Biography of Elbridge A. Thompson, M.D.

Elbridge A. Thompson, M.D., of Dover, Piscataquis County, a Civil War veteran, an ex-member of the legislature and Executive Council, and the founder of the Thompson Free Library of Dover, was born in Sangerville, Maine, January 4, 1828. A son of James and Hannah H. (Coombs) Thompson, he is a grandson of James Thompson, Sr., a native of Londonderry, New Hampshire, who was an early settler of Buckfield, Maine, and a resident of that town for the rest of his life. Having spent his active years in general farming, Grandfather Thompson died, over eighty years old. By his three marriages he became the father of fifteen children, all of whom attained maturity. Two of the number are still living, namely: John. Thompson, a resident of Prentiss, Maine; and Elisha, a resident of Gray, Maine.

James Thompson (second), Dr. Thompson’s father, was born in Buckfield in 1801. In early life he was a farmer; but later, after he moved to Sangerville, he was engaged in lumbering, and also kept a general store in that town from 1826 to 1850. The last twenty years of his life were spent as a merchant in Dover, and he died in 1871. In his later years he supported the Republican party, and he served in various town offices. His wife, who was born in Brunswick, Maine, in 1806, became the mother of four children, all of whom are living, namely: Elbridge A., the subject of this sketch, who is the eldest; Amanda E., the widow of C. O. Palmer, late of Dover; Hannah M., the widow of Edward H. Guernsey, late of this town; and Dr. Edwin J. Thompson, of Lynn, Massachusetts. The mother was eighty-four years old at her death. She attended the Methodist Episcopal church.

Elbridge A. Thompson attended the district schools of Sangerville and the Foxcroft Academy. In 1848 he entered Bowdoin College, where he remained two years. Subsequently in 1852 he graduated from the Castleton (Vt.) Medical School. Having then located for practice in Charleston, Maine, he resided there for ten years. In 1862 he was commissioned a surgeon in the United States service, and performed active duty in the Civil War until December, 1864. Afterward he was connected with the Provost Marshal’s office in Bangor from January 1, 1865, until the close of the war, when he settled in Dover, and resumed his private practice. Dr. Thompson has been unusually successful as a physician and surgeon, being at the present time one of the best known practitioners in Piscataquis County. Though still upon the active list, he is gradually relinquishing his large practice, with the intention of permanently retiring in the near future. The financial returns from his professional work have been judiciously invested in local enterprises. He was the president of Piscataquis Savings Bank for twelve years, and is now a trustee; and he has been the president of Kinco National Bank for the past ten years. He is also the treasurer of the Dexter & Piscataquis Railroad and of the Dover and Foxcroft Light and Heat Company.

In politics Dr. Thompson is a Republican. He has been honored with several important elective offices and executive appointments, all of which he filled with ability. His official duties brought him into close contact with the leading men of this and other States, his large list of personal friends including several political and professional men of note.

He was a member of the Board of Selectmen for four terms, has been connected with the School Board for fifteen years, represented this district in the legislature in 1871, was surgeon-general on the Governor’s staff during the same year, a member of the Executive Council in 1873 and 1874, a member of the United States Board of Examiners in pension cases for twenty-eight years, alternate to the Republican National Convention in 1876, delegate to the Republican National Convention in I88o, delegate-at-large to the Republican National Convention in 1896, and at the present time he is a trustee of the Foxcroft Academy. Liberal and public-spirited to a high degree, he started the Thompson Free Library by donating a building and a fund of ten thousand dollars. In 1854 he married for his first wife Marion Foss, who lived but one year after the ceremony. A second marriage was contracted in 1858 with Lucia A. Eddy, of Corinth, Maine. The Doctor attends the Methodist Episcopal church. A thirty-second degree Mason, he is a member of the Blue Lodge and Chapter in Dover; of St. John’s Commandery, Knights Templar, of Bangor; and of the Maine Consistory in Portland. He is also a comrade of C. S. Douty Post, G. A. R.

Source: Biographical review: containing life sketches of leading citizens of Somerset, Piscataquis, Hancock, Washington, and Aroostook counties, Maine. Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1898.

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