Biography of Myron D. Thompson

Myron D. Thompson, born on January 13, 1847, in Saratoga County, New York, was the son of Orville W. and Fidelia P. (Ingalsbee) Thompson. He was educated in Washington County public schools and graduated from Fort Edward Institute in 1864. Moving to Columbus, Wisconsin, at nineteen, he later settled in Vermillion, Dakota Territory, in 1867. Thompson co-founded the Thompson-Lewis Company, a significant business in the region. A Republican and active community member, he helped establish the Bank of Vermillion. He married Anna E. Lewis on January 6, 1870, and they had two sons, Orville W. and Martin L.

Myron D. Thompson was born in Saratoga county, New York, on the 13th of January, 1847, being a son of Orville W. and Fidelia P. (Ingalsbee) Thompson, both of whom were likewise native of the old Empire state, where they passed their entire lives, the former passing to the life eternal in 1887 and the latter in 1885. The subject secured his early educational training in the public schools of Washington county, New York, and later entered Fort Edward Institute, that state, where he was graduated as a member of the class of 1864.

At the age of seventeen years, Mr. Thompson secured a clerkship in a general store at Warrensburg, New York, receiving in compensation for his services the munificent salary of five dollars a month and being compelled to defray his own incidental expenses. At the age of nineteen, he came west to Columbus, Wisconsin, where he continued to be employed in a clerical capacity until 1867, when he came to the territory of Dakota and located in what is now the thriving town of Vermillion, where he instituted his independent business career by becoming a member of the firm of McHenry, Thompson & Lewis and engaging in the general merchandise trade, the firm being one of the first of the sort in the county. Two years later, the firm title was changed to Thompson, McKercher & Company, and this association continued two years, at the expiration of which Mr. Thompson associated himself with Martin J. Lewis, under the firm name of Thompson & Lewis, and engaged in the handling of lumber, farming machinery and implements, grain, and livestock. With these important lines of industry, he has ever since been conspicuously identified, the business now being conducted under the title of the Thompson-Lewis Company. The enterprise has attained magnificent proportions and is one of the most important of the sort in this section of the state, while by careful management, honorable methods, and progressive ideas it has brought to the interested principals a high degree of prosperity. Through their extended operations, they have in turn done much to promote the prosperity and material upbuilding of the county and state. Mr. Thompson has ever stood ready to lend his aid and influence in support of all enterprises for the general good, and his name is synonymous with public spirit. He was one of the organizers of the Bank of Vermillion, and upon its reorganization as the First National Bank, he was elected its vice-president, having ever since continued to serve in this capacity. He is a staunch adherent of the Republican party, and his allegiance has been one of action, as he has at all times been a zealous worker in the party cause. He and his family hold membership in the Baptist church, and in the Masonic fraternity he has risen to the rank of Knight Templar, while he is also identified with the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the Knights of Pythias. He is one of the pioneer business men of the state and it is gratifying to note the success which has come to him during the long years of toil and endeavor, for he has been essentially the architect of his own fortune and has so ordered his course as to commend himself to the unqualified respect and regard of his fellow men, standing high in both business and social circles.

On the 6th of January, 1870, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Thompson to Miss Anna E. Lewis, daughter of William L. Lewis, of Vermillion, and a niece of ex-Governor James T. Lewis, of Wisconsin. Of this union have been born two sons, Orville W., of whom individual mention is made elsewhere in this work, and Martin L., who is associated with both his father and brother in business. Both sons are graduates of the State University of South Dakota, which is located in Vermillion.


Robinson, Doane, History of South Dakota: together with mention of Citizens of South Dakota, [Logansport? IN] : B. F. Bowen, 1904.

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