Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918
HON. W. W. THOMPSON. The interests of the widow and orphan are protected and safeguarded so far as is humanely possible in Labette County where W. W. Thompson is probate judge. That is the finest proof of his administration of that office during the last six years. Judge Thompson, while not a lawyer by profession, is a man of judicial temperament, of wide experience in business and public affairs, and has both the personal integrity and impartiality which qualify him so well for his present duties.
He is one of the older settlers of Labette County. He was born in Montgomery County, Illinois, April 3, 1864, and is of Scotch descent. His grandfather Archibald Thompson was born in Scotland, came to America in time to participate in the War of 1812, afterwards settled in Kentucky, where he married, and then moved to Illinois where he followed farming in Clinton County until his death in 1866. Judge Thompson was about two years of age when his grandfather died.
The father, G. W. Thompson, was born in Kentucky January 19, 1839. He grew to manhood in his native state, but was married in Jefferson County, Illinois, where he spent many years as a farmer and stock raiser. He died in Montgomery County in January, 1906. He was a deacon in the Baptist Church and in politics a democrat. G. W. Thompson married Mary J. Rainey, who was born in Tennessee in 1840 and died in Montgomery County, Illinois, in 1876. Their children were: Cynthia A., wife of W. A. Davis, a coal miner at Hornsby, Illinois; Louisa I., who lives in Decatur, Illinois, the widow of J. T. Owens, who was a railroad man, and died November 3, 1914; W. F. Thompson, a Baptist minister now located at Petersburg, Illinois; Judge W. W.; G. W., Jr., a breeder of fine stock at Girard, Kansas; and M. G. Thompson, who recently came from Valparaiso, Nebraska, to Parsons, and has bought a farm in Labette County.
As a boy Judge Thompson spent his time on a farm in Montgomery County, Illinois, attended the public schools there, and in 1884 attended the course of the high school at Litchfield. On leaving high school at the age of eighteen he came out to Kansas and for a time farmed at McCune in Crawford County. For more than twenty years he was successfully identified with farming and the raising of breeding stock in Labette County. Judge Thompson enjoys a high repute among the farmers in this section of Kansas, and is still identified with the industry as the owner of farming land. His principal farm consists of 160 acres and is situated in Liberty Township two miles south of Parsons. He also has a farm in Oswego Township, twenty acres of which are inside the city limits. His own home at Oswego, where he has resided since his election to the office of probate judge, is at 5 Illinois Street.
Since he was twenty-one years of age Judge Thompson has been actively interested in republican politics, and has filled a number of positions both of a political nature and involving public trusts. In 1910 he was proposed as a candidate for the office of county judge, was elected, and has since been regularly reelected at the end of each two years. In 1916 he was reelected for a fourth term with practically no important opposition. While living in Liberty Township he served a number of years on the school board and for four years was justice of the peace. He now has his offices in the courthouse at Oswego.
Judge Thompson is a deacon in the Baptist Church, and particularly in the early days took a very prominent part in the American Horse Thief Association. He was president of Lodge No. 193, A. H. T. A. in Liberty Township for seven years, was elected seven consecutive years as a state delegate and was a national delegate in 1909 at Fort Smith, Arkansas, and in 1910 at Jacksonville, Illinois. Judge Thompson is one of the five members of the Board of Public Welfare Club at Oswego, and for the past three years has served as a member of the city school board. He belongs to the Oswego Commercial Club. In 1886 in McCune, Kansas, he married Miss Alice M. Ross, daughter of R. M. and Jane (Marshall) Ross. Her father, now deceased, was a farmer in Crawford County, and her mother resides in McCune. Judge and Mrs. Thompson have six children: F. R. Thompson, who operates his father's old farm and stock ranch two miles south of Parsons; Grace L., wife of O. L. Gray, a farmer five miles south of Parsons; E. R. Thompson, who lives on his father's farm in Oswego; A. R. Thompson, who is a student in the Kansas State University at Lawrence, graduated from the Oswego High School in 1915, and is his father's deputy during vacations; Myrtle M., is a senior in the Oswego High School; and Mabel, the youngest, is in the eighth grade of the public schools.
Transcribed from volume 4, pages 1940-1941 of A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; originally transcribed 1998, modified 2003 by Carolyn Ward.
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