Back Up Next

            THOMPSON, JAMES BAXTER, was born in Carlisle, Cumberland county, Pa., September 21, 1823.  He is a son of Samuel and Letitia (Brown) Thompson, the grandfather Thompson and both parents having been born in Carlisle.  The father of Mr. Thompson was a carpenter and spent the whole of his life in Cumberland county, where he died August 12, 1851, his wife surviving him until 1863.  Their family consisted of eight children, of whom four survive: Thomas B., born April 3, 1812, residing at Carlisle, Pa., the oldest living settler of that town; Amelia, widow of the late Adam Crouse, born December 15, 1818, residing at Carlisle; Joseph C., born August 18, 1820, residing at Carlisle, and James Baxter.  The four other members of the family who have died are: Samuel, died aged nineteen; William, aged seventy-six; Nancy, aged sixty-eight, and John, aged seventy-six.

      James Baxter was reared to manhood and received a limited education in his native town.  He was apprenticed to the blacksmith trade for three years, six months and eight days.  Completing his apprenticeship, he removed to Harrisburg and continued to work at his trade until 1868, since which date he has been only occasionally employed at the business, of late years living a retired life.  He was twice married; first at Harrisburg, in 1852, to Emily J. Black, daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Black, a native of Harrisburg.  Two children were born of this marriage, both of whom died in childhood.  Mrs. (Reily) Thompson, the present wife, was born in Myerstown, Lebanon county, Pa., March 7, 1829 (and first wife died in July, 1855). Mrs. Thompson's father, William Reily, died July 28, 1843; her mother, May 23, 1866.  They had a family of sixteen children, three only of whom survive, namely: John A., born September 20, 1826; Mrs. Thompson, and Edward F., born January 8, 1835.  Mr. Thompson was married the second time at Harrisburg, November 26, 1857, to Martha M. Reily, daughter of William and Salome Reily.  The Reily family settled in Lebanon county at a very early date, and removed to Harrisburg in 1836, where they lived the rest of their lives.  The father was a carpenter by trade, but spent his latter years in agricultural pursuits.  To this second marriage of Mr. Thompson there have been born five children, four of whom are living, namely: Edwin C., Harrisburg, Emily R., Harrisburg, James C., Harrisburg, William F., Philadelphia.  In political views Mr. Thompson is a Republican and an old-time abolitionist.  The family attends the Reformed church.