Winnebago County, Illinois
Prominent attorney of Fargo, is a man of deep research and careful investigation, and his skill and ability have won him a large and paying practice. Prominence at the bar comes through merit alone, and the high position he has attained attests his superiority. Mr. Thompson was born in Rockford, Illinois, August 23, 1854, and is a son of Jared C. and Sarah J. (Mason) Thompson, both natives of New York. During the ‘thirties they removed to Michigan, and for thirty years the father was employed as an engineer on the Michigan Central Railroad. In 1878 he came to Dakota, and after serving the Northern Pacific Railroad in that capacity for ten years, was transferred to the shops at Dickinson, where he now resides. He has two sons: Frank F., of this review; and Fred, also a resident of Dickinson. On both sides ancestors of our subject were soldiers of the Revolutionary war, and were among the minute men who participated in the battle of Lexington. His maternal ancestor was Hugh Mason, who settled in Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1634. His paternal grandfather was John Thompson, who died in Fargo, North Dakota, in 1883.
The literary education of our subject was obtained in the schools of Marshall and Jackson, Michigan, and in the former city he learned the machinist’s trade, serving a five years’ apprenticeship, but he never followed the same. For two years he engaged in teaching music, and in 1876 began the study of law at Jackson, Michigan, with Higbee & Gibson, both well-known attorneys in that state. Soon after his admission to the bar in the spring of 1878 Mr. Thompson came to North Dakota, and located at Fargo, where he opened an office, and has since successfully engaged in practice f his chosen profession. In 1881 he formed a partnership with H. Krogh, but this connection was dissolved in 1892, and he has since been alone.
At Minneapolis, Minnesota, in November, 1882, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Thompson and Miss Elmadine Bissonette, a native of Montreal, Canada, and they now have two children: Jeredine and Jack Dacotah. In 1889 Mr. Thompson was elected to the state legislature and was chairman of the judiciary committee of the house. He was appointed assistant attorney-general under Hon. C. A. M. Spencer, and served in that capacity for some time. On attaining his majority he became identified with the Republican party, which he continued to support until 1895, when he became a Populist and is now chairman of the state central committee of that party. He is very prominent in Masonic circles and has taken every degree in the order. He is now secretary of all the state organizations in that fraternity; was potentate of the Shrine six years; is now recorder in the same, and also holds those offices in the Scottish Rite bodies. He also belongs to the Benevolent and Patriotic Order of Elks, the Knights of Pythias, and the United Commercial Travelers. He has always taken a most active and prominent part in public affairs; has stumped the state in the interest of his party at different times, and is the author of the resolution introduced into the first legislative assembly by which native-born children of North Dakota are known as "flickertails." He stands high among his professional brethren, and is very popular with all classes of citizens. [Source: Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota, Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Sally Masteller]
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