Before setting forth the lives of the Thompson's in Alberta, it might be well to trace their beginnings from the time the first Thompson ancestors of whom we have any knowledge, came from Ireland and settled near Trenton, New Jersey in the early part of the eighteenth century. When he came to America he had two sons and after his arrival, a third son was born whose name was Nathaniel Thompson. Although we know but little about the character of that first Thompson, he must have had a spirit of adventure and the courage to leave friends, relatives, and his native land behind and face the hardships and perils of the new world. This may in part account for the pioneer spirit betrayed by nearly all of his descendants.
Nathaniel Thompson had three children, Bradway, Samuel and Mary. Although Samuel and Mary lived long and fruitful lives, it is Bradway with whom we are concerned. He moved to Pennsylvania where he met and married on May 28th 1791, Ann Cousins a Scotch girl whose family were Quakers. Bradway too embraced the Quaker faith.
Six children were born to this union, of whom, Ezra was the youngest. He was born October 10, 1803 and died March 1, 1888. He married Amy Holt August 28, 1824, living first on a farm in Ohio, and later at West Branch, lowa and later still moved to a homestead near St. Paul, Nebraska. Ezra and Amy had two children who grew to maturity. Charles Holt Thompson, born November 12, 1832 and Elizabeth Thompson, born January 26, 1835. (John C. Thompson entered the Thompson line at this time. He and W.L. Thompson were cousins.) Elizabeth married Charles Coffee, they had no children.
Because of this, all the living descendants of our branch of the Thompson family are descendants of Charles Holt and his wife Dorcas L. Brock Thompson. These are Mary E. Thompson Kelley, 1860-1935; Ezra E. Thompson 1853-1940; Eva A Thompson Green, 1858-1952; William Lewis Thompson 1861- 1909' Rezin Thompson, 1864-1872; George Brock Thompson 1868. Of these six offspring of Dorcas and Charles Holt Thompson we are finally concerned with Ezra E., Wiliam L., and George B., as these three especially the former two were to have a profound and far reaching influence on the country of their adoption, Alberta, Canada. (John C. Thompson and Rezin Thompson, his father, should be included in this statement.)
Ezra Eugene Thompson was born September 14, 1853 in Ohio. After three years there he moved with his parents to Johnson County lowa near a little town called Oasis. The next seventeen years were spent here, but then the great migration of the prairie lands of central Nebraska roused Ezra's thirst for adventure. In company with his sister, Mary E. Kelley, he hitched a team to a covered wagon and started for Howard County, Nebraska to spy out the land and to report back as to the advisability of above. The report being favorable, the whole family moved west by covered wagon in the spring of 1878.
Various projects occupied the restless, enterprising mind of Ezra over the next few years. Graduating from a one year law cource from the University of Iowa in 1881, he tried practicing, but found life too confining. Years in the real estate and loan business followed.
His marriage to Ida Moon, March 19th, 1896, took place with further farming venture, which ceased in his practically being wiped out by a hail storm. It was at this time that in search for some great opportunity and riches,, Ezra migrated to Alberta, Canada in the spring of 1901. Alberta was to supply the challenge that Ezra was looking for. Here was a new and rich virgin country awaiting development. Here lay land for the buying and selling to prospective buyers and settlers for $2.50 to $5.00 an acre.
Ezra built his ranch house a few miles south of Spring Coulee on a high sloping plain. It was built of slabs, rude outer boards from the sawmill, and from this arose the name "Slabtown", for his first layout in Alberta. Operating from this centre, he started to sell land and attract settlers. Still restless, he migrated north several hundred miles near High River to start the little town of Brant, Alberta, put in a store to sell provisions and farm machinery. Here his optimistic enterprising nature flowered. He grew prosperous. Children were born the union over the years: 3 daughters and 2 sons.
After a few years, Ezra again moved to South Pasadena California. Though he left Alberta, Ezra E. Thompson at the age of 87 maintained a lively interest in things Canadian, and especially those of Alberta.
Return Pioneer Histories
Home Email Canada Databases England Ethnic/Religious FamilySearch.org Ireland/No.Ireland
L.D.S. Websites Research Helps Scotland United States Wales World Databases
Copyright © 2000