Silas Thorla -- Renrock Historian

I have a vivid memories of Silar Thorla. At the annual Dye Family Reunion held at the Grange Hall right down the road from my Grandpa Paxton's farm (south of Zanesville, Ohio), Silas was clearly the magnet. Everyone gathered around him to find out how he was feeling and many asked him to retell a favorite story. Silas must have been in his early 90s and was the oldest person that I can recall meeting. Several times I heard the story about how he watched the soldiers coming home from the Civil War. His mother dressed him up in an American Flag dress and he stood on his pourch and waived at the soldiers.

I always wondered how Silas was related to the Dyes. I was probably told but it never seemed to make sense to me as I had little idea of the family history.

A crude sketch of the relationships is given in the figure that follows.

Note that Silas was related by marriage to two lines of the family of John Laurens Dey -- sons John and James. Sarah Dye, great grandaughter of John Laurens married William Polk Willey. Three of their sons (John, Absolom, and James) married three daughters of Benjamin Thorla (M elinda, Alice and Emily). Benjamin was Silas' great uncle. Thus, three of Silas' aunts married sons of Sarah Dye Willey.

Silas Dye married Ella Dickinson, great great grandaughter of Ezekiel Dye and great grandaughter of Thomas Dye.

Silas's sister Florence married Judge Cassius O. Dye, grandson of Ezekiel Dye and son of Furman Dye. [Thomas Dye, oldest of Ezekiel's children was born in 1781 and Furman Dye, his youngest child, was born in 1820.]

Ellsworth Thorla, Silas' brother, married Emma Dye, the great grandaughter of Ezekiel through his son Ezekial Dye, Jr. Her father was John Clark Dye and her mother was Lucinda Swank. Lucinda Swank's grandmother was Sarah Egbert Paul, second wife of Ezekiel Dye. Lucinda's grandfather was Joseph Paul. Ellsworth and Emma Dye Thorla had one son -- Dye Thorla.

Silas's son Forest married Stella Dye who was the great great grandaughter of Ezekiel Dye and great grandaughter of Vincent Dye.

Thus, Silas, his brother, his sister and his son married into the lines of four of Ezekiel Dye's sons.

I wonder, was Silas aware that he was also related to the line from James Dye?

I have included a number of articles that Silas wrote for local newspapers and will continue to add to the collection as time permits. It seems fitting to provide links to his works on this page.

Links To Articles By and About Silas Dye -- Renrock Historian

  1. Thorla, A. Zaile,1977,Some Glimpses Of Old Renrock, Zanesville, Ohio. [A paper bound "Compilation of Writings and Photographs Concerned with the Pioneer Community of Renrock, Ohio. Written and Collected by a Group of Renrock Descendents". A. Zaile Thorla was the daughter of Silas Thorla. Silas was the oldest man (born in 1859) I ever met as a child. I can recall his stories about watching soldiers come home from the Civil War. Many of the materials in this collection were written by Silas and had been previously published by local newspapers.]

  2. Benjamin Dye's Children - Benjamin Dye was the son of James and Sarah Leach Dye. When Benjamin and his wife Elizabeth Lemley died they left three relatively young children orphans. James, George and Sarah married and moved to the Morgan County, Ohio area in the early 1810s where they were "neighbors" of Ezekiel Dye.

  3. The Hoskinsville Rebellion
    by Silas Thorla and an unknown newspaper writer

  4. A Nobel Experiment -- The Making Of A New County
    by SIlas Thorla

  5. Renrock -- A Brief History of Old Renrock
    by Silas Thorla

  6. The Renrock General Store
    by Silas Thorla

  7. Salt Sources for Renrock, Ohio.