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William G. Thompson

william g. thompson obituary, william g thompson
William G Thompson July 23, 1842 – July 20, 1904 was a Union Army officer, lawyer, politician, and the mayor of Detroit, Michigan He also founded Detroit's first major league baseball team

Contents

  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Law and politics
  • 3 Personal and later life
  • 4 References

Early lifeedit

William G Thompson was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on July 23, 18421 He was educated at Amherst College1 In 1861, sparked to enlist by the Civil War, he joined the Fourth Pennsylvania Cavalry When his enlistment was over, he moved at the request of his mother to Toledo, Ohio, but then enlisted in a lancer regiment there as a first lieutenant1 He spent the winter of 1861–62 in Detroit, after which the regiment was disbanded and Thompson returned to Lancaster1 He was later appointed aide de camp as a second lieutenant in the 6th New Jersey Volunteer Infantry, and was severely wounded at the Battle of Chancellorsville, earning a promotion to first lieutenant for gallantry on the battlefield1

Law and politicsedit

After his unit was mustered out in 1864, Thompson studied law in New York City, then moved to Detroit to join the law firm of D B and H M Duffield He was admitted to the bar in 18671 He had varied business interests, building the Ste Claire Hotel on Campus Martius in 18792 and founding Detroit's first major league baseball team, the Detroit Wolverines, in 18813

Thompson served on the Board of Estimates in 1873, and as an alderman in 1874–18751 He unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 1876,4 and was a delegate to the Republican National Convention from Michigan in both 1876 and 188056 He ran for mayor of Detroit on the Republican ticket twice more, winning both times and serving from 1880 to 18831 In 1884, Thompson switched parties to become a Democrat and sought that party's nomination for mayor,6 but was not nominated4 He ran once more for mayor in 1891, being defeated by the then-incumbent Hazen S Pingree7 He also served as a state senator, being elected in 189489

Personal and later lifeedit

In 1867, Thompson married Adelaide Mary Brush, the daughter of Edmund A Brush and granddaughter of Elijah Brush1 The couple had one daughter, and Adelaide died in 18751 In 1878, Thompson married Adele Campau 1856-1930,1 granddaughter of former Detroit mayor Joseph Campau, but the two began divorce proceedings in 188810 The couple's acrimony caused a sensational and public fight between Thompson and Adele's brother Daniel Campau, in which Thompson was considerably pummeled Campau had warned Thompson just prior to the fight that "he must not talk about his wife hereafter in barrooms and other public places, as he had been doing"10

Thompson died on July 20, 1904, in Yonkers, New York,11 of injuries received after being knocked down by a bicycle8 He is interred at Princeton Cemetery in Princeton, New Jersey12

Referencesedit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Silas Farmer 1889, THE HISTORY OF DETROIT AND MICHIGAN, p 1048 
  2. ^ Patricia Ibbotson 2007, Detroit's Historic Hotels and Restaurants, Arcadia Publishing, p 11, ISBN 0-7385-5080-9 
  3. ^ Ren Farley "Recreation Park" Detroit1701 org Retrieved October 25, 2010 
  4. ^ a b ROBERT B ROSS; GEORGE B CATLIN 1898, LANDMARKS OF DETROIT A HISTORY OF THE CITY, p 826 
  5. ^ "Thompson, William" Political Graveyard Retrieved October 25, 2010 
  6. ^ a b "Mr Hill's Lieutenants" New York Times March 3, 1892 
  7. ^ William Stocking; Detroit News; Stephen Bromley McCracken 1902, Detroit, The Evening News Association, p 71 
  8. ^ a b The government of the city of Detroit and Wayne County, Michigan: 1701 to 1907, historical and biographical, 1907, pp 35–36 
  9. ^ "DIED AT YONKERS" Detroit Free Press Jul 21, 1904 
  10. ^ a b "Both Men Laid Up: A fierce fight between two Detroit politicians" New York Times May 6, 1888 
  11. ^ Judy Jacobson 2002, Detroit River Connections: Historical and Biographical Sketches of the Eastern Great Lakes Border Region, Genealogical Publishing Com, p 59, ISBN 0-8063-4510-1 
  12. ^ "William G Thompson" Find a Grave Retrieved 2008-02-15 
Political offices
Preceded by
George C Langdon
Mayor of Detroit
1880–1883
Succeeded by
Stephen Benedict Grummond

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