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Fulton County,  Ohio
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The County of Fulton
A History of Fulton County, Ohio

Publ.: Madison, Wis. Northwestern Historical Association

Transcribed by Sharon Wick



  ADDISON BROOKS THOMPSON, a well-known business man of Delta, is a native of Fulton county and a representative of one of the earliest pioneer families of that county, his birth occurring on the parental farm, Oct. 1, 1860.  Here and in Delta his life has been spent in various lines of successful business endeavor.  His father, Abraham B. Thompson, a native of Lincolnshire, England, was born Mar. 5, 1831, and when an infant three months old was bereft of a mother's tender care, and a little over a year old when his father came to the United States, leaving behind three helpless children, who were entirely dependent upon the charities of relatives.  In 1848 his father returned to England, and when he again left for America he took Abraham, then a lad of seventeen, with him and established a home in Royalton township, Fulton county, where the son lived until he attained to his majority.  His chief consideration when about to start out in life for himself was the acquirement of at least a fair business education.  This he accomplished by working out by the month to earn the means to enable him to attend a school at Maumee City, only suspending his studies when his means were exhausted.  At this time, when he realized so strongly the need of means to prosecute his studies at school, the California "gold fever" was rampant all over the country and young Thompson decided to seek his fortune in the far West.  In 1854 he made the journey by way of the Nicaraguan route, but was prevented from landing for some time because of small-pox on ship-board.  Upon landing he found himself entirely out of money, but this fact did not long discourage him.  Borrowing thirty dollars from a friend he made his way into the mining districts with renewed hope.  After enduring all the hardships and privations incident to pioneer life and practicing the closest economy for four years he accumulated about two thousand dollars.  In the fall of 1858 he returned to Ohio and invested his money in a farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Amboy township, which he at once began to improve and cultivate.  Abraham Thompson was one of the most prominent and progressive farmers of Amboy township, was honored with all of the township offices and for nine years served as county commissioner.  In 1869 he erected suitable buildings on his farm and commenced the manufacture of Cheese, in which industry he continued during the balance of his life-time, and which is now operated by his son, the subject of this sketch, who in fact has been interested in the plant since 1880, and since 1888 has been the business head of the industry.  By the establishment of this industry the farmers of the community have been greatly benefite4d, the annual distribution of cash among them averaging for many years fifty thousand dollars.  While a rival industry at Delta has diminished this amount, the volume of business transacted is still an important item of dairying interests.  In 1875 he removed to York township, one half-mile north of Delta, and two years later erected an elegant residence on the place in which he lived until a short time before the death of his wife, when he built a handsome residence in delta.  He built an extensive cheese factory on this farm and operated it in connection with the one in Amboy township until 1883, when the latter was sold.  Wile successful both as a farmer and manufacturer, he was notably so in the cheese industry, accumulating a comfortable fortune.  The product of these factories, all of the very best quality, was marketed mostly in Toledo, O., and Adrian, Mich., although a fair proportion was used to supply the home demand.  The home farm is owned and occupied by his daughter, Mrs. J. W. Miller, and the village home is the property of the other daughter, Mrs. GrandyAbraham Thompson was an active and zealous member of the Masonic fraternity and attained to a high rank in the counsels of that time-honored organization.  Whatever he found to do he did with all his might, and from 1863 until the day of his death he was a faithful adherent to the teachings of Free Masonry.  In his intercourse with men he was ever fair and honorable, and the passing of this venerable pioneer was the occasion of universal mourning.  On Nov. 27, 1859, he was married to Miss Susan Ann Powlesland, a native of Devonshire, England, who had accompanied her parents to this country in 1849.  To this marriage five children were born.  They are: Addison B.; Cara Dora, born May 18, 1862, now Mrs. J. W. Miller; Evaline Fancetta, the wife of Fred Grandy, and Ira J., who is married and lives at Swanton.  His first wife having died in Delta, he chose as his second wife Mrs. Mary J. Huntington of Delta, who died in 1901.  Addison Brooks Thompson is prominently associated with the business affairs of Delta and the surrounding country.  He settled up the business of his father's large estate and distributed the property among the heirs on the most equitable conditions.  His own personal interests being quite extensive, he is one of the busiest men in the county.  Realizing the need of another bank in Delta, he succeeded by dint of constant agitation of the question in interesting other capitalists in the project, and in 1900 the Farmers National Bank of Delta was organized and incorporated with a capital of twenty-five thousand dollars.  Since its organization it has paid regularly a semi-annual dividend of two per cent, and has a surplus capital of five thousand dollars beside, the stock being worth one hundred and thirty, and every dollar sold since the organization has realized more than par value.  In addition to this banking business, Mr. Thompson is busy superintending his large farming and dairy interests.  For about five years he was actively engaged in the mercantile business in Delta.  Desiring a central location, where he might always be found by those wishing to do business with him, he accepted the agency of the Toledo and Indiana electric railway company at Delta when the road was first built, and he still holds that position.  When twenty-one years old he became a member of Fulton Lodge, No. 248, Free and Accepted Masons.  In 1890 he received the degrees in Octavious Waters Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, and three years later became a member of the Toledo Commandery, Knights Templar.  He and family are attendants at the services of the Presbyterian church, of which organization his wife is a member.  In politics he is a Republican, as was his distinguished father before him, believing it to be the party of progress and sound government.  Being a public-spirited and progressive citizen his efforts in favor of the advancement of public interests have always been felt in the community.  On May 9, 1883, he was married to Miss Harriet R., the daughter of W. K. and Harriet D. Gilbert, of Delta, her ancestors being of English stock.  W. K. Gilbert, a very prosperous business man in his life-time, is now deceased and his widow lives with her daughter, where she finds a hearty welcome, her presence adding cheer to the happy family.  They are the parents of four children, three of whom are still living.  They are: Arthur B., born in April, 1884, is a graduate of Delta high-school and at present a very successful teacher in the public schools; Winnie A., who was born in May, 1886, and died in November, 1894; Fred G., born in November, 1894, and Floyd E., born in October, 1896.
Source: The County of Fulton - A History of Fulton County, Ohio - Publ.: Madison, Wis. Northwestern Historical Association - 1905 - Page 598
  ELI THOMPSON, who maintains his home in the village of Fayette, is a veteran of the Civil war, and is a well-known and popular citizen, having been for nearly a quarter of a century employed as section-foreman on what is now the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad.  He was born in Sunbury, Northumberland county, Pa., Dec. 17, 1833, and is a son of William and Mary (Campbell) Thompson, both of whom were likewise born in that same county of the old Keystone State, the original ancestors of the Thompson family in America having come from Scotland and settled in Berks county, Pa., prior to the War of the Revolution.  The Campbell family also is of pure Scottish strain, and the original American representatives settled in New Jersey, near the Pennsylvania line, later removing over into the latter State, prior to the Revolution.  William Thompson was the youngest in a family of nine children, and all are now deceased.  In 1835 he came with his family of Ohio and settled in Knox county, where he worked at his trade, that of carpenter and joiner, for the following eleven years.  In 1846 he returned to Northumberland county, Pa., where he remained until 1850, when he came again to Ohio, and located in Morrow county, whence, in 1853, he came to Fulton county, settling on a farm two and one-half south of Fayette, in Gorham township, and their remaining until his death, which occurred Oct. 20, 1887, at which time he was nearly seventy-five years of age.  His wife passed away in 1872, at the age of sixty-three years.  Of their eight children Eli is the eldest; Alba died in 1855, aged twenty years; Elizabeth remains on the old homestead farm, never having married; Sarah is the wife of Charles Gorsuch, of Waldron, Hillsdale county, Mich.; Mary died in infancy; Phynanda became the wife of Frank Spencer, and she died in Fayette, Ohio, in 1901, her husband having previously died on a farm near Cleveland, O.  William operates the old homestead farm; and Bartlett is a resident of Bryan, Williams county.  William Thompson was a leader in the local ranks of the Democratic party for many years, and both he and his wife were worthy members of the Methodist Episcopal church.  Eli Thompson secured his early educational training in the common schools of Pennsylvania and Ohio and also attended a select school for a time.  As a young man he commenced work at the trade of carpenter and joiner, in Morrow county, Ohio, learning the trade under the direction of his father, with whom he was associated in this field of labor until the removal to Fulton county.  Here Eli continued to work at his trade independently, and he also taught in the district schools of the county for three winter terms.  In 1861 he was employed as clerk in a general store in Fayette, after which he returned to Pennsylvania for a visit.  On the 1st of November, 1862, he there enlisted as a private in Company H, One Hundred and Seventy-third Pennsylvania volunteer infantry, in which he was forthwith made quartermaster-sergeant, in which office he continued until the close of his term of enlistment.  He was with his regiment at Norfolk, Va., and after the battle of Gettysburg the command was attached to the Second Division of the Eleventh Corps of the Arm of the Potomac.  He received his honorable discharge, Aug. 10, 1863, and he then located in Pottsville, Pa., where he was employed three years as outside foreman of a colliery.  In 1872 he came to Fayette, Fulton county, and in that year purchased his present attractive little homestead of fifteen acres, lying within the corporate limits of the town on the south side.  The first three years he worked at his trade and he then entered the employ of the Canada and Chicago railroad, continuing with the line after the road became a part of the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad, with which he has been section-foreman for thirty years, having served under five different track-masters and being one of the trusted employes of the system.  He is an uncompromising Republican, takes a lively interest in public affairs, and he served four years as a member of the village council of Fayette.  He was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows for more than twenty years.  Oct. 25, 1863, Mr. Thompson was married to Miss Mary A. Aregood, of Pottsville, Pa., in which State she was born and reared, and they have eight children, namely: William I., resident of Elkhart, Ind.; Eli B., at the parental home; Joseph F., of Detroit, Mich.; Olive M., at the parental home; Osman A., likewise a member of the home circle; John H., of Delta, this county; Alva A., of Morenci, Mich.; and Sadie S., of Detroit, Mich.
Source: The County of Fulton - A History of Fulton County, Ohio - Publ.: Madison, Wis. Northwestern Historical Association - 1905 - Page 601
  IRA J. THOMPSON, a prominent manufacturer of Swanton, is a native of Royalton township, Fulton county, born May 10, 1868.  He is a son of Abraham B. and Susan (Powlesland) Thompson, and a brother of Addison Brooks Thompson, of Delta, a full sketch of whose life and family history appears elsewhere in this work.  Ira J. Thompson when seven years old accompanied his parents to the farm near Delta, where his early manhood years were spent.  He received his education by attending the Delta public schools and Fayette Normal University.  After attaining his majority he farmed the old homestead for six years and then purchased a farm of his own, located one half-mile north of it.  Here he resided until 1900, when he leased the farm and removed to Swanton.  For the next four years he was engaged in the transfer business.  In the spring of 1905 he embarked in the business of manufacturing cement blocks for building purposes, a business that he has since conducted with marked success.  Mr. Thompson is the inventor of a machine for mixing the sand and cement, by means of which the mixing process is more quickly as well as more thoroughly done than by hand.  This machine is operated by the same gas-engine that pumps the water to wet the blocks and to make the mortar.  The stock on hand and ready for use consists of about twenty-five hundred blocks, the daily capacity of the plant being three hundred blocks.  In addition to his plant he also operates a steam wood-sawing outfit, and contemplates erecting a mill for grinding feed.  Mr. Thompson is a Republican in politics and a member of Swanton Lodge, No. 555, Free and Accepted Masons.  On Dec. 25, 1890, he was wedded to Miss Ada E. Haynes, of Ai, the daughter of Jacob and Nancy Haynes, early settlers of that locality.  Mrs. Thompson was born in Fulton township Dec. 14, 1864, where she was reared and educated.  To these parents there have been born two interesting children.  They are: Florence and Fern, both in school.  By dint of close application to business and untiring energy Mr. Thompson has won success in life, notwithstanding the fact that he is still a comparatively young man.
Source: The County of Fulton - A History of Fulton County, Ohio - Publ.: Madison, Wis. Northwestern Historical Association - 1905 - Page 602
  ALEXANDER THOMSON, who is now living essentially retired in the village of Fayette, has been one of the prominent and successful farmers of Fulton county, and is known as a citizen of sterling character, possession those dominating traits which ever distinguish the true Scotsman, though he has been a resident of the United States from his boyhood and is loyally appreciative of the institutions and privileges of our great republic.  He was born in Cabrach Braes, Forbes parish, Tullynessel, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, on the 1st of October, 1842, being a son of Alexander and Ann (Dow) Thomson, who were born and reared in that same parish, where the respective families had been established for many generations.  In 1854, when Alexander, Jr. subject of this sketch, was twelve years of age, the parents immigrated to America, making Ashland county, Ohio, their destination.  They arrived in New London, Huron county, on the 23d of October of that year, and there the father died the next day, as the result of an attack of cholera, which he contracted in Quebec, Canada, while en route, and he was sixty-three years of age at the time of his death.  His devoted wife survived him by many years, passing to the "land o' the leal" in 1871, aged sixty-eight years.  They became the parents of three sons, of whom Alexander alone survives.  James, who was a soldier in Company A, Sixty-fourth Ohio volunteer infantry, in the Civil war, died at Pittsburg Landing, while in service, and is buried at Cairo, Ill.; William died in 1862, and his remains were laid to rest in Savannah, Ashland county, Ohio, beside those of his loved mother.  Alexander Thomson, to whom this review is dedicated, passed his youth in Ashland and Richland counties, and such were the exigencies of time and conditions that his educational advantages were somewhat limited, though he had received excellent preliminary training in his native land.  He has made good the handicap of his youth, however, and through well-directed reading and studious application, as well as through association with men and affairs, he has become a man of broad information, possessing an alert mentality and having all the canny originality of the stanch race from which he is sprung.  He traveled for years in various Western States and territories, and in 1872 he located near Boydton, Mecklenburg county, Va., where he secured seven hundred and seventeen acres of land and engaged in farming.  He thus continued until 1877, when he traded his Southern plantation for one hundred and sixty acres in Chesterfield township, Fulton county, Ohio, paying an additional consideration of two thousand dollars.  He took up his residence on his new farm, which he greatly improved, making it one of the model places of the county and being successful in his agricultural and stock-growing operations.  He continued his residence on the homestead, which he still owns, until 1902, when he located in Fayette, where he has since lived retired.  Mar. 26, 1872, Mr. Thomson was united in marriage to Miss Mary McCombie Johnston, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Tytler) Johnston, who were born in the city of Aberdeen, Scotland, and who came to America on the same ship as did the Thomson family.  They also located in Richland county, Ohio, near Savannah, and there Mr. Johnston died May 9, 1881, aged seventy years, and his wife died May 22, 1901, at the venerable age of ninety years.  Of their four children all are living.  Following is a brief record concerning the children of Mr. and Mrs. Thompson:  They are parents of three children: Anna is the wife of David Carey, of Decatur, Mich.; Margaret died at the age of two years; Lulu is the wife of Arthur Miller, of Fayette.  Mr. Thomson is independent in his political views, supporting the measures and candidates meeting the approval of his judgment and taking an intelligent interest in the issue of the hour.  Though never ambitious for office he has rendered effective service as trustee and assessor in Chesterfield township.
Source: The County of Fulton - A History of Fulton County, Ohio - Publ.: Madison, Wis. Northwestern Historical Association - 1905 - Page 603
  LYMAN A. TOMPKINS, M. D., after laboring long and faithfully in his chosen profession, in which he gained precedence as one of the leading physicians and surgeons of Fulton county, is now living practically retired in the village of Metamora.  The Doctor was born in Reed township, Seneca county, Ohio, on the 5th of Feb., 1841, a son of John and Julia (Jordan) Tompkins, both natives of Steuben county N. Y., where their marriage was solemnized and whence they removed to Seneca county, Ohio, about 1835, the father becoming one of the pioneer farmers of Reed township, where he reclaimed 120 acres of wild land, becoming one of the substantial and influential citizens of the county, where both he and his wife died.  His father, William Tompkins, also a native of Steuben county, N. Y., removed to Seneca county, Ohio, about the same time, likewise reclaiming a farm, upon which he paused the residue of his life.  Thus four generations of the family have been represented in the Buckeye State.  Michael Jordan, maternal grandfather of the Doctor, was a farmer by vocation and passed his life in Steuben county, N. y.  The children of John and Julia (Jordan) Tompkins were as follows:  Michael, Sally, Emeline, Betsey, Delos, Lois, William, Myron, Lyman A., Alfred, Margaret, and Ardella.  Dr. Tompkins was reared to manhood in Seneca county, where he was accorded excellent educational advantages, having entered the Seneca County Academy, at Republic, after leaving the common schools, and having later continued his higher literary studies in Heidelberg College, at Tiffin, that county.  While a student in this institution he also took up the study of medicine, under the direction of General Franklin, M. D., of Tiffin, an able representative of the Eclectic school of practice, and after leaving Heidelberg College Dr. Tompkins took a course of lectures in Miami Medical College, in Cincinnati, this being in the year 1866.  In 1867 and 1869 he was a student in the Physio-Medical College, in the same city, this institution representing a new and beneficent system of practice.  In the last mentioned year he was exposed to small-pox and compelled to leave the city, but the college gave him an unlimited certificate to practice medicine, this being in every aspect equal to a diploma.  In 1871 he began the practice of his profession in Ai, Fulton county, where he was located for sixteen years, building up an extensive practice, ramifying through Fulton, Lucas, Wood, Seneca, Williams and Henry counties, Ohio, and extending into Lenawee county, Mich.  At one time he was compelled to keep ten horses in order to meet the exigencies of his widely-extended practice, his stable thus having as large a complement of horses as did the average livery of Fulton county at that period.  He gained the distinction of having the largest practice of all country physicians in the State, and his efforts were signally self-abnegating and faithful, no matter what personal discomfort and hardship he was called upon to endure when ministering to those in affliction and distress.  In 1887 Dr. Tompkins located in Metamora, where he continued in active practice until 1892, when he felt justified in retiring, his labors having been protracted and arduous, and he has since given his attention principally to the supervision of his farming interests, owning one hundred and forty-seven acres of land, in Amboy township, Fulton county, and Richfield township, Lucas county.  During the years of his active professional work the Doctor was a valued factor in the county, State and national conventions of the school of medicine of which he was so prominent and able an exponent, and he has done a large amount of work as examining physician for pensions and insurance.  In politics he is an uncompromising Republican, but he has never manifested aught of ambition for public office.  In 1869 he married Miss Rhoda A. Abbott, native of Vermont, who died in 1873, leaving one son, Abbott D.  In 1874, the Doctor wedded Miss Lucy J. Merrill, whose death occurred in 1893.  Arthur Lyman, the only child of this union, was graduated from the Fayette Normal University when but fifteen years of age, prior to which time he had accumulated $560 through is personal efforts.  The faculty of Fayette University pronounced him the brightest student who had ever attended the institution, and his name is still mentioned there with the same mark of approbation.  After leaving school he was cashier of a bank in Fayette for two years, when death cut short his promising life, his age at the time being seventeen yeas.  In 1884 Dr. Tompkins married his present wife, whose maiden name was Mrs. Elizabeth B. Baker, daughter of Azariah and Harriett (Kennedy) Baker, and who was at the time a resident of Seneca county, Ohio.  Mrs. Baker is a member of the Methodist church at Metamora, Ohio.
Source: The County of Fulton - A History of Fulton County, Ohio - Publ.: Madison, Wis. Northwestern Historical Association - 1905 - Page 604

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