Transcribed from History of Wyandotte County Kansas and its people ed. and comp. by Perl W. Morgan. Chicago, The Lewis publishing company, 1911. 2 v. front., illus., plates, ports., fold. map. 28 cm. [Vol. 2 contains biographical data. Paged continuously.] p. 847-848 transcribed by Shane Simpson, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, on May 7, 2001.

John Augustus Thompson

JOHN AUGUSTUS THOMPSON. - One of the most active, alert and farsighted business men of Wyandotte county, John Augustus Thompson, of Edwardsville, has been influential in the establishment of many of the more important enterprises of this section of the state and is an able and honored representative of its horticultural interests. He was born June 6, 1854, in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and comes of substantial New England stock.

M. L. Thompson, his father, was born in Connecticut in 1820, and died August 7, 1905, in Kansas. In 1859 he followed the trail of the emigrant to Kansas, crossing the prairie, "as of old the Pilgrims crossed the sea," locating in Baldwin, where he was a pioneer hotel keeper. He was a man of culture, interested in advancing the educational interests of his adopted home, and was one of the first trustees of the Baker University. During the Civil war he was appointed quartermaster at Fort Scott, and for a while after that period was engaged in the commission business at Leavenworth, Kansas. In 1864 he moved with his family to Edwardsville, Wyandotte county, being one of the original settlers of that place. He became prominent in public affairs, serving as postmaster, and as justice of the peace was known far and wide as Judge Thompson. He died at his home in Edwardsville in 1905, as above mentioned. He married Sarah G. Schweizer, who died at Edwardsville, Kansas, in 1890. Five children were born into their household, as follows: John Augustus, of this sketch; Emma M., widow of Dr. D. C. Murphy; Charles W., a dentist at Holton, Kansas; Herbert, a student at the University of Kansas, in Lawrence; and an infant daughter who died aged two months. Judge Thompson was identified with the Republican party, and belongs to the Ancient, Free and Accepted Order of Masons. Religiously he was a member of the Christian church, and an elder.

John Augustus Thompson was educated in the public schools of Baldwin and Leavenworth, and as a boy of about fifteen years came with his parents to Wyandotte county. Having a natural taste for horticulture, he subsequently learned the nursery business, and, with others, bought large tracts of land in Wyandotte and started, near Edwardsville, the Edwardsville Fruit Farm, which was the first large orchard in the county. Mr. Thompson still retains his interest in horticulture, and is a life member of the Kansas State Horticultural Society, and also belongs to the Missouri Valley Horticultural Society.

Mr. Thompson has ever been at the fore front in the establishment of beneficial projects, and he was instrumental in having built the first independent Telephone Exchange in Wyandotte county, of which he is now the manager. In 1909 he organized the Edwardsville State Bank, and has since served as president of that institution. He is a steadfast Republican in politics, casting his maiden presidential vote for Hayes, and he was township trustee of Delaware township for two terms. He was a member of the school board of the district for ten years and its treasurer, and previous to this was clerk of the township board one term. He is a member of the Ancient, Free and Accepted Order of Masons; of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows; and of the Rebekahs, as is also his wife. He is an active member of the Central Protective Association, and one of the trustees of the Methodist church.

Mr. Thompson married, May 22, 1873, Rhoda E. Marnoch, who came from London, England, to Kansas with her parents when twenty years of age and settled in Edwardsville. Neither of her parents are now living. Four children have blessed the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Thompson, namely: Judge Charles E., a noted lawyer and judge of Kansas City, Kansas; Harry M., who died at the age of nineteen years; John A., Jr., a graduate of the Kansas Agricultural College, is now a veterinary surgeon in the employ of the United States Government, and is chief veterinarian on the island of Panay, one of the Philippines; and his twin sister, Augusta, died February 10, 1884.

Biographical Index