PAST AND PRESENT
OF
MENARD COUNTY, ILLINOIS - 1905

Chicago: The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company

Page 358

ANSON THOMPSON, a member of the firm of Thompson, Rosendahl & Company, proprietors of a large department store of Petersburg, is now manager of the grocery and provision section of their business and has contributed in no small degree to the success of the enterprise and to the establishment of its well merited reputation for honesty and fair dealing. A native of Illinois, he was born in Ashland, Cass county, on the 6th of November, 1843, and is a son of James H. and Sarah (Brown) Thompson, both of whom were natives of New Jersey, in which state the grandfather, Anson Thompson, was also born. The father made his way westward to Sangamon county, Illinois, in 1836, but soon afterward took up his abode in the Pleasant Plains district of Cass County, there making his home for a long period. He had served an apprenticeship to the trade of carpentering in Philadelphia and he was engaged in building operations in Cass county until 1849, when he removed to Menard county and engaged in agricultural pursuits. Here he spent his remaining days, his death occurring in March, 1878. In business he was reliable and trustworthy, and the success he achieved was attributable entirely to his own efforts and careful management. In public affairs he was also prominent and influential and he was a warm personal friend and stanch supporter of Mr. Miller.

Anson Thompson, the second in order of birth in a family of nine children, was only about six years of age when brought by his parents to Menard county, and in the public schools here he acquired his education. He remained at home until 1866 and then engaged in clerking in the store of John A. Braham. In later years he entered a shoe store, established by Mr. Braham, who appointed Mr. Thompson its manager, and he continued to conduct the business until November, 1873, when he was elected county clerk. In 1877 he was re-elected and at the end of his second term he retired form the office as he had entered it - with the confidence and good will of the public. He was ever prompt and faithful in the discharge of the duties, regarding a public office as a public trust - and Mr. Thompson has never been known to betray a trust in the slightest degree.

In December, 1882, he started northward, traveling through the Dakotas and spending about a year in that section of the country, engaged in real estate dealing, in which he met with fair success. In 1884 he returned to Petersburg, where he entered the grocery business in connection with J. D. Wright, under the firm name of Wright & Thompson. After a year he joined Z. A. Thompson and Reak Rosendahl under the firm style of Thompson, Rosendahl & Company, which business relation continues to the present time. For ten years our subject had charge of the dry-goods department and then assumed the management of the grocery and provision department. His capable earnest efforts to please his patrons have been among the most salient features in the success of the firm; and in Petersburg Mr. Thompson is acknowledged an enterprising, reliable merchant, of good ability and executive force.

On the 2d of December, 1890, was celebrated the marriage of Anson Thompson and Mrs. Laura Drake, of Menard county, a daughter of William Langford. They now have one daughter, Helen Thompson. In his fraternal relations Mr. Thompson is a Mason, exemplifying in his life the beneficent spirit of the craft. He has been prominent and influential in public affairs, and his counsel is sought in local political circles. He is a stanch advocate of Democratic principles and has twice been elected to the office of mayor, serving in 1889-90 and again in 1902-3. He was president of the school board in 1901, and is the champion of many measures which have resulted beneficially to his city. His re-election to the mayoralty was indicative of the confidence which he won during his first term and he gave to the city a practical businesslike administration, characterized by needed reforms and improvements.


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