The paternal grandparents of our subject were Bernard and Mary (Phillips) Thompson, natives of Ohio, where they lived until 1834, engaged in farming pursuits. James B. continued a resident of the Buckeye State until 1834, when he came to Illinois, locating in Bethel Precinct, this county, where he spent the remainder of his life engaged in farming. He became the father of a large family, was an honest and industrious citizen, and a stanch supporter of the Democratic party. In 1886 he abandoned active labor, and took up his residence in Jacksonville, where he is now living in retirement, having attained to the good old age of seventy-seven years. The devoted wife and mother passed away in 1881, aged sixty-seven. Their family of six children included three sons and three daughters. The parents early in life identified themselves with the Protestant Methodist church, with which the mother continued until her death, and of which the father remains a member.
The brothers and sisters of our subject are located as follows: Clark M. is teaching in Winchester, Scott County; Mary, Mrs. Crawford, is a resident of Colorado; Sarah, Mrs. McPherson, of McPherson County, Kan.; Ella is unmarried, and continues the companion of her father; Perry C. is a practicing physician of Jacksonville; Owen P. was the youngest child. The latter remained upon the farm with his parents until a youth of nineteen years, acquiring a practical education, and then commenced teaching. This he followed two years, then wishing to perfect himself further in the profession, attended the Normal School at Bloomington two terms. He subsequently taught in Morgan County five years.
Young Thompson had ere this chosen the profession of law for his future vocation, and now entering the Law School at Albany, N.Y., took a full course, and was graduated in 1876. He commenced the practice of his profession in his native county, establishing himself at Jacksonville, where he has since continued. He gave evidence at an early period in his career of more than ordinary ability, and in 1886 was chosen for his present responsible office. He is a Democrat in politics, and a member in good standing of the Masonic fraternity, a Knight of Pythias, and belongs to the order of United Workman.
Miss Elizabeth Ruddick, a native of Jackson County, Ind., became the wife of our subject on the 31st day of May, 1883, the wedding being celebrated at the home of the bride in Jacksonville, Ill. Mrs. Thompson was born Jan. 2, 1857, and is the daughter of Solomon and Elizabeth Ruddick, who were natives of Ohio. She is a lady of excellent education, and a graduate of the Illinois Female College, at Jacksonville, where she completed her studies in 1878. Of her union with Judge Thompson there have been born two children - Mary R. and Perry P.