History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/William Thompson
WILLIAM THOMPSON was born in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, November 10, 1813. He assisted his father to clear a farm in the dense forests of Ohio and when twenty-one began to study law in the office of Columbus Delano. In 1839 he went by steamboat down the Ohio river and up the Mississippi river to Montrose in Iowa. At Mount Pleasant he opened a law office in partnership with J. C. Hall. In 1843 he was elected to the House of the Legislative Assembly. He served as chief clerk of the two succeeding sessions. In 1846 he was secretary of the Second Constitutional Convention. In 1847 he was elected on the Democratic ticket Representative in Congress for the First District. He was a candidate for reëlection and after a warm contest was declared successful. But his election was contested by Daniel F. Miller before the House of Representatives and the seat declared vacant. Both were candidates at a special election in which Thompson was defeated. For several years he was editor of the Iowa State Gazette. He was elected chief clerk of the war session of the House in 1861 by a unanimous vote. Mr. Thompson raised a company for the First Iowa Cavalry and was repeatedly promoted until near the close of the war when he was brevetted Brigadier-General. After the close of the war, at the request of General Custer, Mr. Thompson was appointed captain in the regular army where he served with Custer in his Indian campaigns, retiring just in time to escape the tragic fate of his gallant commander. Colonel Thompson died at Tacoma, Washington, October 7, 1807.