Biography - SYLVANUS S. THOMPSON
Some forty-five years ago Sylvanus S. Thompson came to LaSalle county, with whose welfare he has been closely associated ever since, and few citizens of Marseilles and vicinity are better known or more highly esteemed.
The family to which our subject belongs has been represented in Pennsylvania for several generations. John Thompson was the grandfather and George L. Thompson the father of Sylvanus S. Born in the Keystone state in 1823, George L. Thompson married, in 1846, Elizabeth Wilson, of the same state. In 1854 they removed to LaSalle county and settled in the town of Grand Rapids, where the husband and father improved a farm, and was successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits until his death in 1891. The mother, who was a daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Wilson, departed this life in 1877, having preceded her husband about fourteen years.
The birth of Sylvanus S. Thompson occurred in Beallsville, Washington county, Pennsylvania, June 10, 1847, and he was consequently seven years of age when he accompanied his parents in their removal to this county. He acquired a thorough, practical knowledge of farming when quite young, and continued to aid his father in the management of the old homestead until he reached his majority. He then engaged in farming upon his own account, and was prosperous in the undertaking. Making a specialty of raising and feeding cattle and hogs, he found a ready market for them, and derived a good income from this source alone. For twentyfive years he has owned a homestead in Grand Rapids township, and has instituted substantial and valuable improvements upon the place within this period. The farm comprises three hundred acres of fertile land, all kept under fine cultivation. Since 1892 Mr. Thompson has lived in Marseilles and has carried on his farm by the aid of reliable men whom he has employed. March 26, 1874, the marriage of our subject and Miss Sylvia Stead, a daughter of Henry Stead, of Grand Rapids township, LaSalle county, was solemnized. A son and a daughter were born to this worthy couple, namely: Henry S., now a student at Lake Forest, Illinois; and Ethelinda, now the wife of Charles Booth, of Peoria, Illinois.
Fraternally Mr. Thompson is a Knight Templar Mason, belonging to Marseilles Lodge, No. 417, F. & A. M.; Ottawa Chapter, No. 37, R. A. M.; and Ottawa Commandery, No. 10, K. T. Politically he has been a faithful worker in the ranks of the Republican party for years, having held many positions of trust. In June, 1898, he was honored with the appointment to the postmastership at Marseilles, and, entering upon his duties upon the 16th of the following July, he has made a record as an efficient and popular public official.
Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 165-166.