Return to Main Page
A. W. THOMPSON, M. D.,
Facing page 210
was born in Heath, Franklin county, Massachusetts, December 16, 1814, of Sotch-Irish parentage. He was the third son, and fourth child, of William and Lovina Thompson, who were natives of Coleraine, Massachusetts. His mother's maiden name was Caldwell. She was the daughter of Joseph Caldwell, who was one of the earliest settlers of Coleraine.
His boyhood was spent upon his father's farm. He had the advantages of the common schools of the day, and attended two terms at Whiting Griswold's high school. With such educational facilities, he was enabled to acquire a good general knowledge of the common branches, and an acquaintance with mathematics and the natural sciences, sufficient for all practical purposes of life. At a very early age he began teaching in the district schools, during the winter, working on the farm during the summer time. The social peculiarities of the community in which he was born, had a more powerful influence upon his character, in its development, than his education in the schools. It is related of Heyne, that he knew of but one essential for making a scholar: "He should be able to read;" all else could be acquired by application. To learn to read, a teacher is neccessary; having learned this, the thoughtful student has in his possession the master-key which unlocks everything else. Dr. Thompson was born in a community known far and wide for its intelligence and stern christian morality. Catechetical training by the "country parson," and, at the fireside, by the parents, was the common custom of the times. The Bible was the text-book, on reading, in the common schools. Men were brought daily to the consideration of the highest problems of duty to God and humanity. Discussion of theological questions was the evening pastime of neighbors when they met, during the long winter evenings. Among such surroundings, at first as listener, at last a participant, the young man grew, and without knowing it, had become an acute reasoner, and no mean antagonist in debate. He knew things, but not definitions. There was a lack of polish, but there was strength. Men grew up self-reliant, conscientious and competent--fitted for any sphere. This was his preparation for the study of medicine.
In February, 1838, he became the student of Wayne Griswold, of Whitingham, Vermont, who, subsequently held an enviable practice in Circleville, where he died in 1873. In the fall of 1838, he attended his first course of lectures, at Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in the Berkshire medical college. After the close of the lectures, he became the pupil of Hon. S. W. Williams, M. D., of Deerfield, massachusetts, a man who, at that time, had few peers, and no superiors, in the medical profession of Massachusetts. In October, 1839, he came to Ohio, and completed his medical course under the direction of his brother, J. C. Thompson, M. D., of South Bloomfield, Ohio. During the winters of 1839-40, and 1840-41, he attended lectures in the Medical College of Ohio, at Cincinnati, where he received his degree, M. D., in 1841. He took the highest stand in his class in the studied of anatomy and chemistry.
He located in the practice of medicine at Kingston, Ohio, in June, 1841, where he remained till 1859, when he moved to Circleville, where he has ever since, with the exception of a few months, been in the active practice of his profession. During his residence in Circleville, he has held, much of the time, the largest practice in the county--a portion of the time larger than any one man ever held.
In 1863 he formed a professional partnership with D. N. Kinsman, M. D., who now resides in Columbus, and at its termination, in May 1866, with the late S. D. Turney, M. D.--this latter arrangement existing nearly six years--in 1877 with George T. Row, M. D., who is still with him.
He has had an active professional life of almost forty years, in a practice both surgical and medical, such as rarely falls to the lot of medical men. The marks of his success are to be seen in the confidence of his patrons, and the affectionate esteem in which he is held. He is a close observer, and possesses are faculty of holding in his mind the details of his cases; in this respect we know of no man in our professional acquaintance who is his equal.
Before the discovery of the anaesthetic properties of ether had been published in the world, Dr. Thompson had, for himself, discovered its wonderful power, and introduced its use in labor cases. He was probably the first physician in the Scioto valley to administer chloroform as an anesthetic; and so, during his entire professional career, he has stood in the ranks of the advanced thinkers, and has kept pace with the rapid developments of modern medical science, both in theory and practice. As is common in a long course of practice, he became confident, self-reliant, though ever ready to gratify the wish of friends, or better the condition of the patient, by accepting the advice of the learned and experienced in his profession; and, in return, was sought as an advisory physician, having, for a long time, held a large consultation practice.
The value of such a life to any community cannot be estimated. In storm and sunshine, by day and night, alike by deeds of kindness and of sympathy, he has shown himself a lover of his fellow man. He has shown himself worthy of being trusted at all times and on all occasions, when the highest courage and promtest decision were required.
In August, 1844, Dr. Thompson was married to Miss Diantha M. Entrekin, of Pickaway county. To them were born three children--Clifton B., Florence L., and Kate C.--all of whom survive their mother, who died in August, 1858.
Dr. Thompson was again married in May, 1860, to Miss Harriet B. Lyon, of Oxford, Ohio. To them have been born four children--Fannie M., Mary E., William G., and Anna E.--all of whom are living.