J. A. Thompson is cultivating a farm of five hundred and sixty acres on section 17, Pella township, and is a farmer whose well directed energy and keen foresight are bringing to him a creditable measure of prosperity. He was born in Schuyler county, Illinois, August 1, 1861, his parents being Amos R. and Martha W. (Smith) Thompson, of whom mention is made elsewhere in this volume.
As a farm boy J. A. Thompson spent the days of boyhood and youth and in the public schools he acquired a fair education that qualified him to take up the more responsible duties of life when he put aside the tasks of the schoolroom. He remained with his father until twenty-two years of age, when he started out on his own account and for three years rented a farm in Iroquois county, Illinois. He then went to South Dakota, where he worked for his uncle, Ben Smith, for two years, after which he took up a homestead claim and at once began its improvement and development. There he remained for sixteen years and wrought a marked transformation in the appearance of the place as the result of the care and labor which he bestowed upon the fields. On the expiration of that period he removed to Minnesota, where he bought a farm and lived for two years. On the expiration of that period he sold out and bought another farm in Minnesota, which continued his place of abode for five years.
Mr. Thompson then came to Ford county, in 1905, and here rented five hundred and sixty acres on section 17, Pella township, where he has since made his home. He still owns a quarter section of land in Minnesota. He makes a specialty of raising stock and is an energetic, practical farmer whose labors have brought to him the success that he has enjoyed since he started out on his own account in early manhood.
In 1889 Mr. Thompson was united in marriage to Miss Sadie Kinsman, who was born in Minnesota. Her father is now deceased, while her mother is living in South Dakota. They were the parents of six children, and unto Mr. and Mrs. Thompson five children have been born hut they lost their fourth child, Byron. The others are still under the parental roof, namely: Clyde, Ray, Ethel and Martha.
Mr. Thompson has taken three degrees in .Masonry in Piper City. He also belongs to the Woodmen Camp and to the Ancient Order of United Workmen at Waterloo, South Dakota. Much of his life has been spent in Illinois and he is a splendid type of the Illinois farmer, alert, enterprising and progressive. After a sojourn in the northwest he believes that there is no district so favorable to the agriculturist as his native state and is now closely associated with its agricultural development and improvement.

Extracted 16 Oct 2016 by Norma Hass from History of Ford County, Illinois, From Its Earliest Settlement to 1908, author E. A. Gardner, Volume 2, pages 617-618.

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