Biography of Charles D. Thompson
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Charles D. Thompson has been a resident of Ogden for many years, and enjoys a substantial position in that community because of his record as a good citizen and his honest workmanship as a painter and paper hanger.
Mr. Thompson was born August 24, 1853, at Leesburg in Kosciusko County, Indiana, son of John and Hester (Rhodes) Thompson. His father was born near Chillicothe and his mother in Marion County, Ohio. From Ohio the parents removed to Indiana and two months after the birth of Charles his mother died. Bereft of his mother, the infant was taken into the home of an aunt in Ohio, where he lived until 1861. He then joined his father and the other five children in Illinois. Charles D. Thompson is the only one of his brothers and sisters still living.
He attended public school in Ohio and finished school at Sidney in Champaign County. He grew to manhood near Homer and in 1881, at the age of twenty-eight, married Miss Frances Sweet. Mrs. Thompson was born near Manchester in Delaware County, Iowa, daughter of Samuel and Maria (Lee) Sweet. Her father was born near Rutland, Vermont, and her mother in Virginia. Her mother was a second cousin of General Robert E. Lee. Maria Lee’s grandfather, James Lee, and the famous “Light Horse” Harry Lee of Revolutionary fame were brothers. When Mrs. Thompson was four and a half years of age her mother died, and at the age of six she came to Mahomet, Illinois, with her father, who passed away a year later. After that she was reared by her foster parents, Mr. and Mrs. S. H. Lyons, a pioneer family of Champaign County. Mrs. Thompson acquired a good education and at the age of eighteen received her first certificate from the county superintendent to teach. Her first school was the Burr Oak School, five miles north of Ogden.
After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Thompson located in Ogden Township, near where the village of Royal now stands. They engaged in farming on rented land and went through a number of years in which thrift and economy were the prime necessities of existence. For twelve years they continued farming and then came to the village of Ogden, where they have had a pleasant home in the north end of town for the past twenty years. During that time Mr. Thompson’s services as a paper hanger and decorator have been in great demand.
He and his wife are attentive members of the New Light Christian Church, known as Prospect Church, a center of religious enlightenment which has stood as a means and instrument of good in this community for many years. In politics both Mr. and Mrs. Thompson give their support to the Republican ticket, but chiefly to the man of principle and thorough fitness for the office in question. They are pronounced advocates of prohibition and temperance. Mr. Thompson has made a success in life and through all the years has had the aid and counsel of a good wife and a thorough home maker.
When Mr. Thompson moved out on to the prairie in 1869 there was no town of Ogden and no railroad, and only five houses in sight. All around was waving prairie grass and wet sloughs. He recalls that in the summer the stock suffered grievously from the horse flies. Many times when the women would drive to Rantoul to market, while the husbands remained at home working in the fields, the flies would attack the horses and in their suffering they would lie down and roll over to get rid of the pests. The women would then have to get down and get the team out of the tangle, and it might be necessary to repeat this performance several times before reaching Rantoul. Mr. Thompson’s experiences go back to a time when the nearest post office was at Urbana and he appreciates the great contrast when mail is carried daily to the doorstep of every home in the county. When Mrs. Thompson was a small school girl in this county the teacher one day announced that school would be dismissed in order that the children might see the first train go by on the tracks of the I., B. & W. Railway. Mrs. Thompson and the other children climbed a plank fence in order to witness a spectacle the memory of which has never been erased from her mind. Fraternally Mr. Thompson is a Woodman and Odd Fellow and Mrs. Thompson is affiliated with the Royal Neighbors and the Daughters of Rebekah.