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Biography of William R. Thompson

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William R. Thompson is a native Kansan and had given his years so far to the work of education and is now superintendent of the city schools of Halstead.

Mr. Thompson was born in Brownell in Ness County, Kansas, December 23, 1884. He is of Scotch ancestry, though his forebears settled in Connecticut a number of generations ago in Colonial days. His grandfather, Joseph Thompson, was born in Athens County, Ohio, in 1829, a state in which the Thompsons were also pioneers. He spent his life there as a substantial and hard working farmer and died in 1901. The maiden name of his wife was Andrews and she also spent all her life in Athens County.

Alfred C. Thompson, father of William R., was born in Athens County, Ohio, August 29, 1857, grew up there, and since 1876 had been a resident of Kansas. For a time he farmed with his uncles Hiram Andrews and Mr. Nelson in Doniphan County, but in 1878 moved to the western part of the state and homesteaded 160 acres in Ness County. He is one of the men who went through the fire of adversity in Western Kansas and came out strong and prosperous. He still owned his old homestead, and had altogether 320 acres of good farming land. His home is at Brownell. He is independent in the matter of casting his vote and is a member of the Baptist Church. Alfred C. Thompson married Susan C. Brock. She was born in Laurel County, Kentucky, March 24, 1861. Their family consists of four children: Mary, wife of George Hetzer, a hotel proprietor at Leoti, Kansas; William R.; John, a farmer at Brownell; and Florence, still at home with her parents.

William R. Thompson was educated in the rural schools of Ness County, for one year attended the State Agricultural College at Manhattan, and entering the State Normal School at Emporia finished his high school work and in 1915 graduated from the collegiate department with the degree Bachelor of Science. Since leaving college he had been a school superintendent, first located at Claflin, but in 1917 took charge of the schools of Halstead. Mr. Thompson had two schools under his supervision, a staff of thirteen teachers, and an enrollment of 325 scholars.

He is a member of the Harvey County and Kansas State Teachers associations, is a democrat and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1913, at Ness City, Kansas, he married Miss Elsie Hamilton, daughter of James and Matilda (Taylor) Hamilton. Her father is a retired farmer of Ness City and her mother is deceased.


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