James THOMPSON, deceased, was numbered
among the pioneers
of 1837. He was numbered among the pioneers of 1837. He was a
native of Cumberland
born in 1813. In his native state he grew to manhood, was
educated in the subscription schools of the early day, and
remained at home until he was twenty-four years of age.
Emigration was then tending westward, and in the spring of 1837,
he came to Marshall
county, where he found employment with John STRAWN, at five
dollars per month. After the close of the season he returned to
his eastern home, where he spent the winter of 1837-8.
In the spring of 1838, he again started
west by way of Cincinnati, at
which place he secured passage on the steamer
Moselle, which was heavily laden with freight and
passengers. While laying at the wharf the boilers of the steamer
exploded with terrific effect, instantly killing a large number
of her passengers. Mr. THOMPSON had been sitting in the cabin,
but had just gone to the hurricane deck, when the explosion
occurred. He escaped on a raft that lay alongside of the boat,
and providentially was uninjured.
Arriving in Marshall county in due time, Mr. THOMPSON
again went to work for Mr. STRAWN, and in December, 1838,
married Miss Mary A., a daughter of Colonel John STRAWN. Soon
after their marriage the young couple commenced house-keeping in
a log cabin on section __, Lacon township, and on that farm
resided until 1852, when they moved into Lacon, where our
subject engaged in the lumber business, and where his death
occurred in 1857, while in the prime of life.
To James THOMPSON and wife, six children
were born, the oldest dying in infancy. The surviving members of
the family are John S., Samuel H., James H., and Stephen
On the death of the father, the oldest
member of the family was but seventeen years of age. Mrs.
THOMPSON took charge of the household, reared and educated the
children, and all are filling useful positions in life.
Extracted May 2011 by Norma Hass from
The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois, 1896.