From the Portrait and biographical record of Hancock, McDonough and Henderson counties, Illinois : containing
biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county (1894)
May, 1894. Lake City Publishing Co.
Joseph Thompson, who is now living on section 18, Walnut Grove Township, is numbered among the leading farmers
and stock-raisers of Henderson County. He claims Ohio as the State of his nativity, his birth having occurred in
Crawford County, on the 31st of August, 1843. His father, Adam Thompson, was a Pennsylvania farmer, born in 1795.
About 1820 he married Jane Raitt, and for many years was a farmer of the Buckeye State. In 1851 he came to
Henderson County, Ill., where he purchased eight hundred acres of land, paying from $3 to $5 per acre for the same.
In the Thompson family were ten children, all of whom grew to manhood and womanhood. William, a farmer of Henderson
County, was killed May 30, 1858, in the Ellison tornado; David is now a farmer of Harper County, Kan. ; Mrs. Sarah
Rankin died in Henderson County; Samuel F., a minister of the United Presbyterian Church, is living in Missouri:
Lillis is the wife of Joseph White, a well-known citizen of Henderson County; John died in 1859; James follows
farming, and makes his home in Stronghurst; Jane became the wife of James F. Rankin, but is now deceased; and
Barbara is the widow of T. V. Nichols, of Stronghurst.
Joseph Thompson of this sketch spent the first eight years of his life in the Buckeye State, and then came with
his parents to Illinois, where he was reared to manhood. He became familiar with all the duties of farm life, and
in the common schools he was educated. He remained at home until after the breaking out of the late war, when,
prompted by patriotic impulses, he responded to the country's call for troops, enlisting on the 13th of August,
1862, as a member of Company F, Eighty-third Illinois Infantry. He served under Capt. J. T. Morgan, took part in
the second battle of Ft. Donelson, and after that date was with his regiment doing garrison duty and scouting at
Donelson and Clarksville. When the South had laid down its arms he was honorably discharged, July 5, 1865, and
returned to his home in the North.
On the 16th of September, 1880, Mr. Thompson married Miss Mary J. Nelson, a native of Jackson, Washington
County, N. Y., daughter of John and Mary Nelson, who were natives of New York. Her father was born about 1814, and
is now deceased. Her mother is still living in Washington County, N. Y., at about the age of eighty years. They had
eight children, all of whom reached adult years, while seven are yet living. Robert is engaged in carpentering in
California; Mrs. Margaret Andrews is now deceased; William is a farmer of Kansas; Sarah and Mary are twins, and the
former resides with her mother; Wishart is a druggist of New York; James is a resident farmer of Texas; and
Elizabeth is the wife of Harvey Rich, a farmer of New York.
To Mr. and Mrs. Thompson have been born five children, and the family circle yet remains unbroken. They are:
Sarah J., born September 23, 1882; Margaret E., March 8, 1885; Raymond H., August 15, 1888; Lillian B., September
7, 1890; and Marjory R., April 10, 1892.
In his political views, Mr. Thompson is a Republican, having supported that party since attaining his majority.
He has served both as Road Commissioner and School Director. He and his wife hold membership with the United
Presbyterian Church. Mr. Thompson now devotes his time and attention to farming and stock-raising. He is one of the
extensive land-owners of the county, having seven hundred and eighty acres of valuable land, pleasantly located two
miles north of Stronghurst. He is a man of excellent business and executive ability, and his enterprise,
perseverance, and well-directed efforts have made him one of the wealthy farmers of the county. All who know him
esteem him highly for his sterling worth, and with pleasure we present this record of his life to our readers.