Samuel C. Thompson

The Lewiston Teller
March 4, 1898

S. C. Thompson Passes Away.

Mr. S. C. Thompson died at 11:30 p.m. last Wednesday. He had been a severe sufferer from complication of ailments and debility for two or three months and died after long suffering at his home in this city. He was 77 years 2 mouths and 7 days of age. He was born in Ohio, immigrated to California with the forty-niners and came to Lewiston in 1862. He was married in his native state, and his married life extended over fifty years and one week. The surviving wife accompanied him as a bride to the west, and has ever been at his side to counsel and help in building a great fortune, and in keening a fortune. Mr. and Mrs. Thompson, were never blessed with children, and they lived alone and unattended almost all these years. The Thompson homestead is a prominent land mark in the Lewiston valley and Mr. Thompson's name will ever have a place in the history of this city.

Mr. Thompson, was the pioneer drayman of Lewiston. In the busy times when the mines flourished in the interior, he handled the merchandise for the pioneer dealers.

In the beginning of his business relations with the old time merchants, he received pay, for his labor in goods at a big discount. In this way be some times, accumulated a considerable stock of merchandise, so much in fact that he became a formidable competitor in supplying packers and other traders. He was a born money maker. The wood business in the early days, was very profitable. Mr. Thompson controlled that necessity of life for many years. He bought all that was brought to the city by the Indians and for the profits of the investment and for the labor of delivery he usually received three dollars above first cost. And it is reported that it was, the rule of the household to hoard every dollar of the income from the dray business, and the profits of speculation. Mrs. Thompson who was a fitting helpmeet at all times made the living expenses on the farm. She furnished the table, clothed the family and fed the teams without the expenditure of any of the profits of Mr. Thompson's business. The most rigid economy was the rule of the family. The Yankee idea of rigid economy prevailed to the end of the old man's life. He often remarked, that he had more money than he could ever use and that his wealth was a burden to him, but the habit of sacrificing even bodily comforts to save the pennies, never was abandoned. By unusual business foresight he became one of the original townsite owners of Lewiston. In the early days of our development, the region above the court house, was an uninviting sand bank. It had been passed over by thousands with never a passing thought of its value. Mr. Thompson filed a homestead upon the vacant tract. He plowed and sowed the best portions of the barren bars, and his harvests were large. He might be called the pioneer farmer of the Lewiston valley. His crops of rye were the wonder of those who had regarded the Thompson homestead as a bleak desert. It is reported that ten crops of volunteer hay were harvested from one sowing, on what has always been known as Thompson's field. The success of this pioneer experiment in agriculture encouraged the extension of cereal cultivation to adjoining tracts, till the business grew to the present general importance.

Mr. Thompson retired from business about ten years ago. He has been regarded as one of the wealthy men of north Idaho. For many years he invested his accumulated wealth in farm loans, with great profit from the high rate of interest. The old gentleman often related his experience and animadverted the business conditions incident to the change from pioneer to modern methods. His early investments seldom if ever resulted in loss from inability or fault of borrower to repay their loans while the reverse had been the experience of late years. He met with some losses, which disheartened him to such an extent that be trusted his business almost exclusively to one of the local banks for the past ten years.

Although not un active member of any church organization, Mr. Thompson was a regular attendant at public worship and an avowed believer in the protestant Christian religion. He was scrupulously honest in his dealings with business associates. He was exemplary in moral conduct.

The funeral services will take place at 2 o'clock, this afternoon, from the Presbyterian church.

The Lewiston Teller
March 4, 1898

His Life an Example.

In our hastily prepared sketch of last week many facts were not at hand from which to complete the characterization of our deceased friend S. C. Thompson.

From consultation with intimate friends we learn of many deeds of kindly sympathy and true fraternal feeling that prove beyond doubt that the religion he professed became to him a guiding star for counsel and for action. He was a consistent member of the Presbyterian church, a faithful attend and at all its devotional services and in his life exemplified his belief in the universal brotherhood of man. Though blessed with this world's goods be was never a harsh creditor as many who had occasion to try his generosity can testify. The most fitting tribute to a man's religion that can be made is to witness how his thoughts and actions are permeated by its influence. In the deceased we find his life an example of the best teaching of the faith that in its practice makes all men brothers.

Contributed by Natalie Huntley

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