AARON THOMPSON, deceased, was born in Cape May county, New Jersey, on the 28th day of January, 1810. He was among the most active, upright and highly respected citizens of Menard county, who achieved success by their indomitable energies rather than by any outside aid. His record is that of many others of the self-made, self-reliant men, prominent in the history of this county, and his career has been marked with the experiences common to that class referred to. His parents, Anson Thompson and Elizabeth (Eldrdge) Thompson, died when he was a small child. He was denied the privilege of attending school as much as he desired, but his was an energy that was not easily thwarted by obstacles and by dint of his own perseverance he succeeded in gaining a good education, and education that was equal to, or even surpassed that of many a college student of today, besides his store of general information and book learning. He was a good penman and expert mathematician and was versed with a most wonderful geographical knowledge. At an early age he learned to earn his own livelihood and in 1837 he bade his native state adieu and came to Illinois. He first located in Sangamon county, where he taught school and clerked in a store. In 1848 he removed to Menard county and settled on a farm about two and one-half miles northwest of Petersburg, where he was actively engaged in farming for over forty years. Then he removed to Petersburg to spend his declining days, but not in idleness. He busied himself looking after his farm interests, and other business affairs with which he was connected.
Mr. Thompson was married September 21, 1848, to Miss Sarah J. Carson, who died in 1854. Two children of this union are living. On April 18, 1865, Mr. Thompson was united in marriage with Mrs. Amanda (Flinn) O'Bannon. She was the daughter of Zadoc W. and Elizabeth (Hill) Flinn, who removed from Kentucky to Illinois in 1820, settling in Morgan county, where Mrs. Thompson was born September 3, 1827. Mr. and Mrs. Flinn were the parents of fourteen children, ten daughters and four sons. This was one of the most prominent and highly respected families of Morgan county and at Mr. Flinn's death he left a vast estate.
Aaron Thompson and his wife, Mrs. Amanda Thompson, were the parents of six children, of whom there are now living: Aaron Edwin; Zadoc Anson; Elizabeth A., wife of G. A. Waring, of Petersburg; Mary Helen, the wife of Dr. E. A. Bleuler, of Carlinville, Illinois; Lulu J., the wife of G. H. Codington, of Chicago. One daughter, S. Kathryn, wife of Harrison Robinson, of Prentice, Illinois, died on the 16th of June, 1889. Fannie H., now Mrs. J. D. Goodpasture, is the daughter of Mrs. Thompson, by her first husband, George W. O'Bannon, who died in 1854.
Mr. Thompson was a life-long Democrat. His first vote was cast for Andrew Jackson. He was a man of pronounced character. He had clear and definite ideas on all matters and expressed his opinion freely, but not offensively, and everyone knew where he stood on every subject. By his active and industrious life he accumulated a competency and died November 10, 1899, surrounded by those comforts that are ever the result of honesty, industry and economy. His second wife died February 16, 1897.