John W. Thompson has had a variety of experiences since coming to California nearly fifty years ago. Since 1902 he has resided at 930 West Oak street in Stockton and is one of the highly respected and worthy citizens of that progressive municipality. The greater part of his career has been devoted to agricultural pursuits, of which industry he is one of the best representatives in this part of the state, but he has also found an outlet for his energies in many other enterprises linked with the life of the western coast. As his career has covered broad fields of activity, likewise has he been very successful, and he is ranked among the influential and prosperous citizenry of San Joaquin county. The record of which he may be most proud is the fact that he is in the best sense of the term a self-made man, and as the architect of his own fortunes has builded well and with serious purposes in life.

He came from the east to California in 1856, by way of the isthmus route, and on his first landing in the city of San Francisco he was introduced to a typical pioneer scene that has remained in his memory ever since. On the day of his arrival the "Vigilance committee," as they were called, conducted the execution of the notorious Casey and Cory; thus primitive justice of the Golden state was meted out. His first occupation in the state was salmon fishing at Sacramento for a time, and after this he was in Montana for a short time. Returning to Sacramento for a time, he later located at Lathrop in San Joaquin county, where he was engaged in the hotel business for awhile. At the same place he became agent for the Wells-Fargo and Company's Express, and was also postmaster there. He has always taken a prominent and public-spirited part in community affairs, and has been a useful citizen. In 1877 he settled on his ranch several miles south of Lathrop, and was actively engaged in ranching and stock-raising there until 1902, when he moved to Lathrop and resided in that town for a time, and then in the same year came to Stockton, where he has since made his home. He still owns his fine ranch of seven hundred acres about five miles south of Lathrop, and gives much attention to its operation.

January 2, 1881, Mr. Thompson was married to Miss Adelaide L. Clapp, who was born in Wilmington, Massachusetts, being a daughter of Noah and Louise (Stickney) Clapp, her father a native of Braintree, Massachusetts, and her mother of Andover, Massachusetts. She was reared and well educated in her native state, and in 1873 she accompanied her parents from Massachusetts to California, the family locating near Lathrop, where she lived until her marriage. She is a lady of unusual graces of disposition and character, and has been a most efficient life partner of her husband in achieving their well deserved success. She is one of three surviving daughters of her parents, and her sisters are Mrs. B. A. Goodwin, of San Joaquin county, and Mrs. N. H. Locke, of Lockeford, California. Noah Clapp, her father, is now eighty-four years of age, and makes his home with Mr. and Mrs. Thompson, but her mother died on August 26, 1891.

Mr. Thompson served as trustee of the Rustic school distict for three years. He affiliates with Morning Star Lodge, F. & A. M., at Stockton, and also with Stockton Chapter No 28, R. A. M., and Stockton Commandery No. 8, K. T., being a Mason of high standing and in much esteem among the brethren of the craft. He is also a member of Mount Horeb Lodge, I. O. O. F., at Ripon, this state. He is a Democrat in politics, and has always taken much interest in the success of his party.

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

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

Return to Biographies Index

Return to California AHGP home page

Return to Sacramento County AHGP home page