Uncle William Thompson and Family Biograpy

Uncle William Thompson and Family

of Monroe Township, Richland County, Ohio

VII. WILLIAM THOMPSON. Born in Adams County, Pennsylvania, March 20, 1793. Nothing is known of his history until his marriage to Miss Margaret Raitt, near Fairview, Ohio, December 5, 1816. She was my mother's sister, and Uncle William, my father's brother. Two sisters were married to two brothers. The history of Aunt Margaret will be given in its proper place, under the head of the Raitt family. In 1829 Uncle moved from Fairview onto a farm he had purchased near Lucas, in Richland County, Ohio, where he spent the remainder of his days. Besides his regular farm work he ran a small saw mill, when water was sufficient, for several years. He was so unfortunate as to become blind a short time before his death, and thus was deprived of one great source of enjoyment in life. He was a member of the United Presbyterian Church. He died in his eighty-fifth year, at the old homestead near Lucas, Ohio, October 13, 1877, and was buried in the Monroe Cemetery. Aunt died a few months earlier. [1 May 1877] Eleven children were born to them—a large family.

1. DAVID RAITT THOMPSON. He was born near Fairview, Ohio, May 11, 1818. He was a farmer, and a teacher in the Public Schools. He was not married. His death took place at Logansport, Indiana, December 26, 1846, where he was interred.

2. SARAH THOMPSON. Born November 7, 1819, near Fairview, Ohio. She was married at the home of her parents to SAMUEL STEWART, December 25, 1845. He was a farmer living near Lucas, Ohio. He died September 15, 1850. He left one son.

(1) ROBERT NEWTON. He was born March 21, 1847. He married Miss Sarah J. McKee, August 18, 1869. She is a daughter of Samuel and Mary McKee. Seven children have been born to them near Mansfield, Ohio.

OAKLEY. Born July 7, 1870. Died February 27, 1873

BLANCE. Born October 11, 1873. At home.

MAUD. Born February 25, 1876. At home.

MABEL. Born November 4, 1878. At home.

DWIGHT. Born January 26, 1881. At home.

JENNIE. Born June 29, 1886. At home.

LESSIE. Born October 15, 1889. Died October 18, 1892.

R.N. Stewart lives on a farm a short distance south of Mansfield, Ohio. He is a ruling elder in the United Presbyterian Church and bears the reputation of being an upright Christian man. They have an interesting family of children, carefully trained by their parents for Christ and his service.

Cousin SARAH STEWART was married a second time, to WILLIAM FINNEY, November 7, 1853. he was a widower and had five children, as follows:

(1) JAMES PATTERSON, who will receive special mention in connection with his wife, Cousin Lizzie Short.

(2) WILLIAM. Killed by the running away of a horse, when a mere boy.

(3) MARGARET. Married to Hiram Ayers. Dead.

(4) MAY. Married Denny B. Simpson.

(5) ALPHARETTA. Married to John Crouch. Her second marriage was to John Shortiff.

Mr. Finney was a farmer. His home was near Mansfield, Ohio. His death will be portrayed under the heading of


It was Thursday night, December 6, 1877. The weather was cold and bracing. There were two families occupying the house of William Finney, living in different apartments. After the usual family devotions, each family had retired to rest;—the son, Rev. J.P. Finney, a little earlier than common. Very soon all were quiet and in the enjoyment of peaceful slumber.

Away in the dead of the night a strange noise was heard by the younger family, in the room where the aged couple had retired for repose. Mrs. Finney supposing that some one was sick, quickly arose, approached the door which led to the room where the old folks slept, found it open and saw the outline of a man; but, not recognizing him as a stranger, went on, and in a moment was struck and felled to the floor in an unconscious state.

Then a rush was made for the bedroom where she and her husband slept. He had just risen in his bed, when he was struck a terrible blow on his side, breaking the butt of the gun. When, in a moment, he saw a second stroke about to follow, he grasped the musket; and in the struggle for life, wrenched it from the hands of the would be assassin. In the struggle, however, he received a severe blow just over the right eye. At this juncture, Mr. Finney, supposing his wife to have been killed, ran quickly up-stairs to arouse a hired man and prepare if necessary for a further defense. His daughter, Minnehaha, then only ten years of age, was lying on a lounge near the stairway. With a lamp in his hand, in search of Mr. Finney, she distinctly saw the face of a negro man who lived in the neighborhood,—one she knew well too. She plainly heard him say "Where is he gone?" and, strange though it may seem, she kept perfectly quiet.

It was feared that the intruder had accomplices, and that he was not alone in his nefarious work. So the two up-stairs talked loudly about the use of revolvers and muskets, though no such weapons were in their possession. This is supposed to have frightened the colored man, and so he soon decamped, as he entered the house, through a raised kitchen window.

In the meantime a window was raised in the room above, and the cry of murder, oft repeated, reverberated through the stillness of the night to arouse if possible some one in the neighborhood. In a little time the men went down-stairs, and when the younger Mrs. Finney, coming to consciousness, saw the face of her husband covered with blood, she exclaimed, "Mr. Finney, what does this mean?" Herbert, their oldest son, then only about nine years of age, asked his mother what they should do. She replied, "We can only pray." He said at once, "I have been praying." Mrs. Finney had a cut on her head of two or three inches, inflicted by the blow of a musket.

On going into the bedroom below they found the elder Mr. Finney lying in an unconscious state, clotted over with blood, yet still breathing. His wife, unconscious too, was wandering about in an adjoining room and calling feebly for help. There was a terrible gash across the left side of her face, from which the blood still continued to flow. Such was the state of things in the usually quiet home of Wm. S. Finney and son, a little past midnight of December 7, 1877.

The hired man was sent at once to give the alarm among the neighbors. Dr. Craig, the family physician, was promptly summoned; the police of Mansfield were informed of what had taken place and their services requested without delay. The physician arrived at 2:30 a.m., just in time to see Mr. Finney breathe his last. Mrs. Finney, having received a fearful blow on her face, complained of a feeling of chilliness, and but little could be done for her, except to restore natural heat, until the next day. For several days she seemed unconscious of what had taken place, or what was going on around her. Crowds gathered at this home early the following morning to ascertain the character of the injuries received, to give needful help and show sympathy for the afflicted families. The funeral, arranged for Saturday, the ninth, was largely attended and the body quietly laid to peaceful rest in the Mansfield Cemetery.

The object in breaking into the house was evidently money. A few hogs had been driven to market on Thursday, and it was no doubt supposed by the robber, that Mr. Finney had money in the house. But the attempt to secure money proved an entire failure.

The name of the negro was Edward Webb. It had snowed a little during the night, and he was tracked across the field to his very door in Mansfield, the next morning, and he was arrested the same day about nine o'clock a.m. The people becoming very much excited, there was danger of mob violence. The family, however, very wisely urged that only lawful measures be resorted to for the punishment of the offender. When the trial took place, the chief witness against the accused was Miss Minnehaha Finney, then only in her eleventh year. She previously knew the man well, saw him distinctly by the light of the lamp, and showed a great deal of tact and sagacity, for one of her age, in giving testimony. There was also very strong circumstantial evidence brought forward against the accused. When the trial was ended the jury promptly brought in a verdict of "guilty of murder in the first degree." Accordingly he was sentenced to death by the presiding Judge, to take place May 31, 1878. When the time arrived the sentence was put into execution. Thus ends the most terrible tragedy in our family history, and may there never be, while time lasts, the occurrence of another like it.

Since the death of her husband Cousin Sarah Finney has made her home with her son, R.N. Stewart. Her death took place near Mansfield, Ohio, September 7, 1896, in the seventy-seventh year of her age. She was for many years a conscientious, active member of the United Presbyterian Church.

3. WILLIAM THOMPSON. He was born near Fairview, Ohio, September 2, 1821. His younger years were passed on his father's farm, near Lucas, Ohio. He was married to Miss Nancy Tarrass, near Newville, Richland County, Ohio, September 4, 1845. having sold his farm at Lucas, he moved to Iowa in 1856, and finally settled near Blairstown, in Benton County, where his wife died June 8, 1866, leaving ten children, five sons and five daughters.

(1) WILLIAM WILSON. Born near Lucas, Ohio, August 14, 1846. Married Lives at Archer, Florida.

(2) NANCY JEANNETTE. born March 12, 1848. Married and had four children. Dead.

(3) SARAH JANE. Born July 31, 1850, at Lucas, Ohio. Dead.

(4) SAMANTHA. Born at Lucas, Ohio, august 31, 1852. Dead.

(5) JOHN. Born at Lucas, Ohio, October 20, 1854. Resides near Blairstown, Iowa. A farmer.

(6) MARY. Born June 17, 1857, near Blairstown, Iowa. Post-office address, Marcus, Iowa.

(7) IRA. Born December 10, 1859, at Blairstown, Iowa. Dead.

(8) ALVIRA. Twin with the above. Also dead.

(9) ISAAC NEWTON. Born at Blairstown, Iowa, July 31, 1862.

(10) ENOS SHERMAN. Born January 2, 1865, near Blairstown, Iowa. Married. Residence, Blairstown, Iowa.

Cousin William Thompson was married a second time, to Mrs. Lydia Keiper, December 24, 1866. He had in 1894 twenty grandchildren and one great-grandson. he lives at Blairstown, Benton County, Iowa, and is a farmer. Nearly all his children follow the same line of business, in Iowa. His church connection is what is known as "Evangelical." In his last letter he says, "We are still serving god as best we can." How true the language of the Psalmist:

"They shall bring forth fruit in old age."

And, "Thou shalt thy children's children see,

And peace on Israel."

4. LILLIS. Born near Fairview, Ohio, June 5, 1823. She was married to David Stewart, near Lucas, Ohio, May 24, 1849. She was quite an invalid for several years of her life, and at times very helpless. Her death took place near Lucas, September 25, 1893. Mr. Stewart was a farmer, but did not have a vigorous constitution. He died June 21, 1892, preceding the death of his wife a little over a year. They were both buried in the Monroe Cemetery. They were members of the United Presbyterian Church.

5. MARGARET. Born near Fairview, Ohio, July 24, 1825. Unmarried. For many years she performed faithful work in caring for her aged parents and in household duties. She died at the home of her nephew, Robert N. Stewart, near Mansfield, Ohio, March 25, 1890, and was buried at Monroe. She was a member of the United Presbyterian Church.

6. JAMES V. Born near Fairview, Ohio, July 2, 1827. He worked at home on his father's farm, near Lucas, Ohio, until about the close of 1851. In January, 1852, he started for California, where he remained nearly five years working in the gold-mines, with varied success. Soon after his return to his home in Ohio, he was married to Miss Hadassah A. Wilson, December 18, 1856. She was born in Washington County, Pennsylvania, August 12, 1838. He was in the army a short time during the Civil War, in the one-hundred-day service, in the 163rd regiment, Ohio National Guards. He was assigned to a position on the color guard and did good service. He owns and lives on a farm near Lucas, Ohio.

Eight children have been born to them in the above marriage; four sons and four daughters; all born near Lucas, Ohio.

(1) CERELDA ANN. Born October 20, 1857. Married John G.D. Tucker October 10, 1878. their home for a time was in Marshall County, Kansas. She came home on a visit to her parents and died there November 23, 1885. She left three daughters: Celeste Fidelia, Ida Pearl, Lulu Myrtle.

(2) JOHN SHERMAN. Born February 29, 1860. He graduated at Westminster College, Pennsylvania, in June, 1888, and from the United Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Allegheny, April 27, 1892. On the sixth of September, 1892, he was married to Miss Mary Maud Hannah, at Jamestown, Pennsylvania. His first pastoral settlement was at Unity and Clintonville, in the Presbytery of Butler, Pennsylvania, lasting only two years, from June, 1892, to June, 1894. He left this work to accept an appointment in the home field at Newton, Kansas. Very soon after this he received an appointment as a foreign missionary to India. This he accepted, and set sail from New York for this new field of labor, October 13, 1894. He has now been in the field more than three years, and is doubtless ere this well qualified to take hold of active, aggressive work in behalf of the perishing in India, and to the honor of his Master. May his life long be spared, and may abundant success crown his labors. One child, Mary Leila, was born in Pennsylvania, August 28, 1893. His post-office address is Rawal Pindi, Punjab, India.

(3) LEONA M. Born September 21, 1861. She was married to Orrin F. Tucker April 2, 1880. Her husband is a carpenter by trade and lives at North Harvey, Illinois. They have five children. Two dead. The names of the living are James Dufton, Tillie Mabel, and Bessie.

(4) MARY ALICE. Born May 12, 1863. She was married to Cary Welty, November 15, 1882. He is a farmer, with his home near Lucas, Ohio. Three children have been born to them; Mary Estella, John Dwight, and David Raymond.

(5) LILLIS L. Born November 2, 1865. At home, Lucas, Ohio.

(6) WILLIARD J. Born August 15, 1871. A farmer. Post-office address, Blairstown, Iowa.

(7) LAWRENCE A. Born October 14, 1872. Assisting to run his father's farm, at Lucas, Ohio.

(8) IRA HINTON. Born January 11, 1876. At home.

7. JOHN HUNTER Born near Lucas, Ohio, September 10, 1829. He worked at home on his father's farm until late in 1852, when he started for California to engage in the gold-mining business with his brother James. On his way to New York City, at Dunkirk, he was severely injured in a railroad wreck, but was able to continue his journey, and in due time reached his destination. His injury, however, proved to be more serious than he anticipated. He died in his brother's care, soon after his arrival in California, January 15, 1853, aged twenty-three years, four months and five days. Christians may say truly,

"But when, or where, or how we're called to go—

I would not know."

But it is well to be ready, "For in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh."

8. JOSEPH. He was born near Lucas, Ohio, March 12, 1832. He was a farmer and lived near the place of his birth until the time of his death. Unmarried. His death took place at his home, December 23, 1893. He lived a quiet, peaceable life, and was a member of the United Presbyterian Church.

9. MARIA. Born near Lucas, Ohio, June 11, 1835. She was a quiet, faithful daughter at home during the lifetime of her parents, and as long as she lived. After their death she assisted in keeping house for her brother Joseph, until his death. She has since made her home chiefly with her nephew, R.N. Stewart, near Mansfield, Ohio. she is a member of the United Presbyterian Church.

10. ISAAC NEWTON. He was born near Lucas, Ohio, December 18, 1837. His early years, outside of attendance at Public Schools, were devoted to work on his father's farm. He entered the marriage relation with Miss Alice N. Welch, August 31, 1865. She claims Ireland, where she was born, as her native country. During the Civil War he spent three years and nearly three months in the union army, enlisting in Company F., 64th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He was in General Sherman's brigade and participated in most of the hard fought battles of the army of the Cumberland,—Shiloh, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Franklin, etc. Yet, as he himself has expressed it, "I was never laid out by ball, or shot, or shell; although struck by several. I had my canteen and haversack shot off, my gun shivered to pieces in my hands, and my hat carried away by canister shot." Cousin Isaac and wife know from experience what it means to be in delicate health. He has been engaged a part of his life in the mercantile business. He lives at present at Monroe, Hastings port-office, Richland County, Ohio. No children. They are members of the Baptist Church.

11. SYLVANUS. Born near Lucas, Ohio, August 14, 1840. Lived at home with his parents and engaged in work on the farm. He was taken down with that terrible disease, cancer—cancer of the stomach—causing great suffering, and terminating in death, September 30, 1866. His body was laid to rest in the Monroe Cemetery.

submitted by:
Elizabeth Richardson, Ketchikan, Alaska

SOURCE: Thompson, Rev. Samuel Findley (1828-1912), The Thompson-Given Families; 1898; privately published, Oxford, Ohio. (Available on microfilm at the Family History Library, Salt Lake City, FHL # 1402788.)