Arriving in California in 1889 with assets consisting chiefly of a strong constitution, reliable character and a determination to succeed. John C. Thorp has made his own way and and is •now among the leading contractors of the San Francisco bay region. He was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, England, January 15, 1866, and was the son of George and Eliza (Iredale) Thorp, who were natives of the same shire. They immigrated many years ago to Toronto, Canada, where the father was a contractor for many years, though he now makes his home in Buffalo, N. Y., his wife having passed away some years ago. The oldest of their children, John C. Thorp, was educated in the schools of England and it was also in his native land that he apprenticed to and learned the carpenter's trade under his 'father, who was interested in the firm of Thorp, Terry & Scofield (all cousins) owners of the Prospect saw mills in Bradford, England. It was there that John Thorp became an all-round mill man as well as a carpenter and builder. In 1881 he came to Toronto, Canada, where he was employed with John Fletcher & Sons in their planing mill until 1885, when he came west to Saskatchewan. Soon after this he came to the Pacific Coast and in 1889, to San Jose. He followed his trade for the first two years, and then began general contracting and building, entering upon a career in which he has become very successful.

Among some of the numerous buildings he has erected are the Imperial hotel, Russ hotel, Bank of Italy building, Market Street fire station and some of the finest residences in this city, among them the Harris home, Dr. Flemming's residence, the Leon home, Roca home and the Leet residence, all of which are very beautiful, artistically and architecturally. He also built the large cannery for the Bayside Canning Company at Mayfield, the Alviso cannery and the one at Isleton, Sacramento County. Aside from the Santa Clara Valley he has had contracts for buildings all over California, having built dehydrators all over the state, after a method which he has patented.

Mr. Thorp's marriage occurred in Toronto, Canada. where he was united with Miss Janet McIntosh, who was born in London, England, of Scotch parents, who brought her to Toronto when she was four years of age. Her parents spent their last days in San Jose. Mrs. Thorp is a cultured, refined woman, who presides gracefully over her home that has been blessed with two children; George, who served in the U. S. Navy during the World War, learned carpentry and building under his father, and is now a foreman for him; Lilly, a charming young lady, a graduate of San Jose high school, assists her mother in presiding over the household. Mr. Thorp is popular both in social and business circles, being a member of the San Jose Chamber of Commerce, the Maccabees and Uniform rank of the Knights of the Maccabees, and the San Jose Lodge of Elks; in politics he is a Republican. Mr. Thorp is now the second oldest contractor and builder in San Jose; when he began business here at the age of twenty-six years he was the youngest builder here, but his hard work, close application and well-directed energy have placed him in the front rank among the most enterprising and progressive men in California. He gives no small degree of his success to his estimable wife, who has always aided him and encouraged him in his ambition, thus doing all she could to assist him in establishing such an enviable position among leading Californians. A man of pleasing personality and kindliness of heart, living strictly to the Golden Rule, he is public spirited to a high degree and is at all times, for all things for the good of the Santa Clara Valley.
From Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. 721