Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
ABNER D. THOMPSON. One of the most enterprising farmers of Clay township, Greene county, is Abner D. Thompson, who has considered himself fortunate, and indeed he might well do so, that he has been permitted to spend his life on the homestead, for, in the first place, as one of our great writers said long ago, "There is no place like home," and also because his home happened to be in a country greatly favored by nature. It is true that it took a great deal of hard work to get Greene county in proper shape for agricultural purposes, but once in condition there is no better.
Mr. Thompson was born in Greene county, Missouri, July 28, 1855. He is a son of James and Elizabeth (Dabbs) Thompson. The father was born, in Henry county, Tennessee, December 13, 1822, and in 1829, when seven years old, he came to Missouri with his parents, the family having made the trip in wagons, experiencing a number of hardships en route. They settled in Greene county among the earliest pioneers, when this locality was indeed a wilderness, the vast forests having as yet heard the ring of the axe but little and the wide rolling prairies were still unscarred by the plowshare. It was amid such environment that the father of the subject of this sketch grew to manhood. He found plenty of hard work to do in assisting to develop a farm, and he received a meager education in the old-time subscription schools. He remained under his parental roof tree until he was twenty years of age, then began life on the farm for himself, entering land from the government and purchasing other tracts until he became owner of valuable holdings aggregating eight hundred acres. He had some of the finest farms in the county. He kept his land in good shape and was a prosperous farmer and extensive raiser of live stock and also a large dealer in stock, was very successful as a trader. He was one of the prominent men of the county in the early days. In the fall of 1864, during the Civil war days, he drove a large herd of cattle to the northern part of the state, where he sold them and upon his homeward trip was waylaid and killed, October 5, 1864, about a mile from his home. It was supposed that he had a large sum of money on his person at the time, and bushwhackers murdered him; however, the mystery has never been cleared up. Politically, be was a Democrat. On May 21, 1854, he married Elizabeth Dabbs, who was born in North Carolina, March 27, 1831, who came at an early age to Missouri with her parents, the family locating in Greene county. After her husband's death she reared her four children. She, too, met a tragic end, having been killed by a cyclone April 18, 1880. In all, five children were born to James Thompson and wife, namely: Abner D.,of this sketch being the eldest; William Edward, born February 3, 1858, died August 13, 1861; James P., born May 16, 1860, is living in California; Mrs. Mary L. Fulbright, born May 15, 1863; Mrs. Elizabeth McCracken, born January 25, 1865, is living in California.
Abner D. Thompson was born and reared where he is now living, and educated in the district schools. Being the oldest child he took the lead in making a livelihood for the family after his father's death, being only nine years old at that time. He finally became owner of the homestead, and at this time has one of the best farms in the township, consisting of three and ten acres. He has kept the place well improved and has a good home. The land is all in cultivation with the exception of about thirty-five acres which is in timber. He has been very successful as a general farmer. Mr. Thompson deals extensively in live stock, shipping on an average of twenty cars of hogs and cattle each year.
Mr. Thompson was married, December 4, 1879, to Janie S. Galloway, who was born in Barry county, Missouri, and is a daughter of Major Charles and Susan (Carney.) Galloway. She came to Greene county when a young girl and was reared on a farm. She received a common school education. She had a narrow escape from death in the cyclone of April 18, 1880, in which her mother was killed.
Nine children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Thompson, namely: Mrs. Jessie Anderson lives in California; Susie E., born November 15, 1883, lives at home; Charles E., born March 15, 1885, is farming in Greene county; Catherine Rena, born February 14, 1887, is working in Springfield at the McDaniel National Bank; Mrs. Janie Dee Gibson, born June 1,1889, lives in Greene county; Mrs. Ruth Gibson, born June 18, 1893. Janie and Ruth married brothers. Bettie, born July 20, 1895, lives at home; Anna Lee, born July 27, 1897, lives at home; Mary Eunice, born February 8, 1903, is at home.
Politically, Mr. Thompson is a Democrat. Fraternally, he belongs to the Modern Woodmen.
Springfield-Greene County Library