biography from Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
LEONIDAS R. THOMPSON, proprietor of 200 acres of valuable land on section 13, Des Moines Township, was born in Madison County, Ky in 1822, and is a son of John and Elizabeth (Story) Thompson. The former died in 1857, and the latter in 1861, both having reached the age of seventy-five years. When about fifteen years of age Mr. T. accompanied his parents to Monroe County, Ind., where his father purchased an unimproved farm and was numbered among the earliest settlers of that county. For twelve years the subject of this sketch made this his home, in the meantime learning the trade of a brick-mason, which he followed until the breaking out of the Mexican War, when he enlisted, June 9, 1846, in Co. A, 3d Ind. Vol. Inf., and served thirteen months, his regiment being attached to the brigade of Gen. Joe Lane. The principal engagement in which he participated was that of the battle of Buena Vista. At the close of the war lie took ship on the lower Rio Grande for New Orleans, where he was mustered out. Thence he went up the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to Madison, Ohio, where he landed in July, 1847. While en route the Star Spangled Banner was sunk from running onto a snag, and Mr. Thompson, with others, was compelled to swim ashore. Twenty of the passengers were drowned, the remainder being rescued by the Old Missourian, a large steamer, which took them back to Baton Rouge, where they had to remain three days before they could secure another steamer for up the river. Mr. T. finally took passage on the Swallow, which landed him at Madison. After returning home our subject resumed his trade, at which he continued to work until the spring of 1848, when he came to Mahaska County and located his war claim. he only remained here, however, until the 20th of May of that year, when, on account of scarcity of work, he returned to Indiana, where he staid until the fall of 1850, when he again came to Mahaska County. and began improvements on his homestead in Des Moines Township. Mr. Thompson was married, in February, 1853, to Miss Emily Miller, a native of Ohio, and daughter of Daniel anJ Jane (Dull) Miller, natives of the same State. Two children were born of this union- Jane, now the wife of Samuel Kitt, of Nebraska, and Emily, who died in 1873. Mrs. Thompson died in 1855, and Mr. Thompson was again united in marriage, in 1856, to Miss Dorcas Morgan, a native of Kentucky, and daughter of Alex Morgan. By this union there were five children-John, Clitton and Clay (twins), Ellen and Fred. Clifton died Feb. 14, 1883, having been killed in a coal bank by a fall of slate; Clay is engaged in farming in Sullivan County, Mo.; Ella is the wife of Green Berry; Fred died in 1880. The farm of Mr. Thompson is mostly coal land. He has a coal-bank which he thinks was the first bank opened out in Mahaska County, in 1848, and this he has continued to operate since that time. He has also another bank, opened out in 1885, which contains a vein of coal from four and a half to five feet thick. About 50,000 tons are mined each year. These command a large local trade, the greater part of the coal being used for home consumption. In addition to his mining operations Mr. Thompson carries on general farming and stock-raising. In early life Mr. Thompson was a Whig, affiliating with that party while it continued to exist, since which time he has been a stanch Republican. Socially be is a member of the Masonic fraternity.
Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy