An extensive farmer and stock dealer, Mr. Thompson owns and operates a valuable tract of land in Walnut township, Brown county. His farm adjoins the village of Fairview and thus he is afforded excellent shipping facilities. The neat and thrifty appearance of his place, with its substantial buildings, well-tilled fields and verdant pastures, indicates to the passer-by his careful supervision and stands in unmistakable evidence of the fact that the owner is at once practical and progressive in his methods of farming.
Mr. Thompson was born in Noble county, Ohio, February 2, 1844, his parents being John and Hannah Thompson, also natives of the Buckeye state. The former was a son of Jacob and Susanna (Frame) Thompson, natives of Pennsylvania and of Scotch descent. At an early period in the development of that state they became residents of Ohio and there reared their eleven children, namely Thomas, Polly, James, Betsy, William, Susanna, Eleazer, Jacob, Robert, Eleanor and John. Of these Robert was a minister of the Congregational church.
John Thompson, the father of our subject, was reared to manhood in Noble county, and after his marriage he moved to Greene county, Indiana, in 1854. There he purchased land and improved a farm, conducting the same until 1872, when he sold that property and removed to Nemaha county, Kansas. In that locality he purchased a tract of raw land, which he cultivated and improved, transforming it into a valuable farm, upon which he spent his remaining days, his death occurring in 1888. In early life he gave his political support to the Whig, Freesoil and Abolition parties, and, as this indicates, was opposed to the institution of slavery. When the Republican party was formed to prevent the further extension of slavery he joined its ranks and was one of its most inflexible adherents. For many years a member of the Congregational church, he was also one of its ministers, and by precept and example advocated the cause of Christianity. He never aspired to office, preferring to devote his energies to the work of the farm, in which he met with good success. His wife, surviving him, died in 1893. Their children were Marinda, who died at the age of nine years; Salathiel, of this review; Ruth E., who became the wife of N. Walker, and died leaving two children; Jacob, a farmer of Kansas; Josephus, who is living in Oklahoma; and Dorinda, the wife of Samuel Stall, a farmer.
Mr. Thompson, whose name begins this record, removed with his parents to Greene county, Indiana, and remained on the home farm until eighteen years of age. After the inauguration of the war of the Rebellion he enlisted in Company A, Ninety-seventh Indiana Infantry, under Colonel Robert F. Catterson, the regiment being assigned to the Fifteenth Army Corps. He was mustered in at Terre Haute and went into camp at Indianapolis, after which the regiment was assigned to duty with the Western Department. He was in active service at Vicksburg, Chattanooga, Mission Ridge, Lookout Mountain, and went with Sherman on the celebrated march to the sea. Throughout the term of his enlistment he remained with the army, never receiving a furlough, but always remaining loyally at his post, faithfully performing the work assigned to him. He was detailed as a regular forager, and with six comrades thus engaged he was captured and started on the way to Richmond, but on the march he succeeded in making his escape after twelve days spent on the way. The date of his enlistment was August, 1862, and of his discharge, June, 1865, Lee having surrendered in the meantime and thus virtually ending the war. Returning from Raleigh, North Carolina, to Indianapolis, he there received an honorable discharge and was paid off.
Returning to Greene county, that state, Mr. Thompson was married there, in 1866, and located on a farm, following the plow through the summer months, while in the winter season he engaged in school teaching. In 1871 he came to Kansas, locating on rented land in Nemaha county, where he carried on agricultural pursuits until 1874, when he turned his attention to merchandising in Sabetha. In 1878, however, he exchanged his mercantile stock for a farm in Brown county, and he has since made his home in this locality. He has built upon his place a commodious residence and large barns and outbuildings, and has made his present farm his place of abode since 1893. Here, in connection with the cultivation of the fields, he has engaged in raising, buying and shipping stock, making a specialty of cattle. Fairview furnishes him an excellent shipping point and annually many head of cattle are sent from his farm over the road.
Mr. Thompson has been twice married. In 1866 he wedded Miss Rebecca Morrison, a native of Ohio, who removed from that state to Indiana with her parents, James and Tabitha Morrison. Her father died during her early girlhood. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Thompson were born two children: Cora, the wife of H. Gillilan; and Mary, the, wife of J. King. The mother died in 1888. She was a member of the Congregational church and a most estimable lady. In February, 1890, Mr. Thompson was again married, the lady of his choice being Miss Mary E. Black. She was born in Indiana, July 11, 1860, a daughter of Eliza and Anna (Corwin) Black, both natives of Ohio, whence they went to Indiana in 1857. At the outbreak of the Civil war the father entered the army, holding a commission in a cavalry regiment. By trade he was a carpenter. After his death the widow became the wife of a Mr. Carpenter, of Lake county, Illinois, where they now live. Of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Black are: Mrs. Emma Coontz; Summerville, wife of John Wooderd, a prominent citizen of Monroe county, Indiana; Mary E., the wife of our subject; Ida, who became the wife of John E. Gaston, and died leaving four children; and Ethel, the wife of Mr. Spates, a railroad man of St. Louis. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Thompson have been born six children: Leah, who is attending school at Ottawa; Lloyd, who is also in school at Ottawa; Ernst, at home; Ralph, who died at the age of a year and a half; Edith, at home; and Norville J., who was born November 15, 1898.
Mr. and Mrs. Thompson are members of the Baptist church, and are people of the highest respectability. In 1883 Mr. Brown was elected the sheriff of Brown county and served for one term, after which he returned to the farm. He has filled various township offices, including those of trustee and justice of the peace, and in all these different positions has discharged his duties most promptly and efficiently. The Republican party finds in him a stalwart advocate who takes an active interest in its work and attends the county and state conventions. He was a delegate to the convention which nominated C. Curtis for congress, and at all times labors for the growth and success of the party. Mr. Thompson withholds his support from no movement for the public good and has contributed to the general welfare in no small degree. He was a stockholder in the town company which located Fairview, and in many ways he has promoted public progress, being recognized as one of the leading and influential citizens of the community.