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Thompson, Abraham L.


Posted By: Karon Velau (email)
Date: 6/13/2021 at 18:02:52

born Dec 1, 1841, W. VA.

A. L. Thompson is numbered among the honored pioneers of Warren county, Iowa, and has witnessed much of its growth and development, taking an active interest in all that pertains to its upbuilding. He was born in Preston county, West Virginia, December 1, 1841; and is a son of William and Mary (Wotring) Thompson. The father was a native of Virginia, reared near Richmond. He spent much of his time in agricultural pursuits, but was a competent boot and shoe maker, and supplied his family with everything needed in that line. His political support was given the Jacksonian Democratic principles. He was reared in the Methodist Church South, and was a man devoted to his family, being a kind and indulgent father. His wife was also born in the Old Dominion, in 1812. In their family were nine children, three sons and six daughters, of whom five are now living, namely: Cordelia, wife of Lee Roy, of New Virginia; AL, of this review; Virginia, wife of James Stump, of Palmyra, Warren county, Iowa; Harriet, widow of Hugh Campbell, and a resident of Oregon; W. J., of Hot Sulphur Springs, Colorado, where for many years he has engaged in ranching; and Louise, wife of David Finley, of Corning, Iowa. In 1859, Mrs. Thompson brought her family to this State, making the journey with a covered spring wagon and a team of horses. She left the old home in the middle of September, and a few days before Christmas, reached New Virginia, where the winter was passed. In the following spring our subject rented a farm of 120 acres near St Charles, Madison county, Iowa, where he resided for one year. He then rented another tract of land in the same locality, which he made his home until the spring of 1862. He then started to the wild regions of the Northwest, accompanied by Mr. Adams. They drove two yoke of cattle and followed the course of the North Platte and Sweetwater rivers. They also went up the Snake river and crossed Bear and Green rivers. At Snake river their entire outfit was captured by the Indians, but the men managed to make their escape and a wagon train picked them up near Salmon Falls. They had only fifty cents between them and Mr. Thompson was in his shirt sleeves, his coat having been lost. The train with which they then traveled numbered 111 wagons and 600 people journeying to the Humboldt mines. During a night while encamped at Goose creek they were attacked by the red men. Mr. Thompson remained at the Humboldt mines for three months and then went to California, spending the winter near Clarksville. In the spring he returned to t he Humboldt mines, where he worked until the succeeding autumn, receiving $4 per day. The product there was a quartz yield. In the fall he went to the Owyhee mines in Idaho, near Boise City, where he remained during the succeeding winter and summer. In the fall of 1865 he made the journey to The Dalles and walked to Portland, a distance of eighty-four miles. He met with many hardships during his life on the Pacific slope, but at last he left that country and returned to Iowa. At San Francisco he boarded a steamer bound for New York and during the voyage a terrific storm was encountered, but after thirty days they reached the harbor in safety, and our subject continued across the country to New Virginia, where he arrived in January 1866. The following summer Mr. Thompson rented a farm in New Virginia township, and subsequently purchased a farm in Clark county, near the Warren county line, comprising 120 acres, of which twenty acres were broken. He then successfully carried on agricultural pursuits until his retirement to private life.
On the 1st of January, 1867, Mr. Thompson married Mary E., daughter of Allanson and Ruth E. (Millard) Bowers, a native of Luzerne county, Pennsylvania. She was only four years of age when her parents removed to Missouri, and in the fall of 1860 the family came to Iowa. Her father died at the age of seventy-five years, but her mother is still living, on the old homestead and is now in her seventy-ninth year. To Mr. and Mrs. Thompson were born the following children: Inez, who was born December 7, 1867, is the wife of Ross Trimble, a hardware merchant of New Virginia, and they have three children - Elmer, Adelbert, and Ruby; Samuel M., who was born April 24, 1859, and died June 28, 1895, was a farmer by occupation and married Linnie Lamb, and left one child, Lena; Herman H., born September 21, 1870, and now following agricultural pursuits, married Lenora Wright, and has two children, Lela and an infant; and Arnestus and Ernest, born October 7, 1873. The former married Nora Patterson, of Osceola, Iowa, and has one child, Fern; and the latter is at home. The career of Mr. Thompson has been a busy and useful one, and his enterprise, perseverance and good management has secured him a comfortable property. In September, 1894, he erected a pleasant home in New Virginia, where he is now spending his declining years in the enjoyment of a well earned rest. He has been a Democrat in politics since casting his first vote for Stephen A. Douglas. His wife's mother is an own cousin of Millard Fillmore. Mr. Thompson has served as township Trustee, and both he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, while in social relations he is a Mason. Source: A Memorial and Biographical Record of Iowa, Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago, Illinois, 1896, vol.1, p.432


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