Schoharie County NYGenWeb Site

Leslie A. Tompkins obituary

Leslie A. Tompkins Dies at Jefferson
Sleeping Sickness Claims Man of Promise
School Superintendent and Welfare Worker Honored for His manhood in Three Counties
Counted One of State’s Most Competent Supervisory Officials
March 1920

     Leslie A. Tompkins of Jefferson, superintendent of schools of the first supervisory district of Schoharie county, embracing the towns of Jefferson, Gilboa, Conesville, Blenheim and Broome, died Saturday, march 6, 1920, following an attack of influenza which developed the fatal malady of sleeping sickness. Dr. Ordway, dean of the Albany medical college, was in consultation with Dr. Tryon last week Wednesday and expressed grave fears for his recovery from an illness little understood from the fact that but few cases of the disease are on record.
     His death has brought sorrow to the hearts of many. He was one of the best known men of Schoharie, Greene and Otsego counties.
     Mr. Tompkins was a man of education and high ideals. As an educator, in his official position he gained the confidence of school authorities and the respect and admiration of teachers. His counsel was for better training, and his effort for better education was sincere. At the State Education department at Albany he was regarded as one of the state’s most competent supervisory officials.
     In his home town of Jefferson he was prominent in the work of community welfare and, perhaps, the most liberal supporter of the Methodist church. He was a steward and secretary of the official board of the church, superintendent of the Sunday school and choir leader, giving loyal and willing service. Three years ago he was elected president of the Schoharie County Sunday School association.
     In politics he was a Republican. In county Republican conventions held at Middleburgh in 1918 and 1919 he was chosen chairman to recommend to his party good men and good government.
     Three years ago he represented the Otsego-Schoharie district as district deputy grand master of masons, and in this position won many warm friendships. His membership was in the Jefferson lodge of which he was a past master.
     September 16, 1911, he was elected district superintendent of schools for the first supervisory district of Schoharie county. He assumed the duties of the office Jan. 1, 1912, taking up his residence at Jefferson where he later purchased a home. Four years ago he was re-elected for a second term. Prior to coming to Jefferson he for three years was school commissioner in Greene county, residing at Coxsackie. His preparation for supervisory work was teaching in the district schools, a course at the Oneonta Normal where he was graduated in 1902, and three years service as principal of a high school in Columbia county.
     He was born on a farm in the town of Ashland, Greene county, about 38 years ago. His parents were Mr. and Mrs. Carlos Tompkins who now reside at Hensonville, and he was one of a large family of boys and girls.
     He leaves a wife, who was Grace Marsh of Coxsackie, and Marjorie, a bright and winsome daughter of twelve years.
     Funeral services, attended by many from far and near, who traveled over mountains of snow and bad roads from winter’s worst storm, were held at the Jefferson Methodist church Tuesday morning at 10 o’clock. Rev. A. D. parker of Cobleskill conducted the service. The body Tuesday afternoon was taken to Coxsackie where Wednesday a Masonic funeral service was held from the Methodist church in his old home town. Here his body was laid to rest.
     The writer would pay a personal tribute to the memory of, perhaps, his best friend. He served well, and at the noon time of life finished his task. He early heard his master’s voice, and answering said, “send me.” He grasped fully what it means to be a man. He was a man of clear intellect, of sound judgment, candid, truthful and fearless, and who knew not how to shirk. He was sympathetic, a man who loved his home, the church and whose vision reached afar and whose sympathies embraced the world in need.

Alarming Illness of Supt. Tompkins
February 1920

     Schoharie county friends of School Superintendent Leslie A. Tompkins of Jefferson are sorry to learn of his serious illness with influenza. A trained nurse is assisting in his care.
     A telephone message to the News this Wednesday noon states that his condition is very critical and that he may not have the strength to last through the day. A partial shock renders him unable to speak. An Albany specialist is expected this afternoon.


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