Town of Thayne History

Town of Thayne History
By Howard McKim

Following the course of the Salt River through the narrow passage in the hills north of Upper Star Valley, the pioneers of the late 1879's came to another valley which became known as the Lower Star Valley, or the Lower Valley.

Early settlers stayed in what is now Thayne, which was then known as Glencoe. The McFarlane and Baxter families gave the settlement its name to remind them of their native Scotland.

The first permanent settler's home was built by John Vail in the fall of 1887. He brought his mother, Tyresha Ann Vail, and his grandmother, Martha Vail, from Idaho to spend the winter of 1887-88 with him in his new home.

In 1891, a church was built in Thayne. This was a log building with a dirt roof and a split pole floor.

The first school teacher was Mrs. Lyde Vail, who taught school in the church for a period of six weeks in the winter of 1891.

In 1889, the McFarland family entertained the entire populace, consisting of 14 families in their home for the first Thanksgiving celebration.

Mail was brought into the valley in the early days by anyone who would volunteer this service. A small one room log cabin owned by Joseph Thayne was one place where mail could be obtained in those early days. While living in the log cabin, Henry Thayne's wife, Laura, promoted the idea of an official post office. Because there was already a Glencoe, WY, the new post office, which also included the first store, was officially established May 8, 1891 and was called Thayne.

The Dayton Scale was developed by an early settler by the name of Lindberg. After patenting the design, he returned to Dayton, Ohio where his scale was perfected and manufactured. His share of the royalties made him a millionaire.

Elsie Roberts practiced medicine from 1899 to 1930 in the Lower Valley. She had a license as a midwife and also set broken bones and performed minor operations.

The Star Valley Swiss Cheese Company at Thayne opened for business January 1, 1949 with Ernest Brog as manager.

Prior to 1952, Thayne did not have an organized fire department but the town did have a fire wagon. It was a Model A Ford pickup with a 300 gallon water tank mounted on the back of it. Whenever a fire occurred, the fire wagon was manned by whoever was near.

Town of Thayne Cemetery History
Location: In Thayne, turn east at the Maverik Country Store corner (Dana Street). Travel 0.4 mile then turn right (south) on the dirt road leading up the knoll. Proceed another 0.6 miles to the cemetery. (GPS 42.91605N 110.99078W)
How Obtained: Charles Stoker gave 10 acres to the ward (Bishop Hokanson) for a cemetery.
History: by Nellie Titensor
Malinda Wright was the first death in the community. She was buried on the hill above Wendell Hemmert's place, northeast of Edna Roberts place about one-eighth mile. Enos Hebdon homesteaded the land and the graves of Malinda Wright, Alma Vail's baby and Mr. James McFarland were moved to the present location. Charles Stoker later homesteaded the place and it was agreed that he should give ten acres to the Ward (Bishop Hokanson) and be reimbursed by the sale of burial lots as time went on.

Today, the cemetery is cared for by a Board of Directors and a lot sells for $25.00. Water has been piped and a lawn planted. It is located on a hill and a credit to its community.

According to the listings found in the Stake records, the earliest graves are in this order:
LeRoy Miller - 16 February 1889
James Samuel Miller, Jr. - 4 April 1889 (died in 1888, Gifford)
Malinda Louise Snyder Wright - 15 May 1889.

According to Mrs. Arvell Gifford, who has the "Miller" record in her possession, LeRoy Miller and James Samuel Miller, Jr. were buried in Freedom (Tincup) because that part of Thayne (across the river) belonged to Freedom at that time.

In the year 1958, the Variety Club of Thayne started a project to beautify the cemetery plot. A committee of six was elected to oversee this project. Supplies were given, donations asked for and labor as well. The ground was leveled and the entire plot reseeded. Headstones were replaced and roads made accessible.