Alexander F. Thompson, ex-senator and attorney-at-law, was born at Pottsville, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, 7 December 1845, a son of the late Alexander Thompson and Isabella [Pennman] Thompson, both paternal and maternal sides of the family being of Scottish ancestry.
The father, Alexander Thompson, was born in Dalkeith, Scotland, in 1808, and spent the first twenty years of his life in his native land. In 1828 he emigrated to America, accompanied by his brother George Thompson, also by James Pennman, Robert Pennman, and by Isabella Pennman, who afterwards became his wife, and her sister. Landing at New York, they at once proceeded to Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania., and settled where the city of Pottsville now stands. In 1857 Mr. Thompson removed to Porter Township, Schuylkill County, and engaged in flour milling, lumber manufacturing and agricultural pursuits, giving eight years to these occupations. From 1865 until 1871 he did contract work in the mines of Williamstown, and from 1871 until the date of his death, in December, 1873, he lived a retired life. Alexander Thompson and Isabella Pennman were married at Pottsville. They had nine children:
Robert Thompson, who died in childhood;
David P. Thompson, who resides in Illinois;
William W. Thompson, who died at Frederick, Maryland, while serving in defense of his country in 1862;
Elizabeth Thompson, wife of Hiram Kimmel, who died at Carver Hospital, Washington, D. C., while acting in the capacity of a nurse;
Jennie Thompson, wife of Benneville Houtz, residing in Tower City, Pennsylvania;
Alexander F. Thompson;
Robert B. Thompson, a miner, residing in Tower City;
Isabella Thompson, wife of George Paul, of Tower City, and
James O. Thompson, residing in Reynoldsville, Pennsylvania.
Mrs. Isabella Thompson died in Pottsville in 1852. Alexander Thompson, the father, was again married, in Pottsville, to Mary Bast, of that city. To this second union eleven children were born:
Isaac Thompson, residing in Tower City, Pennsylvania;
George Thompson, residing in Alaska;
John Thompson, residing in Tower City;
Andrew Thompson, of Shamokin, Pennsylvania.;
Abraham Thompson, of Tower City;
Charles Thompson, who was killed in the mines at Tower City;
Mary Thompson, wife of George Stout;
Winfield Thompson, residing in Tower City;
William Thompson, residing in Tower City;
Elmer Thompson, residing in Tower City; and
Rebecca Thompson, residing in Tower City.
Alexander F. Thompson, at the age of twelve, was engaged in the winter in driving a four-horse team hauling logs to the mill, and in summer in working on the farm. He was employed thus for two years; the two following years he spent in the grist mill of his father. In 1862, at seventeen years of age, he enlisted at Pottsville in company B, One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Pennsylvania volunteers [129th Pennsylvania Infantry], under Col. J. K. Frick and Capt. William Wrenn, for nine months [Civil War]. He was mustered in at Harrisburg, then proceeded with his regiment to Washington, D. C., where they joined the Army of the Potomac, in Virginia. Mr. Thompson completed his term of service in May, 1863, and returned to Tower City, where he worked in the mines until 30 June of the same year, and then reenlisted in company E, Thirty-ninth State militia, under Captain Mull and Colonel Campbell. He spent six weeks at Chambersburg and Greencastle, Pa., was discharged at Harrisburg in August, 1863, and returned for a time to his old occupation of mining. He enlisted for the third time, January 20, 1864, in company G, Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry [7th Pennsylvania Cavalry], Capt. William Wrenn and Captains McCormick and Hinkson. He joined his regiment at Nashville, Tennessee, and went with them through the Atlanta campaign, and during this term of service had two horses shot from under him, one at Rome, Georgia, and one at Lovejoy Station. He was finally mustered out of the service, 23 August 1865, returned to Tower City, and for four years following worked in the mines, during which time he saved enough money to carry him through four terms at the Freeburg Academy. After this he again went back to Tower City and worked in the mines until 1872. Then for two and a half years he was a partner in the firm of Snyder & Thompson, in the general mercantile business, at Lykens. At the end of that time he sold his interest in the business and became a law student with C. W. Raber at Lykens, and Hon. A. J. Herr at Harrisburg. He was admitted to the bar in 1877, and opened an office at Lykens the same year. Mr. Thompson was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in November, 1880, and re-elected in November, 1882, and served four years in the House. He was subsequently elected to the State Senate in November 1884, and re-elected for a second term in November 1888.
Mr. Alexander F. Thompson was married, at Lykens, October 24, 1872, to Lizzie A. Halk, daughter of William Halk and Rebecca [Laudenschlager] Halk, the former a merchant tailor at Wiconisco. To their union has been born two children:
W. Claud Thompson, student-at-law, secretary and treasurer of the Williams Valley Light, Heat and Power Company,;and
Warren Ray Thompson, graduate Pennsylvania State College, now taking electrical engineering course at Pennsylvania State College.
Mr. Alexander F. Thompson is a lover of horses and has a track of his own. He has some fine specimens of fast horses. He is a member of Post No. 232, G. A. R., at Lykens, and past commander of William Thompson Post, No. 174, Tower City.
The above information was modified/edited from Commemorative Biographical Encyclopedia of Dauphin County, published in 1896 by J. M. Runk and Company of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. A free download is available from the Internet Archive.
Corrections and additional information should be added as comments to this post.
Findagrave Memorial #113035911. Alexander F. Thompson died 23 July 1924 at Harrisburg. He is buried at the Calvary United Methodist Church Cemetery, Wiconisco, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.