Lewis H. Thompson

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III, pg. 113

LEWIS H. THOMPSON. It is possible to characterize justly
Mr. Thompson’s position in Martinsburg as that of a man
of affairs. In private business he has prosecuted his in-
terests with a vigor and judgment that have earned some-
thing more than ordinary success. At the same time he has
recognized the claims of citizenship, and has been efficient
and competent in public office. Organized movements and
institutions which are the source of Martinsburg’s best
fame before the world have profited from his wise leader-
ship and influence.

Mr. Thompson is a native of Martinsburg. His great-
grandfather, Joseph Thompson, was born in County Down,
Ireland, but of Scotch ancestry, and brought his family to
America and became a pioneer in Berkeley County. He
served as a soldier in the War of 1812, and for these serv-
ices was granted land in Iowa. He died at the age of
seventy-eight, transmitting the vigor of his mind and body
to his descendants. His son James Thompson was twelve
years of age when brought to America. He possessed the
essential talents of the scholar, and it is said that before
he came to America he had read the Bible through three
times. He learned the trade of weaver, and that was his
chief occupation during his active life. He died at the age
of eighty.

Samuel J. Thompson, father of the Martinsburg business
man, was a soldier in the Confederate army, being with
J. E. B. Stuart’s command until wounded. Following the
war he entered the service of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad
Company and was a passenger conductor until late in years
he resigned and lived retired until his death at the age of
eighty-three. He married Sally Reed, whose father, James
P. Reed, was born in Martinsburg in 1818, and was the
son of a weaver who owned and operated a mill on East
John Street. James P. Reed succeeded to the ownership
of the mill, and also operated another mill a mile and a
half west of Martinsburg. James P. Reed married Ann
Snyder. Sally Reed Thompson died at the age of sixty-
seven, after rearing a family of ten sons and three

In this last family Lewis H. Thompson was next to the
youngest son. While growing up at Martinsburg he at-
tended the city school, and at the age of seventeen became
a clerk in the store of Thompson & Tabler, remaining with
that firm five years, and for three years was with his
brother James F. He then engaged in business with his
brother Benjamin, and subsequently became sole proprietor
and still conducts a high class men’s furnishing store.
However, that business is only one of several important
affairs in which he is interested as a stockholder and execu-
tive. He is vice president of the Shenandoah Bank and
Trust Company, was for a number of years a director of
the Bank of Martinsburg, is president of the Cherry Run
Orchard Company, is president of the Martinsburg Fruit
Exchange and for several years was president of the
Business Men’s Association and is a director of the Cham-
ber of Commerce.

Mr. Thompson was for six years a member of the City
Board of Affairs and for six years a member of the City
Council, and during that time was also city treasurer. A
prominent democrat, he has been chairman of the County
Democratic Committee, a member of the Congregational
District Committee and has attended as a delegate a number
of local, district and state conventions.

At the age of twenty-one Mr. Thompson married Alice A.
Grimes, a native of Martinsburg, and daughter of Harry
and Julia Grimes. They have two children, -Ethel Amelia
and LaGarde Jones. Ethel Amelia is the wife of Capt.
Hugh C. Parker, of the United States Army. Mr. and Mrs.
Thompson are members of the Baptist Church, and for
twenty-two years he served as superintendent of the Sun-
day school.

Submitted by: Valerie Crook