Sarah Elizabeth (Thorp) Heald was the daughter of Freeman Thorp*. Following in her father’s footsteps, her paintings often portrayed our early pioneer days and the American Indians of this area. She was a gifted artist, receiving her training at the Corcoran Art School of Washington, D.C. Four of her paintings are on display in the Crow Wing County Historical Courthouse and include:
In addition to being a painter, she has works which include a novel, poetry, and a brief history of Crow Wing County. During the 1930’s, she was secretary of the newly formed Crow Wing County Historical Society. Sarah Thorp Heald left us with her paintings and writings that speak to us of her life-long interest and dedication to recording the early history of Crow Wing County.
*Freeman Thorp (1844-1922) was born in Geneva, Ohio. He studied portrait painting and at the age of 27 began to paint statesmen in a studio built for his use on the roof of the U.S. Capitol. It was there that Ulysses Grant sat for his portrait. Thorp painted 4 other presidential portraits: Abraham Lincoln (currently hangs in the Senate Wing of the U.S. Capital), James Garfield, William McKinley, and Grover Cleveland. He also did portraits of a number of other eminent Americans, including Chief Justice Salmon Chase, Horace Greeley, and Robert E. Lee. He was 33 years old when he painted the portrait of Secretary Cameron, who, although a dozen years beyond his War Department stewardship, was still sitting in the Senate.