Johnson Thompson was born February 10, 1822, in Cass County, Georgia, the third son of James Allen Thompson, a white man, and Martha Lynch, a Cherokee, daughter of Geter Lynch, a United States citizen, who was a brother-in-law to Judge J. Martin, of considerable prominence in the Cherokee Nation. Johnson attended missionary and private schools until he was fifteen, when his father immigrated to the present Cherokee Nation with the Boudinots, Adairs, Mayes and Ridge families, after the treaty of 1835. Here he went to school in Viniard Township, Arkansas, and later to Bentonville in the same State, until he was eighteen years of age, when he entered J. M. Lynch & Co.’s establishment as a clerk, Mr. Lynch being his uncle. Here he remained until he was twenty-one years of age, when he married Miss Eliza C. Taylor, January 5, 1843, daughter to Richard Taylor, who was second chief of the Cherokees. Her mother was daughter to George Fields, prominent in the capacity of United States officer, and who drew a government pension till his death. Mr. Johnson Thompson embarked in the mercantile line, in the winter of 1846 and 1847, in which business he has been engaged up to the present, except during the war. When the campaign commenced, he joined the Confederate service, in the capacity of quartermaster of the First Cherokee Regiment, after which he got a certificate of disability, and retired, to a farm which he had purchased in the Chickasaw Nation, on Red River. After the war he began farming on Grand River in connection with his mercantile business, and there remained until 1868 or 1869, when he removed to Vinita. Leaving Vinita in 1876, he settled in Tahlequah, and resumed the mercantile and stock business, which he is still pursuing. He carries a stock of from $12,000 to $15,000, including boots, shoes, dry goods, hardware and farming implements. He owns about 200 acres of improved farmlands at different points, and about 100 head of stock cattle, as well as the stone building in Tahlequah, in which his business is carried on. He has five children, Thomas F., James A., Robert J., Joe M., and Jane Annie (the wife of R. M. French, high sheriff of Tahlequah.). Joseph M. is practicing physician and medical superintendent of the male and female institutes at Tahlequah, and is a graduate of the Missouri Medical College, St. Louis. The subject of our sketch is five feet ten inches high, and weighs 200 pounds. He is a man of good appearance, sound education and business ability. Mr. Thompson is one of the oldest merchants now living in the Cherokee Nation, who is still in business. He is also one of the first members who joined the Masonic lodge in the Cherokee Nation, after the first lodge was organized; he has taken the degrees in the Chapter. Mr. Johnson Thompson is good hearted and charitable, and has done many a kindly act for the needy and destitute.
Biography of Johnson Thompson
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