had been sleeping more than usual that day.  He was about to come to Fulton in company with Mr. J.T. Hutts, his brother-in-law, for the purpose of making a final settlement in the estate of Bluford Hutts, deceased, of which the two were administrators.  Mr. Tharp had gone with his family, wife and two little girls, to the home of his daughter, Mrs. Joe Scholl.  He and Mr. Hutts were to have come to Fulton on Wednesday, but as Mr. Tharp was not feeling well, they postponed the trip to Thursday.


On Wednesday night Mrs. Scholl noticed that her father was up several times during the night, and the last time he got up (about day) she noticed that he went out to the east gate:  she called to him saying that was not the way to Thos. Hutts' house.  Mr. Tharp walked back to the door and asked Mrs. Scholl to hand him his satchel.  He took a bundle from the satchel and returned it, saying there was a book in the satchel that he wanted.  Then he started off in the direction of Thos. Hutts' house, a quarter of a mile distant.  In a short time, between daylight and sun up, the family heard a shot, but paid no attention to it thinking some one was shooting at squirrels.


Mr. Hutts


Started for the Scholl house at an early hour.  In crossing the pasture he came upon a horrible sight.  There sat Mr. Tharp, with his feet crossed, at the root of a black oak tree, his left hand lying on his lap, his right clinched with a death grip on the pistol, while blood dripped from a small hole almost in the centre of his forehead.  Mr. Hutts only waited long enough to ascertain that Mr. Tharp was dead, and then hurried to the Scholl house and gave the alarm.  The neighbors were called in and they at once went to the scene of the tragedy.  It was found that the suicide had carefully removed his coat and vest and folded them and then placed them on some brush, laying his hat on top of the clothes.  Then he had taken his seat at the root of the tree, crossing his feet, and placed the 38 Smith & Wesson pistol at almost the centre of his forehead, and fired.  Evidently, his death was instantaneous.


An Inquest


Was held by a jury impannelled by Squire McLaughlin, and a verdict in accordance with the above facts was returned.  When found the body was only about a hundred yards from the house, $3.70 was found in his pockets.  No writing was left that indicated the cause of the suicide. Mr. Tharp was just fifty years old on the day he shot himself.  The funeral sermon was preached by Rev. Henry Kay at Bethel church on Friday.  The deceased was a member of the Methodist church.  He was born in Kentucky, but his parents removed to this State and settled near Portland when he was a small boy.  He had been married four times, and his fourth wife survives him.  His second wife was a daughter of John Mateer, his third wife the widow Fowler, and the fourth was the daughter of Bluford Hutts, deceased.  There are two children by his first wife and two by the last."


The text of the account in the Fulton Telegraph, Friday Morning, August 24, 1883 reads:


"The Montgomery City Ray says:  E. J. Tharp who resided 3 miles South of Readsville suicide by shooting his brains out at the residence of his Son in Law, Jo. Scholl, three miles North of Readsville Thursday morning.  Deceased was 55[sic] years old, was the father of four children, two of whom are married, and the others are small.  He had been married four times and wife number 4 survives him.  We have heard no cause assigned for the suicide."


He and his first wife, Elizabeth Ann Darne Tharp, are buried near the "McCall house" near Readsville, Missouri, I presume this is now called the McCall Cemetery.


Probate records for Elias J. Tharp4 in Callaway County show that he possessed the following real estate at the time of his death although there is also a note that perhaps his mother, Mrs. Moore, had an interest in the land:


     SW 1/4 of NE 1/4  Section 16, Township 46, Range  7

     SE 1/4 of NE 1/4                 16                  46               7

     NE 1/4 of NW 1/4               17                  46               7

     E 1/2 of SW 1/4                    8                  46               7

     SE 1/4 of NW 1/4               16                  46               7


Personal property and notes amounted to $541 including several hundred railroad ties.


Source Notes


1.      Marriage Records of Callaway County 1821-1871, page 101, performed by Daniel Penny [Perry?].

2.      Fulton Telegraph, August 2, 1872.

3.      Callaway County, Missouri, Marriage Records, Record #C 315.

4.      Callaway County, Missouri, Probate Records, Microfilm 163-5.

Elias J. Tharp