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Tom D. Thomson


SOURCE: Chicago: The Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1889. 

Ouachita County, Arkansas - from Goodspeed's History of Arkansas

Tom D. Thomson, grocer, of Camden, Arkansas. This familiar and most necessary business was established in the fall of 1889, and his store is filled with a large and varied assortment of teas, coffees, spices, sugar, molasses and country produce, etc., and as he selects his goods with care, and gives his customers the best value for their money. He has secured a large, and we might add, a steadily increasing business. 

He was born in Limestone County, Alabama, November 8, 1824, his parents, Robert B. and Lillian (Phillips) Thomson, being also natives of that State. They emigrated to New Madrid, St. Charles County, Missouri, in 1841 and there the father died the following year, his widow passing from life in Camden, Arkansas, June 28, 1884. He was a school teacher and farmer by occupation, and he and wife became the parents of four children, two of whom are living: Mrs. John W. Walker (of Stephens, Arkansas), and Tom D. By a second marriage she became the mother of four more children, but all are now deceased. The paternal grandfather was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and at an early day settled in Alabama, from which State he enlisted as a soldier in the Revolutionary War. The maternal grandfather, Thomas Phillips, was a captain in the War of 1812, and both grandfathers were farmers and died in Alabama. 

Tom D. Thomson was only six years of age when he was taken by his parents to Missouri, and can just remember the earthquake shock that occurred at New Madrid, St. Charles County. After the death of his father, he and his mother removed to De Soto County, Mississippi, and in January, 1844, settled in Ouachita County, Arkansas, and took up their abode on a farm thirteen miles southwest of Camden, and here he grew to manhood, receiving such education as the schools of that day afforded. The war broke out when he was twenty-seven years of age, and although he had been engaged in farming and merchandising from the time he was nineteen years of age, he dropped everything to enlist as a private in the Fifteenth Arkansas Regiment, but at the fall of Fort Donalson his regiment was captured. He then returned to the west side of the Mississippi River and was made captain of Company B., Thirty-third Arkansas Regiment, and was elected lieutenant colonel at the reorganization, but after the colonel was killed at Jenkins' Ferry, Mr. Thomson was made colonel, and was in command of his regiment until the final surrender. He received a slight wound at Jenkins' Ferry, but was not captured.

After the war he returned to Camden, and from 1866 to 1870 clerked in a store, then embarked in business for himself, but failed in 1873, losing everything he possessed. He then went back to clerking and bookkeeping, continuing until 1884, when he was elected county and circuit court clerk, and served two terms. In the fall of 1889, as above stated, he embarked in his present business, and is doing well. He is a Knight Templar in the Masonic fraternity, is a member of the I. O. O. F., and he is a Democrat in his political views. In March, 1857, he was married to Miss Martha A. Cross, by whom he has seven children: Dora (wife of J. T. Sifford), Bettie (wife of J. W. Holleman), Maggie, Emma, George, Louie M.and Percy. The Colonel and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Thomson's stepfather, Thomas Beard, built the first warehouse in Camden, which was a very large structure, and the first meeting of the Masonic fraternity was held in this building . He also built the first bridge.


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