The subject of this sketch is the late William Thompson, who was one of the early settlers of the Solomon valley, and a man whose memory is held in reverence by all his neighbors and friends. He was the founder of the first Sabbath school in the vicinity known as Fisher Creek; the promoter of the first school, instrumental in the building of the first school house, and active in every enterprising project. His was a life full of good and noble impulses, and to such men as Mr. Thompson the Solomon valley country owes much of its development.
William Thompson was a son of Joshua and Anna (Likes) Thompson. He was a native of Harrison county, Ohio, born in 1815. In his early manhood he moved to Vanceville, Pennsylvania, and shortly afterward received the appointment of postmaster and kept a village store for seven years. In 1855 he emigrated to Ogle county, Illinois, where he kept a hotel, or rather tavern, as they were called in those days. In 1871, during that period of emigration when every road was thronged with prairie schooners, freighted with families and their belongings, bound for the land of Kansas, the Thompsons came to the Solomon valley and took their places in the rank and file of those hardy early settlers. Mr. Thompson bought the Aaron Spalding homestead, now owned by Mr. Louthan, and where they lived through sunshine and cloud until 1892, when they sold the farm and moved into Glasco, buying the home where Mrs. Thompson and her daughter now live. Mr. Thompson was stricken with paralysis and died in 1892, at the age of seventy-seven years.
Our subject was married February 29, 1839, to Mary Thompson, who is a native of Flushing, Belmont county, Ohio, born in 1817. When Mrs. Thompson was ten years old her mother died and she was reared by her maternal grandmother. In those days there were no railroads and she, in company with a brother, walked to her grandmother's home, the distance being one hundred miles. Mrs. Thompson's paternal grandmother was a Canon, and the city of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, was named for her brother. Her maternal ancestry were French. Her mother was Ann Groseau. Mrs. Thompson is a well preserved woman and though nearing the century mark, she is active in both mind and body. She is the only living member of a family of seven children. A brother, Samuel Thompson, died about two years ago, at the age of eighty-eight years. Her brothers were all tradesmen, noted for their honor and integrity.
Mr. Thompson was one of ten children, none of whom survive him. A sister, Martha Marsh, visited him a few years prior to his death, after a separation of forty years. She had learned of his residence through inquiry and without announcing her intention of doing so came on a visit. Before making her identity known she stopped a couple of days at the Haynes House, in Glasco, for the purpose of determining whether her relatives were desirable acquisitions. She drove out with a neighbor and asked for a night's lodging; when the name was announced a joyful meeting followed between brother and sister who had met as strangers. When talking over childhood days each remembered instances that recalled their youth.
Mr. and Mrs. Thompson were the parents of seven children. Rachel is unmarried and lives with her mother. She taught in a dugout that had been a bachelor's residence, the first school in the Fisher Creek settlement before the organization of the district. It was a subscription school of perhaps a dozen pupils. She also taught the first term in the new school house for a salary of twenty dollars per month. The aged mother and her daughter have a very comfortable home. They are members of the Presbyterian church. [Miss Rachel Thompson was deceased in December, 1902. - Editor.]
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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