It is always a pleasure to outline the career of an honest, upright and progressive man, who has left the more thickly settled portions of the country, pressing out into the regions of wildness to bring them under the sway of civilization’s uplifting influences, spending, meanwhile, sturdy effort and drawing upon an exhaustless store of courage and determination to accomplish this worthy end and so we turn with zest to chronicle the events in the life of the capable and worthy citizen, whose name initiates this paragraph, since he has displayed qualities that are priceless, and manifested virtues and abilities that commend the admiration of all, while his straightforwardness and substantial and well rounded character have invited confidence that is not misplaced.
John W. Thompson was born in Vermilion County, Indiana, on February 18, 1837, being the son of John E. and Elizabeth (Meyers) Thompson, natives respectively of Virginia and Maryland. Before coming to Vermilion County, the father had been occupied as a mechanic at Harper’s Ferry. When the immediate subject of this sketch was one year of age, the parents removed to Scott county, Iowa, being the third family that settled there. The father bought land from the government and set to work to make a home from the wild prairies. He was favored with success and was numbered with the prominent men of the county, and there he was called from the labors of this world to the scenes beyond, the year being 1852. In 1888, the mother died in Nicollet County, Minnesota. Our subject remained at home until May 3, 1864, being twenty-seven years of age then. At that date he came to Utah and spent one winter in the territory and then repaired to Montana, Madison County, where he mined for five years. In the fall of 1870, he went to Walla Walla county, Washington, working there until 1880, in July of which year he came to Wallowa county and for eight years he traveled to different portions trapping and hunting. In the fall of 1888 he settled on his present place, fourteen miles above the bridge, taking a homestead. In addition he has secured eighty acres of timberland. He devotes his attention to raising stock, and success has crowned his efforts.