J. Q. Thompson - 1831-1917

Jonathon Quincy Thompson was born. Nov. 4, 1831, in Tuscaloosa, Ala., being the oldest son of Azariah Newton Thompson and his wife Permelia Herd Darden. Mr. Thompson grew to young manhood in this city, once teaching school, but most of the time was spent in overseeing his father's plantation and slaves and as clerk in a general merchandise store. As he grew to more mature manhood and not very strong (physically speaking) he responded to the call of the West - coming to Texas on horseback shortly before the Civil War, landing at Rusk, Texas, taking a clerkship there also. When war was declared he returned to Tuscaloosa to enlist, but failing health prevented his going into active service, so he was put in charge of a commissary department, also helping to look after a large family of brothers (one of whom was killed at Gettysburg and another at Mobile after the surrender) and sisters.

After the havoc of war was over, his father having died, Texas again called to him. With two brothers and four sisters he came by wagon. The oldest sister having been married in 1851 to Mr. James M. Williams, was then living in Paris, Texas.

J. Q. Thompson chose Marshall as his home, opening a general merchandise store in the spot where Wiseman's store has stood for more than three score years. At Marshall he married Lucy Clemmons Finley, who was making her home with her uncle, Capt. Stephen D. Rainey. Here one daughter, Ella, now Mrs. J. P. Russell, was born. Ill health made it necessary for Mr. Thompson to sell his business in Marshall and move to Pars, where another daughter, Fannin, now Mrs. J. H. Lowry, was born. The doctor advised open air work, so after one year of rest in Paris he bought the farm known as the Lewis Chiles farm, then owned by his brother-in-law, James M. Williams. He bought a yoke of oxen and a horse blind in one eye. With these he began to clear up bottom land and make a living for three children, Minnie Duepree having been born shortly after moving to the lower part of the farm. Here he made his own bullets, candles and shoestrings, going by ox team to Jefferson for his annual supply of staple groceries. Feeling the burden of too much land, he decided to sell some, go to the prairie and build a house of two rooms and a "lean-to" one mile north of Dial. A bored well furnished all the water for stock and family, which was so hard no soap would break it. Here Samuel Newton Thompson was born. When the children grew older, Mr. Thompson desired better school advantages than could be obtained at Lane's Academy, now the modern and well equipped standard school superintended by Cooper Carter, who married J. Q. Thompson's granddaughter, Ruth Thompson, so he sold the farm at a sacrifice and moved to Honey Grove in 1880, having bought the place on East Main and 14th streets built by Logan Davidson just before the Civil War, but then owned by Sidney Price. He began trying to make a living for a family of five in the general merchandise store of J. B. McKee at a salary of forty dollars a month, rising at 4 a.m. to let the Indians, who had spent the previous night in the wagon yard, have their goods before returning to what was then the Indian Territory. The task of making a decent living on this meager salary was a difficult one, as one more child, Harry L. Thompson, was to be provided for. This necessitated the opening of a private school by Mrs. Thompson (more of which will be said later).

Mr. Thompson, though never strong, lived to the age of nearly 87, having been a loyal member and clerk of the Honey Grove Baptist church about 35 years. He now sleeps in beautiful Oakwood, waiting a glorious resurrection.

 

Lucy Clemmons Thompson

The subject of this sketch was born in Guntersville, Ala., May 28, 1841. She was the daughter of Samuel Finley and Evergeen Rainey, sister of Stephen Decatur Rainey, a pioneer settler of Marshall, Tex., whose wife was Mary Russell. Lucy Finley was the oldest of a family of eight children, her father, Samuel Finley, dying of pneumonia before the Civil War. Her mother was killed by a bomb shell while the Yankees were shelling the town of Guntersville, Ala. Lucy had previously been sent from the home with the younger children and a few valuables to find safety in the mountains, while her mother remained to gather up a few more things. On leaving the home with a Dr. McNany and his paralized mother, who were refugees at that time, a bomb burst, killing Mrs. Finley and Dr. McNany, leaving his helpless mother and the family of children to the care and protection of the "Black Mammy" and slaves until Capt. Stephen D. Rainey, her uncle, could come from Texas to the children, who had been cruelly robbed of a mother, home and all their possessions.

Lucy Finley was married at the palatial home of Capt. Rainey in October 1867, to J. Q. Thompson, also a native of Alabama, who had opened a general merchandise store in Marshall, Texas, after the war. Having been reared in the Old South, she had much to learn when she moved to a farm with two children, never having washed or cooked a meal, but she put her shoulder to the wheel, carrying well her part of the burden through the trying days of reconstruction. She became a finished pupil in all lines of home work, looking after her own household with greatest care and always having time to look after the sick and the needy at any time of night or day, always using every opportunity to help add something to the family treasury. In order to do this, in the year 1882 she opened a private school around her fireplace with five pupils, which grew until it was necessary to move to a rent house, where many of the prominent citizens of Honey Grove and other cities began their education. Mrs. Thompson lived to be 81, passing away in 1923, and now sleeps beside her husband in Oakwood.

Written February 1938, by Ella Thompson Russell

 

The Floyd Family

William Floyd, born Dec. 5, 1822 in Bledsoe County, Tenn., where he was reared and married Miss Elizabeth Ford. Moved to Texas, arriving here in January, 1859, and settled near McCraw's Chapel. Although beyond the age for active service, he entered the Confederate Army in 1861, and served a while in the field artillery and then was detailed to do government work at home until the surrender. After the war was over, he moved nearer Honey Grove, and continued to farm. Later he and his sons developed the stone quarries in their vicinity which supplied building stone for most of the business houses of Honey Grove and North Texas. The first church built by the Methodist denomination, 1881, was made entirely of this stone, Mr. Floyd superintending the work.

Mr. Floyd died July 13, 1884. His family consisted of John H.; James F; Mary A; William T;, who died in early life; Benjamin F.; George W. All made honorable, upright citizens and carried on their father's work and amassed quite a fortune in land. All are now deceased, the last member of this family, Mary A., having died January 8, 1938. The only surviving descendants are three daughters, Miss Jessie Floyd, Mrs. Allie Kelley, Mrs. Elizabeth Branson; and four grandchildren of George W. and Mrs. Letitia (Avery) Floyd.

William Floyd served as county commissioner for several years.

 

Honey Grove Preservation League

Saving and Documenting the History of Honey Grove, Texas


Interesting Stories and Events In Honey Grove’s Early History

Honey Grove Signal-Citizen, [specific date unknown; likely Spring, 1938] (E)

Written by H.P. Allen, assisted by W.J. Erwin