Arkansas & Missouri
Excerpt of March 19, 2003 email from Debbie Wilkins to family members
I thought I might tell you this time of Anderson Whitfield Thompson my Great Grandfather. I know I have previously written about him. But many of you did not receive this information about him. I do have two pictures of him. He was described to me as tall, skinny man with blue eyes. He was very strong and was known for his strength. He was a christian man, and was a member of the Church of Christ. Well respected by those who knew him. I was told that he was a loving man too. He loved children. If I have the count right he fathered himself 15 children. He had 9 other step children. That comes to the total of 24 children. He was a farmer. He was a person that cared for the dead people and placed the nickles on their eyes. He split rails too.
Anderson was born 13 Mar 1857 in Ava, Ozark, Missouri. The son of Richard A. Thompson and Francis L. Ballard. He he was the sixth child of eleven. Their names are Bennett S. Thompson, William H. Thompson, John Wesley Thompson, Alexander Windfield Thompson, Anderson Thompson (died before our Anderson was born), Barbara Ellen Thompson, Sarah F. Thompson, Mary J. Thompson, Richard Andrew Thompson, and Kirk Franklin Thompson. He grew up on the farm in Missouri. His father Richard left during the Civil War and fought for the North. We find Anderson for the first time on the 1860 Census with his parents in Falling Springs Township, Ozark County, Missouri. His grandfather was living with them then. His name was Sanders Thompson. Then again we find him in 1870 Census with his parents in Gainsville Township, Ozark County, Missouri. His Grandfather was still living with them then.
He had four wives. One would die and he would marry another. His first wife was Barbara Amanda Ellen Morris (also known as Mandy) b. about 1860 in Mountain Home, Baxter County, Arkansas. She was the daughter of John Morris and Winnie Emaline Killpatric. I do have some information about them if anyone wants to know about them let me know. He married Amanda about 1877 in Arkansas. I believe either in Mountain Home, Baxter County, Arkansas. They had five children. They are Nancy Ellen Emerline Thompson b.13 Aug 1878, John Thompson b. about 1880 (died as a infant), Winnie A. Thompson b. 6 Mar 1882, Myrtle J. Thompson b. Jan 1888, and Benjamin Harrison Thompson b. 4 Jan 1889. I believe that all but the last child was born in Mountain Home, Arkansas. Harrison was born in Bald Knob, White County, Arkansas. This is where Amanda died 7 Jan 1889 only three days after Harrison was born of complications from the birth.
Anderson was found in the 1880 Census in E. D. 65, Spring Creek Township, Dent County, Missouri. He is living with Amanda and their first child Ellen. The 1890 Census was destroyed in a fire so I do not know where he was at that point. I do know that the 10 August 1890 he married Jennie Florence Clark in Two Hickory Bush, Douglas County, Missouri. (Jennie is the wife we are through). Jennie is the daughter of William Lysander Clark and Mary M. Davis. She was born July 1872 in Christian Township, Independence County, Arkansas. I found Anderson living with Jennie and his children on the 1900 Census in Pigeon Creek Township(it is actually where the family farm was and is 5 miles out of Mountain Home), Baxter County, Arkansas. To this marriage there are eight children. Ralph O. Thompson b. Mar 1892, Austin Thompson (twin) b. about 1895, Neal Thompson (twin) about 1895 (both boys died after only a few hours), Elsie Lougiller Thompson b. 13 Jan 1897, Henry C. Thompson (triplet) b. 10 Jul 1898, Rose Florence Thompson (triplet) b. 10 Jul 1898, Paul Thompson (triplet) b. 10 Jul 1898 (Paul died after only a few hours), and Joshua Anderson Thompson b. 23 May 1902. All of these children were born in Mountain Home, Baxter County, Arkansas. Jennie died in 1904 of pneumonia in Mountain Home Arkansas and is buried next to Anderson.
Then 25 Nov 1904 Anderson married Lou Stone. She was previously married to J. Martin Stone. I am not sure of her maiden name. She was born about 1876. She had a son by the first marriage. His name was Hobart Stone, not sure of his birth date or where he was born. Anyway by the marriage between Anderson and Lou there are two daughters born. They are Delilah Thompson, b. abt 1907, and Bertha Thompson B. 20 Mar 1909. Both born in Mountain Home. Lou Stone died before April of 1910. I am not sure of what she died from. Anderson is found on the 1910 Census in the Pigeon Township, Baxter County, Arkansas with Ralph, Elsie, Henry, Rosy, Joshuay, Delila.
On 2 October 1911 Anderson married Lucy Ann Paine b. 25 May 1863 in Tennessee. Anderson and Lucy did not have any children by this marriage. She was previously married three times. She married first William Gloer married about 1878. They had six children. Florence b. Nov 1897, Cora Belle b. 1882, Chester William b. Jan 1884, Christina b. 1884, John Lee b. 4 April 1888, and Ida Alberta b. 1889. All these children were born in Arkansas. Her second husband was James T. Glover. They were married 17 Oct 1893. I am not aware of any children by this marriage. Then she married Benjamin Maples b. Nov 1829 in Peoria, Illinois. They married About 1897. They had two daughters Cenith b. Jan 1900, and Edith b. about 1904. Both were born in Baxter County, Arkansas.
Anderson was found on the 1920 Census this time in Mountain Home Township, Baxter County, Arkansas living with Lucy his wife, Henry, Joshua, Delilah and Bertha. This is the last Census to find him on since he died on the 9th March 1925. Lucy is however found on the 1930 Census living with her son William and his wife. They are in Mountain Home, Baxter County, Arkansas. Lucy died about 1937 in Mountain Home, Baxter County, Arkansas. She is buried in the Conley Cemetery.
Now more about the man. Anderson was able to read and write. He kept a family bible, however, I have not been able to locate it yet. Anderson is part Chickamauga Cherokee. I was told by Elmer Studdard that they found his name in the Cherokee Indian book. The book was about the indian settlement with the government. Anderson refused the money settlement and that was that. He was white enough to pass himself off as white and did. At that time the indians were very badly treated and he wanted to bury that fact for his family's sake. One the Chickamauga cherokee tribe records Anderson's father Richard Thompson is a full blooded member of this tribe.
They lived in Pigeon Creek which is where most of the family lived including our Johann (John Failner). I understand Anderson truly loved Johann our grandfather, and that he was pleased that Rose married him. I remember visiting that area in 1965. I saw the land that Grandpa Johann cleared for his farm. Anderson's farm however was no longer there. The government had built a dam and the water covered his land. I did visit Harrison's farm house. I visited with Joshua who was living in a trailer with his daughter at the time. I visited with Ellen who was rocking in a rocking chair on her front porch. And I say Harrison's wife Anna. It was a wonderful eye opening experience. In 1996 I visited Mountain Home again for a reunion and have pictures of Harrison's home and also the home Anderson died at. It was called the Walker Home. I was also told that he lived in the Conley Settlement and maybe that is where the Walker home is part of. It is much more into town and no longer exists. They were going to knock it down the week after I visited there in 1996.
Which brings me to a very interesting story about his death. The family folklore given to me in 1996 by several family members. Some who lived there then. I was also aware of this story from another source that is not a close family member. This was kind of a legend in the area even now. Now remember that he is 68 years old at this time, and that he is very well known by all in the area as a very strong individual.
Just before he died Anderson was challenged by some others that he could not lift a wagon with a bale of cotton. He succeeded in doing this and was given one dollar. Then a man was added to the wagon and bale of hay and he lifted that and received another dollar. He continued adding one man at a time until there were 7 men, a 500 lb. bale of cotton and a wagon. Each time receiving one dollar if he succeeded to lift it.
Now this next part was given to me by close family members. I was told that Anderson died twice. Apparently from this event he died. He was layed out on the table and was being mourned. People were coming to pay their respects. Lucy, his wife was sitting next to him. She suddenly noticed that his finger moved. At this point they found that he was not dead. They thought he had a stroke or something like that. Lucy put him to bed and took care of him when after a while longer he did indeed (for sure this time) die. So they went through the mourning process again.
The again if you think this story is over yet. He was buried twice too. Originally both he and Jennie our great grandmother were buried in the Trivett Family Cemetery located on the banks of the Pigeon Creek. The Trivett family were who Anderson's sister married into. Also other of his children were buried there. Then the government built the Norfork Dam and created a very large, very beautiful lake behind it covering Anderson's land and also the Trivett Family Cemetery. Therefore the government moved all the bodies to another site called the Quality Ridge Cemetery. It is 1 and 1/2 miles north of Baxter Laboratories on Highway 201. I have visited this cemetery and have pictures of all family members headstones in this cemetery.
Again there is a great story to the headstones. When the government moved these graves to the new location, they did not put headstones on the graves. Annis Thompson who lived there all of her life found these graves. It is thanks to her we even know where they are buried. She took a bag of cement and mixed it and put it on Anderson and Jennie's graves. Then she took a stick and scratched A. W. Thompson and on the other Jennee Thompson. So we could even know they were there. I met her in 1996. Annis died three weeks after I was there from a massive stroke. I am grateful she told me of this then.
I hope I have covered this incredible man's life. This must have been a special man to have put so many families together. Not to mention providing for them all. These must have been incredible women to care for each others children. I have been told that they were loving wives and very good mothers to these children. I have one picture where he is standing holding the hands of two young girls. One of which I have been told is our grandmother Rose. I have another picture of him sitting among a very large family all his. With one of his wives. I believe it would be Lucy the fourth one. I will try to scan them in and send it to all of you. Just give me a little time with it. I have pictures of all his own children that lived past infancy. I will try to scan them and send them too.
Well I guess that is all I can think of at this time about this family. Hope you enjoy all of it. May the Lord Bless you All!