PORTRAIT & BIOGRAPHICAL ALBUM OF MORGAN AND SCOTT COUNTIES, ILLINOIS
Chicago: Chapman Bros., Publishers
, a highly respected citizen of Alexander, is living with his family in one of its most comfortable, and cosy homes. He is of pure Scottish ancestry. His father, also named Thomas, removed from Scotland, our subject's birthplace, to Ireland with his family, when our subject was a mere child. His mother, Catherine Thompson, was a native of Ireland, and after her return to her native country, she did not survive many years, both she and the father dying, leaving the little Thomas to care of his elder sisters, Eliza and Anna, who brought him to the United States when he was seven years old. They landed in this country the fall of the year that Polk was elected to the Presidency, and for several years made their home in Philadelphia. Our subject was reared and educated in that city, and was set to learn the trade of a weaver, and later to gain a knowledge of the art of printing. About 1852, in the prime of early manhood, and well-equipped to make his
way successfully in the world, he ambitiously resolved to try life in the Great West. Polk County, Mo., was his destination, and there one of the most important events of his life took place, for in that State he was married to Elizabeth J., daughter of William and Martha Edwards, the ceremony that made them one, being performed in June, 1854. They began their happy wedded life in Polk County, and they continued to reside there until May, 1864, when they recrossed the Mississippi River, and came to Franklin, this county. In the month of December, 1866, they removed to Alexander, and still make their home there.
Mrs. Thompson is derived from Southern ancestry. Her paternal grandfather, John Edwards, was a native of South Carolina. In early manhood he went to Nelson County, Ind., and there married Mary, daughter of Theophilus Bass. They lived in the Hoosier State until quite a large family was growing up around them, and they removed to Mulenburg County, Ky., where Mr. Edwards became a large plantation owner, having large tracts of land, and a great many slaves, and raising a great deal of cotton. He and his wife passed their last days in their Kentucky home. Mrs. Thompson remembers well the many noted spots on Boone's reservation connected with the name of the great frontiersman, and her mother has often told her of the trials that the early pioneers of Kentucky had to endure far from the centres of civilization, where there were no mills for bolted flour, and other things that are now almost considered necessaries were then unprocurable luxuries.
Of the eight children born to our subject and his estimable wife, three are still living, namely: John M., William, Eugenia, the latter the wife of John B. Corrington, (of whom see sketch on another page of this volume). Four of the other children died in infancy. Our subject and his wife have spared neither pains or money in educating their sons and daughters; Eugenia and Emma were both graduated from the Methodist College at Jacksonville. Their wedded life has been overshadowed by the death of their daughter Emma, which occurred March 12, 1880. She was thrown from a horse that she rode to and from school, and received injuries from which she suffered nearly a year before her weary spirit was released, and she entered the life immortal, for which she was so well fitted. She was accomplished and talented, a fine musician, and had received a superior education. For four years she had been teaching school very successfully.
Mr. and Mrs. Thompson are people of sterling worth, sincere Christians, and valued members, respectively, of the Episcopal and Methodist Episcopal Churches.
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