M. A. Thompson, president of the Citizens State Bank, of Blue Rapids, is a native son of Kansas. He was born at Waterville, November 30, 1877, a son of F. E. and Virginia (Carpenter) Thompson, natives of Pennsylvania who came to Illinois, and from there to Kansas, and settled in Waterville, where the father was engaged in the real estate and farm loan business and was an extensive land owner. M. A. Thompson received his early educational discipline in the Westerville public schools and graduated from the high school in the class of 1891. He was the valedictorian of his class. He then took a course in stenography and typewriting in the Cedar Rapids Business College at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and graduated in the class of 1897, and was also president of his class there. In 1897 he entered the employ of Sweeney & Lovejoy at Osage, Iowa, a prominent law firm at that place. The senior member of the firm was a leading member of the Iowa bor[sic] and an ex-congressman and the junior member was county attorney.
During the two years that Mr. Thompson was with that firm they convicted thirteen men, who were sent to the penitentiary, four of whom received life sentences. Mr. Thompson studied law with this firm, but in 1899 he accepted a position with the Northern Pacific Railway Company in the general passenger department and later was secretary to A. M. Cleveland, who is now the general passenger agent of that company. He was in the railroad business four years, and during that time at different times was chief clerk and secretary to the general passenger agent, A. L. Craig, and secretary to Charles F. Fee, general passenger agent. He went from the passenger department to the land commissioner's office of the Northern Pacific Railway Company under W. H. Phipps and was then promoted chief clerk to R. I. Farrington, who was J. J. Hill's financial agent and held the offices of comptroller and second vice-president of the Great Northern Railroad Company. From that office Mr. Thompson was appointed secretary to Charles S. Mellen, president of the Northern Pacific Company, recently made famous as the president of the New York, New Haven & Hartford railroad. After about a year in the president's office Mr. Thompson resigned to accept a position in the Court of Land Registration of the Philippine Islands. He had made a study of the Torrens Land Act and was appointed to help install that system in the Philippine Islands. He remained there four years and his promotion was as rapid as it had been during his railroad career. He was also appointed superintendent of a Government night school in the Philippines and had supervision of eight teachers and from 350 to 500 pupils. During the time he was connected with the Philippine service he visited Australia, China, Japan and many other countries, and when he left the Islands in 1906 he made a tour of the world, visiting many countries, studying the habits and customs of the people and the scenery and institutions as he journeyed from place to place. When he was in Japan the Russo-Japan war was on in all its fury. He returned to America in 1906 and back to his native Kansas, locating at Blue Rapids, and on September 1st of that year bought a half interest in the Citizens State Bank, becoming vice-president of that institution in 1910, succeeded to the presidency of the bank and has held that office to the present time. This bank was organized in 1905 with a capital of $15,000.00 and now carries deposits of over $125,000.00 and is one of the substantial institutions of the State. Mr. Thompson is also a member of the firm of Cummings & Thompson, doing a general farm loan and insurance business. He was married, September 4, 1909, to Miss Carrie Miller, daughter of J. P. and Nellie (Goodwin) Miller, of Blue Rapids, Kan. She is a granddaughter of Judge Goodwin, who was one of the most prominent men of northern Kansas. To Mr. and Mrs. Thompson has been born one child, Frederick Miller, born November 18, 1913. Mrs. Thompson was educated in the public schools of Blue Rapids, where she graduated in the high school. She is a member of the Episcopal church.
Mr. Thompson is a thrity-second degree Scottish Rite Mason and a Shriner. He also belongs to the Protective and Benevolent Order of Elks and the Knights of Pythias. His success in every sphere that he has undertaken is worthy of special comment here. He has had a varied career, every phase of which has been marked with success. His vast and varied experience with men and affairs the world over well fits him for the responsible position which he now holds.Pages 384-386 from a supplemental volume of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed October 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM196. It is a single volume 3.
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