Jackson County

Biography - James Thompson

JAMES C. THOMPSON, who is now living a retired life in Campbell Hill, was born near St. Charles, Mo., on the 7th of July, 1820, and comes of a family of Irish origin. His grandfather was Robert Thompson. His father, William Thompson, was born in North Carolina, August 8, 1791, and served as a soldier in the War of 1812, under General Harrison, participating in the battle of Tippecanoe. In Kentucky he married Jane Tomson, who was born in North Carolina in 1797, and was a daughter of William Tomson, also a native of North Carolina, and one of the heroes of the Revolution. The maternal great-grandfather of our subject was killed by the Tories during the War for Independence. He came of a family of Scotch lineage.

William and Jane Thompson were married in Kentucky, .and for some time resided in Livingston County. From 1815 until 1821 they resided in St. Charles, Mo., and then returned to Kentucky, where their last days were spent. The father was an agriculturist, and owned one of the model farms of that state. His death occurred September 8, 1871, and his wife passed away January 29, 1872. He left a property valued at $20,000, but his estate had been greatly diminished during the war. Mr. Thompson was a strong supporter of the Union. Both he and his wife were members of the Covenanter Presbyterian Church. Of their fourteen children, only three are now living: Mrs. Nancy Davis, who is living in Williamson County, at the age of seventy-eight; James C; and Dr. Pinckney Thompson, of Henderson, Ky.

Upon his father's farm J. C. Thompson spent the days of his boyhood and youth, and acquired his education in an academy of Salem, Ky. In 1841 he left the parental roof, and coming to Illinois, engaged in teaching school in Williamson County for ten months. He married January 20, 1842, Mrs. Cynthia Bradley, daughter of Thomas Trammel, a native of Virginia, who emigrated to Williamson County in a very early day. The lady was there born April 21, 1824. The young couple began their domestic life on a farm south of Marion Township, but after three years removed to Degognia Township, where they spent eleven years. Their next home was in Kinkaid Township, where Mr. Thompson cleared a farm, upon which he spent seven years. A similar period was spent in Carbondale Township, and later he improved a fine farm in Bradley Township. He afterward lived with his children until 1883, since which time he has made his home in Campbell Hill.

In the Thompson family were twelve children, eight of whom are now living: Harriet, wife of Willis Grain, by whom she has three children; Mary, wife of John W. Jones, by whom she has six children; James P., who married Rachel Parker, and has six children; Robert C, who wedded Julia Miracle; Sarah C, wife of Dr. Peter McMillan; Jane, wife of Theodore Gillespie, by whom she has five children; Edwin, who is a sailor; and Willie J., of Murphysboro, who married Chloe Johnson, and has one child. The mother of this family died May 31, 1881.

On the 5th of June, 1884, Mr. Thompson wedded Mrs. Rebecca Jones, daughter of Samuel and Jane (Boyd) Jones, both of whom were natives of Scotland. The father died in that land, after which the mother came to America, and lived with Mrs. Thompson until her death in 1863. Mrs. Thompson was the seventh in a family of nine children, seven of whom are yet living, and was born February 14, 1836, in County Down, Ireland. There she remained until nineteen years of age, when she crossed the Atlantic, and located in Jackson County, Ill., where she married John Brown. They had five children: Samuel and Edwin, of Jackson County; Robert, of Los Angeles, Cal.; Wallace, of San Antonio, Tex.; and Jennie, wife of William Hunter, of Degognia Township. Mr. Brown was accidently killed in 1853, and his widow afterward married John Jones, a native of Pennsylvania. Four children were born to them, but Paul, of St. Louis, is the only one now living. Mr. Jones departed this life January 10, 1875.

Mr. and Mrs. Thompson are leading members of the Presbyterian Church, and he belongs to the Masonic fraternity and Odd Fellows' society. Throughout life he has been a warm advocate of the Democracy, and frequently attends the conventions of his party. For twenty-five years he has served as Justice of the Peace, was Supervisor of Bradley Township, and served as County Sheriff two terms, from 1864 to 1866, and from 1868 to 1870. He is a man of sterling worth, and a well spent life justly entitles him to the high regard in which he is held.

Extracted from Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois, published in 1894, page 409.

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