SAMUEL THOMPSON, for the past eleven years living retired at Shellsburg, has been a continuous resident of the county since 1855. He was born in Clarion county, Pennsylvania, September 17, 1829, and is a son of Francis and Nancy (McDowell) Thompson. His mother's parents came to America from the city of Cork, Ireland, where her father was a weaver, and located in Pennsylvania. Francis Thompson was born in the eastern part of Pennsylvania, and later moved to the western part of that state, where he lived some time on a farm, coming to Benton county in 1856. He and his wife both died in Benton county some forty years ago, he at the age of about seventy and she when about eighty-four. They belonged to the Methodist Episcopal church. One son came to Benton county in 1852, but later removed to Missouri, where he died about one year ago. They were parents of four sons and three daughters, of whom but two survive, Samuel and J. W., the latter residing at Belle Plaine, Iowa.
Samuel Thompson came to Benton county in 1853, for a visit, and two years later returned; he purchased a farm, in 1858, in company with his father. He came from Pennsylvania direct to Benton county, which has since been his home. He made all possible improvements in the farm of two hundred and ninety-six acres, in section 5, Canton township, which he recently sold. He was a hard worker, and carried on his farm with a great degree of success. Mr. Thompson is a man of high character, and greatly interested in the public welfare. Prior to the inception of the Republican party he voted the Whig ticket, and he has served in various local and school offices; for twenty-two years he acted as secretary of the school board. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.
In May, 1857, Mr. Thompson married, in Benton county, Sarah Lewis, born October 24, 1837, near Gallipolis, Ohio, daughter of Thomas Lewis and his wife, who came to Benton county about 1850, and who were residents of the county until their decease, many years since. Mr. Thompson and his wife have seven children, namely: James W., died in North Dakota in January, 1909, at the age of fifty years; John L., of Butte, Montana; Oscar H., of Salt Lake City; Francis, of Great Falls, Montana; Luella, Mrs. Severance, of California; Otto, of Salt Lake City; and Nannie Mabel, Mrs. McClintock. Mrs. McClintock and her husband have recently purchased her father's homestead, where they now reside.