John Ernest Thompson

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Born: 10 Mar 1869

Died: 25 Jun 1954

At the age of: 85

Plot Number: I3

Spouse: Jane Bosemworth Thompson





john thompsonFuneral services for Mr. Thompson took place at 2 p.m. at the Malta L.D.S. Church with Bishop Orson Sanders officiating. Organ prelude and postlude were played by Melba Cottle. A male quartet composed of Wesley Bronson, Don Shaw, Deward John and Ralph Butler sang “I need thee ever hour.” Invocation was offered by Patriarch Fred H. Ottler.

The obituary was given by John H. Thompson. Speaker was William M. Barrett. A chorus composed of the John Henry Thompson family sang “Hold Thou My Hand.” Speakers were Pres. E.S. Miller and Orson R. Sanders. The male quartet sang “The Tearchers Work is Done.” The Benediction was pronounced by Herman H. Taylor.

Interment in the Malta Cemetery was under direction of Payne Mortuary. Burial was beside his wife. J. Henry Thompson (a son) dedicated the grave.

The paulbearer were Don Malmber, Dale, Joseph and Sam Thompson and John Thompson, and Clarence E. Barrett. Flowers were under the direction of the Relief Society. Carried by Lois Elison, Velda Barrett, Inez Barlow, Cloe Warr, Ann Nye, Flossie Smith, Ethel Cottle, Volda Cobbley, Viola Wight, Estella Hall, Sarah Wight.

John Ernest Thompson moved to a homestead near Almo as an early settler. Grandfather Thompson (John Earnest) was born in Harraogate, England, to a we-to-do furniture manufacturer, upholsterer and funeral direction and raised as a gentleman son of an Alderman. Ernest became bored with polite society and tourist trade and desired to seek an outdoor life in Canada, so he cut family ties for the rough life in a new land. He was an accomplished pianist, but sought employment in a store near Lake Erie, He was soon transferred to Ohio by the company and then he sent for his sweetheart, “my Yorkshire Rose, “ Miss Jane Bosomworth, in England. Jane embarked for America and married Ernest Sept. 17, 1894

Young John Henry, the first child, was to travel with the couple to many strange places before they arrived in the Raft River area of Idaho.

HOMESTEAD, Malta, Idaho 1921. Front, left to right, John E. Thompson, William B. Thompson, Jane B. Thompson, back Grace Thompson Sealey, J. Henry Thompson, Janie Thompson, age nine months, Lara Harmon Thompson and Edward A. (Ted) Thompson.

HOMESTEAD, Malta, Idaho 1921. Front, left to right, John E. Thompson, William B. Thompson, Jane B. Thompson, back Grace Thompson Sealey, J. Henry Thompson, Janie Thompson, age nine months, Lara Harmon Thompson and Edward A. (Ted) Thompson.

From their Ohio home, the little family journeyed down to Commonwealth Georgia with some 30 other families. When sickness caused the colong ottoisband, som of the group decided to stay together and floated on barges down the Chattahorgee River to Appalachicola Bay in 1898, traversing some 500 miles of river in 12 days, Two-year-old John Henry had to be tied to the barge, for he kept falling overboard.

The company settled at Cat Point, but he living conditions in that tropical climate proved to be terrible. What with alligators, snakes, ants and mosquitoes, the adventurers found somewhat less than paradise. Jane came down first with typhoid malaria and John also contracted the disease, so they returned to Ohio.

In 1901 Mrs. Thompson was called to go home to England at the serious illness of the mother, so she took J. Henry and little Jennie with her. The second child, a month old girl, was buried at Commonwealth. Ernest, who was working for John D. Rockefeller at the time, after a few months became lonely for his family, so he closed up the house and followed them to England.

Jane persuaded Ernest to purchase the house in which she was born and to stay in beautiful England. Young J. Henry began his schooling there and life was good. But by 1910 the family hand unitedly decided to return to America, but this time to settle in the west, so once more the packing began.

Except for being seasick and having separate sleeping quarters, the family has some exciting experiences and enjoyed their trip. Soon after setting sail, young J. Henry was alone on the deck when he saw a huge mountain of waves swell and heave toward the stately ship of 3,000 souls. Terrified and overwhelmed, he turned tail, ran across the deck, through he dining room, and into his safe cabin!

At the dock in America he saw another unusual sight when countless sacks of onions were brought out of the hold of the ship by windlass to be swung ashore. Some of the sack split, dumping the onions into the ocean, and the ship appeared to be floating in the center of an acre of onions!

Murray, Utah, was their home for four years, and then Ernest went to work for Orson Sanders, owner of the E Y Ranch, and old stagecoach station, about 14 miles east of Almo on Raft River.

The temperature was 16 degrees below zero when the family arrived in Almo with their horses, cows, goats, machinery and furniture. The frozen potatoes rattled like nuts in a sack. Life in the new territory was to be a far cry from the comforts they had left. At one time they built a dugout in which to live by piling cut-out sod into walls around the dugout area, then covering it with fence wire, straw and dirt atop a crosspose to form the roof.

Ernest filed on 320 acres on Reid Springs, halfway between Almo and Yost, Utah. There were not water rights on part of the land (the river bottoms) so Ernest walked miles to a spot where he could grow vegetables which he sold in the area to keep the family going. It was a struggle for survival. By 1915 J. Henry went into Burley to work at the sugar mill, and his earnings gave a big boost to the family finances.

Pioneers in ever sense of the work, the Thompsons knew the howl of the coyote and the taste of alkalai.

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