Marshall County


James THOMPSON, deceased, was numbered among the  pioneers of 1837. He was numbered among the pioneers of 1837. He was a native of Cumberland county, Pennsylvania, 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 Douglas.

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.

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