Thornberry is at the intersection of Farm roads 2393 and 171, in northwestern Clay County. It was established in 1890 by settlers from Illinois and originally called Illinois Colony. Within a few years of its founding, however, it was renamed Thornberry, after Amos Thornberry, a leading settler and dedicated orchardist who introduced large-scale orchard-based agriculture into the county. By 1891 the community had a post office, although it lasted only until 1908. A proposed rail line linking Thornberry to Wichita Falls was never completed. The population was listed as twenty throughout the 1930s and 1940s. Four rated businesses operated locally in the mid-1930s, two in the late 1940s. From the late 1950s, when the community had three businesses, to 2000, when it had none, Thornberry reported a population of sixty.
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