WILLIAM J. THOMPSON


Since 1860 William J. Thompson has been a resident of San Joaquin county, and he is one of the native sons of this state. In a business career in which close application and unfaltering diligence have been dominant characteristics he has won for himself a position among the substantial citizens of his community, and is to-day the owner of two hundred and sixty-five acres of rich land which annually yields to him a good financial return because of the care and labor he bestows upon it.

He was born in Calaveras county, California, on the 25th of February, 1857, and is a son of James and Margret (Carlin) Thompson, the former a native of New York and the latter of Ireland. The paternal grandfather also bore the name of James Thompson and was said to be of Scotch lineage. During the pioneer epoch in the history of California James Thompson, the father, came to the Pacific coast, arriving early in the '50s. He located in Calaveras county and, like many others, hoping to win a fortune in the gold fields, he turned his attention to mining. Believing later, however, that other pursuits would ield him better remuneration than a search for the precious metal, he followed freighting and subsequently engaged in general merchandising at Angel's Camp in Calaveras county, conducting his business there with good success for several years. He died in that county in 1860, and soon afterward his widow and her five children removed to Stockton, California, where she spent her remaining days, her death occurring in 1898. The children are Annie, the wife of John E. Goefield, who is living on Roberts Island in San Joaquin county; James, also living on Roberts Island; William J., of this review; Sarah, the widow of William Brether, of Stockton; and George F., who makes his home in Stockton.

In taking up the personal history of William J. Thompson we present to our readers the life record of one who is widely and favorably known in San Joaquin county. He was brought to this county by his mother in his childhood days and was thus practically reared in this portion of the state. He attended the public schools of Stockton and has supplemented the knowledge there gained by many valuable lessons in the school of experience. After arriving at years of maturity he sought a companion and helpmate for life's journey, and on the 3d of July, 1881, was united in marriage to Miss Laura J. Peter, of San Joaquin county, California, a daughter of Marriman Peter, of Stockton, who is now in his seventy-seventh year. To Mr. and Mrs. Thompson were born five children: William M., James F., George F., Margaret E., and Bernice Lucile, all of whom are under the parental roof, the family circle yet remaining unbroken by the hand of death.

Soon after his marriage Mr. Thompson located on Roberts Island, and in 1898 took up his abode upon the farm which he now owns and operates. He has here two hundred and sixty-five acres of arable land under a high state of cultivation, and his farm is the visible evidence of his life of thirft and industry, for in his boyhood days he starte dout to earn his own living without capital or without the aid of infuential friends. Hard word and good management constitute the secret of his success and have opened to him the portals of success. He is a worthy representative of the farming interests of his district, and acquired ability. In community affairs he takes an active and helpful interest, and the cause of education particularly finds in him a warm friend. He served as a school trustee and as clerk of the Kingston school district, filling the latter position for a number of years. He has for a considerable period been a member of the local election board of Wakefield precinct on Roberts Island and is now acting in that capacity. His study of the political issues and questions of the day has led to his earnest support of the Democracy. Fraternally he is connected with the Improved Order of Red Men at Stockton. "Through struggles to triumph" appears to be the maxim which holds sway over the majority of American citizens, and it finds exemplification in the life history of William J. Thompson, one of San Joaquin county's most respected and worthy pioneer residents.

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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