Anson Mills (August 31, 1834 - November
5, 1924) was a United States Army officer,
surveyor, inventor, and entrepreneur.
Engaged in south Texas as a land surveyor
and civil engineer, he both named and laid out
the city of El Paso, Texas. Mills also invented
a woven cartridge belt which late in life made
his fortune.

Read more.
Anson Mills at 58
with his son, Anson
Cassel Mills
however the date seems about right.

In the 1880 Census it lists him as a School Teacher.

I was unable to see the 1910 image of the Census and family search did not have
an occupation included. However, the best info I came across here was this
1900 Census
Quiz #449 Results
Bookmark and Share
Answers to Quiz #449 - September 21, 2014
1. What is the name of this town?
2. What is the address of the building to the left across the street?
3. What connection does the town have to El Paso, TX?
Thanks to Daniel Dean for contributing this photo.
1.  Thorntown, Indiana
2. 102 East Main St.
3. General Anson Mills, founder of El Paso, TX was born in Thorntown, IN.
Thorntown, IN,_Indiana
Comments from Our Readers
#2 is a bit tricky. I think the dividing line between east and west in Thorntown is
Market Street. So now I am back to picking the address at 102 W Main,
Thorntown, Indiana. I believe the name of the place is "Peanut's Place".
Cindy Costigan
I am at work now and found the following link, which referenced J.C. Comstock
and helped give me the town that the hardware was located in (see page 43). This
was the big clue that helped me pinpoint things. I found this after searching and
searching. Then once I had this I searched out 1800 and 1900 postcards of
Thorntown and I sent you these links yesterday.

Going forward, I will mark down the hints that I use to find the answers to your
quizzes.  Sometimes, such as this one, I am “all over the map” trying to pinpoint
answers and I forget what it was that brought me to the different locations.  My
mind works in very strange ways as you can see.
Cindy Costigan
Well I was able to read the name of the hardware company and I did a search of
that and found a magazine for hardware stores from the early part of the 1900’s
that listed members of some Hardware association – one of them was J.C.
Comstock in Thorntown, IN.  Then I looked for images of the town and found one
of a mainstreet parade (a recent photo) and many of the buildings looked the same.  
On the Wikipedia site for Thorntown it listed the info on the general.  So while I
couldn’t definitively say it was Thorntown, that was enough clues to me that I
figured I got it right.  If I’d had time I could have probably figured out the address
but most of the photos I found were from the other side of the street.

I always forget to use Google Earth!!!
Tish Olshefski
After 2 days of fruitless searches through pictures and towns at the turn of the 20th
Century, what gave the town's name away was a search for the whole phrase: "JC
Comstock" and hardware afterwards. That showed a listing that said JC Comstock
had one of his stores in Thorntown, Indiana. Along with the picture's name and the
El Paso reference (mentioned in its Wikipedia page), I knew that was the right town.

For the second question, I went into Google Maps, located where a big series of
buildings were located on Main Street (which name was obvius) and the Street
View gave me the address.

Hehe, I did find [J C Comstock's] obituary. It was heartbraking to navigate
downtown in google. Abandoned buildings, closed businesses, it seemed like a
ghost town, far from the crowd that appears in the picture. Sadly, it's not the only
Ida Sanchez
I googled “JC Comstock Hardware”.  A page popped up that was a listing of
hardware stores in different towns.  JC Comstock was listed in Thorntown
Indiana.  Then I went to the Thorntown Historical society and looked at their
photos.  Some of the buildings looked similar, but I was still unsure.  On the
Thorntown site there were many pictures of the “Mills Fountain”, donated by
Anson Mills.  So then I googled Anson Mills and there was my confirmation!!

At first I was at a total loss, it took 3 or 4 viewings with nothing striking me before
I came up with the strategy to look up the hardware store.

Fun quiz.

Thanks Colleen!!
Carol Stansell
Will have to go the Google and check the street view.   I was supposed to have
been completing the office inventory preparatory to selling the practice.    I'd much
rather pursue your puzzles!
Kitty Huddleston
I have no hope this is correct.  Is it 103 E. Main Street in Thorntown, Indiana?  A
guy named Anson Mills was born in Thorntown and moved to El Paso.  He had a
distinguished career, but I just know this isn't who you are asking about.  Is it?
Carol Farrant
I was able to find that the town was Thorntown after doing a Google search on A.
N. Canine Grocery, and J. C. Comstock Hardware, although A. N. Canine also had
a grocery in nearby Lebanon, Indiana.  I suspected the town was near Montgomery
County, Indiana, because the name Canine is a relatively well-known family name
there.  In fact, my 4th great grandmother, Elizabeth Ann Wilson VanCleave married
a Ralph Canine in Montgomery County, Indiana, in 1868.  As for finding the
connection with El Paso, a Wikipedia entry about Thorntown listed Anson Mills, the
founder of El Paso, as one of three notable people born there.  Finally, after
determining that the town was Thorntown, I “strolled” down Main Street on
Google Maps and saw that the buildings in your photo were still there and that the
building on the left side of the photo was 103 E. Main Street.

Interestingly, my family of Jolleys come from Crawfordsville, Indiana, which is
only about 20 miles away from Thorntown.

Good quiz.  Keep the old photos coming.
Daniel Jolley
I looked at the photo briefly and did the search on JC Comstock Hardware.  That
led me to Thorntown, IN.  I didn't get any farther than that.

I agree those are the type of puzzles I like best.
Steve Jolley

Congratulations to Our Winners!

Carol Stansell                Michael Dean
Kitty Huddleston                Tish Olshefski
Arthur Hartwell                Cynthia Costigan
Tynan Peterson                Carol Farrant
Margaret Paxton                Judy Pfaff
Janice Sellers                Rebecca Bare
Ida Sanchez                Jessica Jolley
Michael Deal                Marilyn Hamill
Daniel Jolley                Beth Long
Steve Jolley

The Fabulous Fletchers!
Grace Hertz and Mary Turner
If you have a picture you'd like us to feature a picture in a future quiz, please
email it to us at If we use it, you will receive a free analysis of
your picture. You will also receive a free
Forensic Genealogy CD or a 10%
discount towards the purchase of the
Forensic Genealogy book.
If you enjoy our quizzes, don't forget to order our books!
!-- Start Quantcast tag -->
Small Mills Fountain, Main St Thorntown, c1909.
Large fountain can be seen down the block.
Boone County Historical Society
Main St. showing Anson Fountain
Francis and Dorothy were names of the two trolley cars that ran on the
Lebanon to Thorntown route. Operated by the THI&E Traction Company, the
trains ran from 1905 to 1926.  Home National Bank to left.
W. A. Miller, Groceries and Queensware
Gipson & Godley,
Dry Goods and Notions
Boone County Historical Society
A Community Welcomes “Helen” Home

Client: The Fiends of Thorntown Public Library and The
Library Board, Thorntown, Indiana
Robinson Iron Project Manager: Luke Robinson

In 1909 General Anson Mills, Thorntown, Indiana’s most
prestigious citizen, donated a cast iron fountain to the city. Atop the
fountain was an allegorical figure standing among reeds, pouring
water from a jar and entitled “Helen at the Well”. The citizens of
Thorntown welcomed her with great affection and soon the fountain
became the centerpiece of life there. However, in 1944 the City
recognized America’s desperate need of metals for the War effort by
scrapping, melting down and donating the fountain’s materials.

The fountain’s disappearance didn’t dim the fond memories
associated with “Helen”. In 2005 an effort headed by the Thorntown
Public Library’s Director Karen Niemeyer resulted in enough
Anson Mills "My Story'

Comments from Daniel Dean
who submitted this week's quiz photo
I think you have to be with fun stuff like this. I
pulled a couple searches from Google that added to
some information as you said some people had
trouble finding the google books. I found the Obit
of J. C. Comstock as well. The first search I put in
was- "J.C. Comstock" Hardware with the
parenthesis. The second search I did was with
Thorntown replacing Hardware. Just skimming
through the pages I found some fun info. I have
attached the obit I believe to be the correct
Comstock's. If this obit is correct, than it would be
easier for me to find distant relatives to shoot an
email of the photo to if they are interested. In about
20 minutes playing around with some searches, I
have found a photo of the grave and the Census
that matches up the sons from the obit to Jesse
Comstock and Martha of the grave I came across.

Comments from Quizmaster Beth Long
Clues in the Picture
J. C. Comstock Hardware
A Google search produces:
A Google Books search produces:
State           Indiana
County        Boone
Township     Sugar Creek

• Total
       0.60 sq mi (1.55 km2)
• Land        0.60 sq mi (1.55 km2)
• Water        0 sq mi (0 km2)

Elevation        856 ft (261 m)

Population (2010)
• Total        1,520
• Density        2,533.3/sq mi (978.1/km2)
Google Street View
of the intersection of Main and Market Sts.
The Old Boys and Girls at Home
August 3rd and 4th, 1908
(Notice quiz building down on the right side of the street).
Boone County Historical Society
South side of Main St. intersection with Market St., c 1915 and Today
Boone County Historical Society
Angelic dancers perform at the
Throntown Centennial 100th birthday celebration
September 24, 1930
Boone County Historical Society
donated funds to purchase a replica of "Helen"
to be placed in front of the newly expanded
library. Robinson’s replica of “Helen at the
Well” was cast from antique patterns in the
Robinson collection. Niemeyer has been
quoted as saying, “bringing the fountain back
to Thorntown was the impossible dream. As a
community, we have dared to dream that
Indianapolis News
May 26, 1932
p 15
All dependent of the Obit matching the same J. C. Comstock as there could be
another J. C. Comstock that had a hardware business in Thorntown....not likely
but I can't throw out as impossible.

Grave Photo - matched years of 81 -
Census mentioning children in obit
with wife match on Tombstone.
They are off a year for birth date
estimate. In this Census from 1900 if
you look at the image of it, it
mentions him as a store keeper -
Hardware. According to the obit he
had hardware stores in two cities,
1880 Census

On Jan 5, 1901 in the Thorntown

In the OCR Text once again from
"Jan. 1st, 1901 haB come and gone
Your note is due. Your account
ought to be closed at once. I have
sold my hardware business and am
anxious to cIobo up my affairs at
once. Kindly come in and square
your account.
Respectfully, J. C. Comstock."


Eventually, for fun, I may try to
delve into the former name of the
Hardware store and see if I can
find when they went out of
business so I have a starting date
for the photo as well as try and
decipher the other names of the
businesses surrounding
Comstock's. I have not paid for
any sites before so sorry for the
OCR text the site provides. I just
try to figure out ways around
paying for archived newspapers if I
do not have access through my
public library.
Sorry for the longwinded reply but I thought something may be useful for when
you post the answers on your site.

Best Wishes,

Daniel Dean
It was a good picture this week - lots of research and time, and that prolongs
the fun.  :)

After looking at many various search hits for "j.c. comstock hardware", I hit on
a bunch of old books on hardware, the Iron Age, etc. on Google book results,
and they all mentioned J.C. Comstock, Thorntown and hardware.  Example:

This listed Thorntown, Indiana, so I took a chance and looked for historical
images.  I found old postcards and also looked at these and  other photos on

By comparing the structure and layout of the buildings, I was able to tell that I
was right about the city since they matched up.

Then I searched for "Thorntown Indiana El Paso" which came up with Anson
Mills right away.  Not a great heritage museum website, but.... :

There are plenty of museums, historical societies, libraries, etc.  that have info.
on him and addl. photos on Thorntown, Boone County, the Anson Mills

ADDRESS:  I didn't catch that you only wanted the address for the building on
the left; I guess I was stuck on the Comstock building and thinking the store
name to the left of J. C. Comstock - it is "J. T. McKim" as of 1887.

Anyway - photo for the Mills Memorial Fountain, buildings on the right match
up to the photo.  The fountain was built in 1909 at the corner of Main and
Market streets.

Here's a little factoid:
Fort Wayne Daily Gazette
Fort Wayne, Indiana
July 14, 1881

Mr. J. C. Comstock, the newly elected superintendent of the Thorntown
schools, has resigned his position. The county superintendent refused to grant
him a license.

Transcribed by: T. Stover

Beth Long