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Sunday, October 26, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #41 Floyd William Thompson

The solid lines indicate that the connection to the family is documented while
the dotted lines indicate that direct evidence has not yet been found to
make the connection. Click on the family tree to see a larger image.

No Story Too Small
Floyd Thompson was second son and one of five children born to John A. Thompson and Mattie Hairston. Floyd was born May 10, 1889 in Erath County, Texas. His father died when he was young. It was said that around the age of 16 he made the 139 mile trip from Erath County to Baylor County on horseback to work for his Uncle Phillip Hairston. During a phone conversation with his daughter Juanita, she told me that he got so lost that he ended up in Oklahoma. He slept in ditches and one night in someone's barn or home. 

This photo is labeled Floyd Thompson. It has been assumed that one of these
young men is Floyd. However, if not, could this be his sons Clarence and Bowie? 

The story told by Floyd's daughter, Juanita, was that Phillip Hairston needed someone to help him farm. I am sure that was true as Phillip and his wife moved to Baylor along with my grandparents, Myrtie (their daughter) and Redic Bryan. Both the Hairstons and the Bryans bought land to farm, but by 1908 Redic sold his farm and his family was living in Big Spring while the Hairstons were living alone on their farm in the Levelview section of Baylor County. 

At the Hairston home in Levelview. Floyd is behind the horses. My great-grandfather Phillip Hairston is standing next to grandchildren Buster Bryan and DeRay Bryan. The age of the children gives the photo a date of about 1909 or 1910. 

Bits and pieces found in the Baylor County Banner indicate that Floyd enjoyed life in Baylor County.  He attended parties, picnics, and singings. His brother Aaron joined him for two seasons in 1909 and in 1910, he purchased "The Enterprise Buggy." In August of 1912, he married Ora Ellen Cox.

Juanita wrote, "Floyd, Ora, Aunt Bertie, and Terrel Hammet set their wedding date; for a double wedding and they wanted it kept a secret. They set the date for August 17, 1912 hoping their secret would be kept. PM their special day the two couples left their home to be married by a Church of Christ preacher in Seymour, Texas. To their surprise when they got one and three quarters of a mile from their home at a cross road, there waiting at each road were their friends to follow them all the way to the church. When they arrived the preacher met them outside and stood between the buggies and performed the ceremony." 

The first time that I saw the name Floyd Thompson was on the back of this photograph
of a double wedding in Baylor County. 
From left to right: Terrell Hammett and Bertie Cox - Floyd Thompson and Ora Cox.
Terrell Hammett was the nephew of my grandfather, Redic Bryan. 
Floyd Thompson was the first cousin of my grandmother, Myrtie Hairston Bryan. 
Bertie and Ora Cox were sisters, daughters of Thomas Alvin Cox and Eliza Hannah Allen.

When first married, Floyd and Ora lived with my great-grandparents; Floyd's Uncle Phil Hairston and his wife Lodema. They only lived with them for a few months as by December of 1912, they were living in the Wiggins place on Benjamin Road. They welcomed a son, Clarence Edmon Thompson in 1913, Andy Bowie Thompson in 1914, and Ina Lucille Thompson in 1916. After she was born, the family moved to the Langley place in Plainview. Juanita Pearl Thompson was born April 29, 1918 and on October 16, 1920, Uelma Thompson was born. 

Juanita, Clarence, Ina Louise, and Andy Bowie
According to the 1920 census, Floyd Thompson's family lived on Levelview Road in Baylor County; very close to Ora's parents, Thomas and Eliza Cox. Floyd continued to farm and Ora sometimes sold eggs. 

In 1929, the youngest Thompson child, Uelma, died after being badly burned in a fire. Juanita said that watching her sister die was the hardest three weeks of her life. In her history of the Thompson family, she wrote how so many friends and neighbors helped by sitting with Uelma. 

Uelma Thompson 1920 - 1929

The house had burned to the ground and their landlord built them another home.  Floyd continued to farm and the 1930 census places him in Baylor County. Two more children were added to the family. It appears that the Thompson family remained in Baylor County through most of the thirties; however, the census record and a newspaper article place Floyd, Ora, and their two youngest in Wilson, Lynn County, Texas in 1940.

Ora and Floyd Thompson

Throughout most of the 1940s, the Thompson family was back in Baylor County; living in the Hash Knife and Red Springs communities. Click on the links below to read news about Thompson family happenings during the forties. 

Ora and Floyd Thompson - undated

In the 1950s Floyd and Ora were reported to have lived at Howe Ranch and in Olney, Texas. Click on the links below to learn about the Thompson family in the fifties. 

In 1961, Floyd is described as retired in an article about a Thompson Reunion. They were living in Olney, but would soon move to Bowie, Texas. Floyd died in Bowie on July 15, 1968.

Just yesterday, Floyd's youngest daughter wrote the following about her father. 

He worked on farms and ranches his entire life. He was respected by those whom he worked for. He took great care in watching over whatever task he was given. As I grow older, I realize how well he did in taking care of us. 

Floyd William Thompson  1889 - 1968


© 2014 Texas, Death Certificates, 1903–1982 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013.

Baylor County Banner [Seymour] 19 Nov. 1909: Microfilm.

Family photographs and documents from the collection of Diana Bryan Quinn.

Family photographs from the collection of Juanita Thompson Gleghorn. Accessed September 2001. Used with permission. 

Family photographs from the collection of Nadine Thompson Waugh. Accessed September 2001. Used with permission. 

Harrison, O. C., editor. The Baylor County Banner. (Seymour, Tex.), Vol. 15, No. 29, Ed. 1 Friday, April 22, 1910, Newspaper, April 22, 1910; digital images, ( : accessed October 25, 2014), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Seymour, Texas.

Harrison, O. C., editor. The Baylor County Banner. (Seymour, Tex.), Vol. 24, No. 22, Ed. 1 Thursday, February 24, 1921, Newspaper, February 24, 1921; digital images, : accessed October 25, 2014), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Seymour, Texas.

The Vernon Daily Record at" N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2014. <http://

Gleghorn, Juanita Pearl Thompson. The Thompson Family, The Early Years. Duncan, Oklahoma. Print.

Year: 1920; Census Place: Justice Precinct 4, Baylor, Texas; Roll: T625_1774; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 14; Image: 680.

Year: 1930; Census Place: Precinct 4, Baylor, Texas; Roll: 2289; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 0006; Image: 206.0; FHL microfilm: 2342023.

Year: 1940; Census Place:  , Lynn, Texas; Roll: T627_4098; Page: 14B; Enumeration District: 153-9.

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