John Thompson has resided at his pleasant home in the town of Lodi since 1900, relaxing in a measure the strenuous activity which characterized and brought success to his younger years, although he is yet an important factor in the agricultural affairs of San Joaquin county. Coming to California something over thirty years ago, he has since devoted his energies to farming in San Joaquin county, and his beautiful ranch of one hundred and sixty acres situated four miles northwest of Woodbridge is the visible evidence of his labors and sagacious management. He still owns and directs this place, although his home is in town. He hs twelve acres devoted to grape culture, and this is one of the most profitable branches of his enterprise.

Mr. Thompson was born in Northampton county, Pennsylvania, September 22, 1838. His parents, James and Elizabeth Thompson, natives of north Ireland, early in life emigrated to Canada, living near Montreal, and subsequently moved to Northampton county, Pennsylvania, where the father died, and the mother passed away in Philadelphia.

Mr. John Thompson was reared and educated in his native county, but the school advantages of that day were rather meager and were limited, in his case, to attendance for about three months in each year until he was sixteen years old, when he went into the practical school of experience and real life. In 1856 he left his native state and went to Carthage, Illinois, where he followed farming for two or three years. He subsequently lived in Kansas, and from Douglas county of that state, in 1874, he came to California. Before settling on his present place he was engaged in farming near Lathrop and near Linden.

Mr. Thompson was married in Illinois, February 24, 1859, to Miss Catherine Shank, who has been the mother of seven children, five of whom are living, as follows: Elemr E., of San Joaquin county; Emery E., of Lodi; Henry W., of Lodi; Anabel, wife of William Lawsing, in San Joaquin county; Lettie M., wife of William Franklin, in San Joaquin county. The two deceased children were Lizzie and one that died in infancy. Mrs. Thompson was born in the state of Ohio, September 3, 1837, being a daughter of Christian Shank, both parents being natives of Germany. In infancy she was taken to Lee county, Iowa, whence, when she was about eight years old, her parents went to Illinois, locating near Carthage, where she grew up and was married.

For a number of years Mr. Thompson served as a trustee of the Ray school districts, in which he was a former resident. He affiliates with Jefferson Lodge No. 98, I. O. O. F., at Woodbridge, and he and his wife are members of the Rebekahs at Lodi. Mrs. Thompson is a member of the ladies' aid society of the Congregational church at Lodi, and she is also a member of the Woman's Relief Corps at the same place. Mr. Thompson is politically a Republican, and has in many ways manifested his interest in the affairs of his community.

Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume II

The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine

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