Woman of the Century/Emma Homan Thayer
THAYER, Mrs. Emma Homan, author and artist, born in New York, 13th February, 1842. She was educated in Rutgers. Her father, George W. Homan, was a prominent business man of that city for over forty years, and was the first to own and operate a line of omnibuses on Broadway. He moved to Omaha, Neb., when his daughter Emma was fifteen years of age. EMMA HOMAN THAYER. Two years later she became the wife of George A. Graves, a native of Western New York, who subsequently held a prominent position in the war department in Washington, D. C., and died while in office, five years after their marriage. Mrs. Graves then turned her attention to her long-desired wish to become an artist. Returning to New York, she entered the Academy of Design, afterward becoming one of the original members of the Art League, the school opening on Fifth Avenue. Many of her figure paintings have been exhibited in the National Academy of Fine Arts and in many of the large cities. One life-size piece, entitled "Only Five Cents!" won her two gold medals. In 1877 she became the wife of Elmer A. Thayer, of Worcester, Mass. They lived in Chicago, Ill., for the following six years, and she devoted her entire time to her art. In 1882 Mr. Thayer's large business interests called him to Colorado. They moved to Salida, where they now reside in a beautiful home in the very heart of the Rocky Mountains. There Mrs. Thayer found nature offering a new and inexhaustible field for her art in the delicate and beautiful Mora of that rich region. Her first book, "Wild Flowers of Colorado," was published in 1883 (New York). It contains twenty-four plates of the mountain (lowers found in that State, and has had a large sale. Two years later " Wild Flowers of the Pacific Coast " was published, and proved even more beautiful than its predecessor. One of the highest examples of the genius of this American artist is a memorial window, which adorns the Church of the Ascension in Salida. It is dedicated to the memory of her father, who died in 1886. Her talent as a writer of fiction is shown in her novel, "An English-American," published in 1890. She is not only a gifted artist and versatile writer, but her life bears a noble record of charitable deeds. Of her four children, only one is living, Byron H. Graves, A daughter, Mrs. J. Wallis Ohl, died 1892.