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Fayette County, Iowa
Portrait & Biographical Album of Fayette County Iowa
Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of
Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County
Lake City Publishing Co., Chicago
Russell F. Thompson, Sr
In the subject of our sketch who resides on section 4, Windsor Township, we find one of the leading and enterprising farmers of the community who is also accounted as one of its valued citizens. A native of Pennsylvania, he was born in Erie County, August 19, 1841, and is a son of Russell F. Thompson, Sr., who was born in Swanzey, Cheshire County, N. H., in 1811, and was of Scotch descent, though the family had been represented in America for five generations. He married Miss Hester Clark, who was born in Massachusetts in 1810, and was of Scotch-Irish lineage. After some years residence in Pennsylvania, they removed with their family in 1843 to Wisconsin where the wife and mother died in 1850. Six years later they left Walworth County and took up their residence in Richland County, Wis., where the family remained until 1865, when they came to Fayette County, Iowa. The father died in this county in 1870. His children, two sons and two daughters, are Mary, wife of Russell T. Root of Washington, Kan., where he is engaged in farming. She was born in Cheshire County, N. H., in 1833, and by her marriage has nine children. Russell F. is the second in order of birth; James C., who was born in Walworth County, Wis., in 1845, enlisted in Company I, Twelfth Wisconsin Regiment in 1863, and died the following winter of lung fever; Hannah U., wife of Whitman Lyon of Windsor Township, was born in Walworth County, Wis., in 1848, was married in 1876 and now has one daughter, Alice, who is thirteen years old.
Our subject was a lad of four summers at the time of the removal of the family to Wisconsin and was twenty-four years of age when he emigrated to Iowa. Previous to this time however, he responded to the country's call for troops to aid in the suppression of the Rebellion, enlisting in September, 1861, as a member of Company H. Eighth Wisconsin Infantry - the famous Eagle Regiment. He served in Missouri where he was taken sick with measles which finally settled on his lungs, producing phthisica pulmonalis. He was prostrated with this trouble for several months and in February, 1862, was finally discharged from the service on account of his disabilities. He returned to the parental home in Richland County, Wis., and in 1864, authorized the listing of his name on the draft roll of his township. He received notice that he was drafted in the winter of 1864 and immediately reported himself for duty at Prairie du Chien, desiring to return to the service if he should be accepted but upon examination he was rejected. Returning to his home he remained in Wisconsin until the fall of 1865, when he accompanied his father to Fayette County, Iowa, and lived with him until his death.
On the 14th of March, 1875, Mr. Thompson was united in marriage with Miss Luella Lapham of Bradford, Chickasaw County, Iowa, who died in February, 1876, leaving one child, Lucius, who was born on the 14th of February of that year, and died when two years old. Mr. Thompson on the 19th of October, 1882, was joined in wedlock with Miss Mary E. Cumming, who was born November 17, 1851, in Waukesha, Wis., and is the youngest in a family of seven children, whose parents were Hance and Jane (Stewart) Cumming.
They were honored pioneers of this county, having located on the farm which is now the home of Mr. Thompson in the fall of 1853. Mr. Cumming entered one hundred and twenty acres of land from the Government and purchased an additional two hundred and twenty-one acres, making in all a farm of three hundred and forty-one acres. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Thompson have been born two little sons - Hance C., born July 25, 1883, and Clinton, July 25, 1885.
Mrs. Thompson owns the original family homestead on which her people have resided for thirty-seven years. It is a fine farm improved with many excellent buildings and all modern conveniences necessary to successful farming and stock-raising, and in its management Mr. Thompson displays excellent business ability. He holds membership in Abernethy Post, No. 48, G. A. R. of West Union. He takes considerable interest in political affairs and is an ardent supporter of the Republican party. In his religious views he is inclined to that liberality which allows others to think as they please and claims the same consideration for himself.
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