From the book History of Vermilion County (1879):
Eli Thornton was here at a very early day. He was a good carpenter and a good Quaker. He had a water mill on the Little Vermilion at the Wright-Cook ford. He built it the year after the frost killed the trees in June (probably 1837). The frost which appeared in that month was severe enough to kills the trees themselves in many localities. The mill was both a gristmill and a sawmill. The need of the latter was more particular at this time because of the fact that many of the trees had been killed the previous season. Thornton ran this mill until 1857, when the frame was sold to James Frazier's farm for a barn. The stones lie there yet. Mr. Thornton went to Sadorus Grove.
Eli married Sara Madden 23 December 1826 at Montgomery County. Ohio. They were the parents of William, twins Jonathan and David, Abigail, Charity, Malinda, Zimri and John.