Joseph Lewis Thompson

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Joseph Lewis Thompson

Birthdate: (60)
Birthplace: Birmingham, Warwichsire, England
Death: February 15, 1875 (60)
Clarkston, Cache, Utah, USA
Place of Burial: Clarkston, Cache, Utah, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Benjamin Thompson and Ann Thompson
Husband of Penelope Reynolds Thompson (Thompson); Caroline Thompson and Theophinia Griffiths
Father of Susannah Clark; William Henry Thompson; Eliza Penelope Griffin; Joseph Lewis Thompson, Jr.; Jane Percilla Bleak and 11 others
Brother of Henry Peace Thompson; Eliza Thompson; Samuel Thompson; John Thompson; Mary Ann Thompson and 1 other

Occupation: silversmith
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Joseph Lewis Thompson

Biographical Summary:

Born February 8, 1816, Birmingham, Warwickshire, England. Came to Utah September 27, 1862, John R. Murdock company.

Married: Penelope Thompson 1835, Birmingham, England.

Their children:

  1. Susannah, married Michael Clark;
  2. William Henry, married Matilda Young;
  3. Eliza, married Joseph Coacher;
  4. Joseph, married Hannah Crompton;
  5. Jane, married James G. Bleak;
  6. Ann, married James Clark;
  7. John;
  8. Richard;
  9. Harry;
  10. James Godson;
  11. Benjamin;
  12. Samuel.

Family home Clarkston, Cache County, Utah, and he died there February 15, 1875.

SOURCE: Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah, page 1210

Spouses: Joseph Lewis Thompson 1815–1875 • KWJF-39R ​ Penelope Thompson 1817–1865 • LLQ6-P8F ​

Marriage: 28 December 1835 West Bromwich All Saints, Staffordshire, England

Children: Susannah Thompson 1836–1899 • KWJC-QF3 ​ William Henry Thompson Sr. 1838–1922 • KWZP-X8S ​ Eliza Penelope Thompson 1840–1909 • KWJX-Y9L ​ Joseph Lewis Thompson Jr. 1842–1897 • KWN2-7BX ​ Jane Thompson 1845–1942 • KWJ3-82G ​ Ann Penelope Thompson 1848–1932 • KWJN-3VV ​ Henry Thompson 1850–1927 • LLMX-HY4 ​ John A Thompson 1852–1922 • KWCJ-T5Q ​ James Godson Thompson 1854–1915 • KWNV-KWL ​ Richard Charles Thompson 1857–1891 • LLQF-X5D ​ Benjamin Thomas Thompson 1859–1860 • LLMX-HY3 ​ Samuel Robert Thompson 1861–1927 • KWZD-129 ​

AFN 9WTX-MV Immigration Pioneer in the John R. Murdock Company (1862) immigrating to Utah 27 July 1862
Buried at: Clarkston Cemetery Clarkston, Cache, Utah


Joseph Lewis Thompson Sex Male Birth 8 February 1815 Birmingham, Warwickshire, England Christening 27 September 1822 Birmingham St Philip, Warwickshire, England Death 15 February 1875 Clarkston, Cache, Utah Territory, USA Burial 18 February 1875 Clarkston, Cache, Utah Territory, USA

Spouses: Joseph Lewis Thompson 1815–1875 • KWJF-39R ​ Caroline Griffin 1844–1916 • KWJN-KN6 ​

Marriage: 5 October 1867 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah

Children: Walter Lewis Thompson 1869–1946 • KWCG-RCC ​ Isaiah Thomas Thompson 1870–1930 • KWC8-W19 ​ George Thompson 1872–1885 • KWJB-D7S ​

Spouses: Joseph Lewis Thompson 1815–1875 • KWJF-39R ​ Theophenia Griffin 1841–1891 • KWV9-G4S ​
Spouses: Marriage: 17 May 1873 Endowment House, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, USA Sylvia Lois Thompson 1874–1894 • K2HR-M8L ​

Joseph Lewis Thompson and Penelope Thompson Thompson

Contributed By: Cheryle Neal · 23 September 2014 ·

Joseph was born 8 February 1815 in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England. Few children of these times learned to read and write. Joseph learned to do both. While his writing showed that he had not learned to punctuate and that his spelling was somewhat faulty, he wrote with a beautiful, legible hand. There was in him a real desire to learn and achieve. Since he became a silversmith, it is logical to assume that he served a long apprenticeship under some master silversmith. He learned the meaning of work done according to exact standards. Joseph and Penelope were married the 28 December 1836. To this union twelve children were born, five in Birmingham, four in London, and three in Providence, Rhode Island, all except the 11th child lived to be married. It is safe to assume that this was a close knit family where love and fun were mingled with hard work and discipline.

During this lifetime Joseph exhibited interests, traits and talents, which show that he had unusual natural ability and had received training in music, drama, dance and boxing. There was an opportunity for training development of these talents in the town of Birmingham at that time. It would be very interesting to be able to view some of their family gatherings. Traditions using these talents lived on with their children and grandchildren.

The families of Joseph and James Godson Bleak were close friends and neighbors in London. Joseph and James worked for the same company. Joseph named his 9th son James Godson, and much later, James Bleak married one of their daughters, Jane. The two families were visited by the LDS missionaries in 1848, according to the records of the White Chapel Branch. The act of joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was one of real courage. By doing this, Joseph was dismissed from his work---thus unable to get any work. He went from town to town seeking employment of any kind.

In 1831, Jabez Gorham of Providence, Rhode Island formed a co-partnership with Henry L Bebster and added to his jewelry industry, which Gorham had owned and operated since 1813, the manufacture of silverware. Work was done by hand. The main products were spoons, thimbles, combs, and other small articles. Gorham visited Europe for the purpose of acquainting himself with the manufacture of silverware in other countries, engaging skilled workmen. Family tradition says that in the spring of 1854 Joseph was chosen from 300 factory hands to come to Providence RI to help build and operate a silversmith factory. It is hard to imagine the feelings Joseph had, leaving his wife, expecting James Godson, and eight children. It was for their good and to save passage money, that the decision was made. Their desire to move to Zion was a powerful motivating factor. This decision would eventually affect the lives of thousands of people, bringing great blessings upon them. A decision which was probably made after much thought and prayer and with the approbation of our Father in Heaven. We need to give many thanks for the courage of these great ancestors. Four of the children joined Joseph in Providence leaving on the ship Robenia and landing in New York 21 Ma 1855.

Penelope was of fair complexion, with blond hair and blue eyes the family thought she was descended from Norman people who came to England with William the Conqueror. She sailed to America on the Quickstep, arriving in New York 24 Dec 1855 with her 5 youngest children.

While crossing the Ocean, they ran into a dense fog.  Suddenly there came into sight another ship sailing crosswise to them and directly in their path.  Unable to stop the Quickstep crashed into the side of the other ship killing all aboard.  The Quickstep was so badly damaged they had to put into port for repairs.  What a wonderful happy reunion it must have been for the family!

Joseph established the policy of recreation each Saturday afternoon for the employees of Gorham and Sons. Shooting, racing, boxing and high jumping being included. Joseph taught his sons the science of boxing, he was a boxer of considerable skill and had boxed in the ring. None of his sons could hold their own with him, even after he was getting along in years. He was about 6 feet tall, slender and very agile.

Penelope's health was not good after the birth of her last son, Joseph and the children began preparing to go west. It was a family cooperative venture. Eliza, their daughter knit newbies and crocheted toboggans, skating caps, and baby booties and jacket to sell to a firm in Providence. Their oldest son, also worked as a silversmith. In June 1862, Joseph and Penelope, and children traveled by rail to St Joseph and then by steamboat to Florence, as three of their children had done the year before. Here they purchased a wagon and four yoke of oxen which they christened Duke and Dan, Lion and Bay, Speck and Buck, Balley and Brand. They left Florence on the 24th of July in John Murdock's second company which consisted of 700 people and sixty-five wagons. Penelope was unable to walk, so the older girls had to take over much of the work and tending of the 10 month old baby as they crossed the plains. Joseph's singing and dancing talent helped to revive spirits around campfires at night.

In October they settled into a dug out in Logan. It is recorded that in the summer of 1864, sixteen men lead by an Indian interpreter, Israel Clark, went into the beautiful meadows of Clarkston. Among this group was Joseph Lewis Thompson. He is reported as saying,"It is the prettiest little valley God has ever made, and it is all ours. In the Spring of 65 Joseph and Penelope moved there. It must have been a tremendous adjustment, a highly skilled silversmith, accustomed to life in the city, trying to eke out a living on a small farm, of farming, he knew nothing! When asked if he didn't regret leaving his fine home and work to come to Utah, he replied. "I came here for the gospel, and the gospel is worth everything." They lived in the old fort at Clarkston, where Penelope passed away, in 1867. She had never been able to regain her health after her son was born. She was the first one buried in the Clarkston Cemetery, where she was taken by a wagon drawn by a team of oxen.

Mr Gorham wrote to Joseph asking him to come back to Rhode Island, offering him a house and lot and a job for himself and each of his boys as they got old enough to work. To this offer Joseph wrote back saying, "If I cannot live here in Utah, I can die here." He remained in Clarkston.

He married Carolyn Griffin, 22, and later her sister who had been widowed became a plural wife. Their life stories are very interesting, the fact that these women were married to him is evidence that he possessed sterling qualities.

What a splendid entertainer he was, when they were dancing the plain quadrille, if Joseph in any part of it, would step=dance, the rest of the dancers would step back and watch him. He would dance until he was exhausted and the crowd would beg for more. He had a warm and outgoing personality. We would call it charisma and empathy. As we, the numerous descendants of this good couple, view their lives, who among us is not filled with gratitude and thanksgiving.

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Joseph Lewis Thompson's Timeline

February 8, 1815
Birmingham, Warwichsire, England
September 27, 1822
Age 7
St. Phillips,Birmingham,Warwick,England
September 30, 1836
Age 21
Birmingham, Warwick, England
May 1, 1838
Age 23
Birmingham, West Midlands, England
May 29, 1840
Age 25
Birmingham, Warwickshire, England
July 15, 1842
Age 27
Birmingham, Warwickshire, England
December 1, 1845
Age 30
Birmingham, Warwickshire, England
August 4, 1848
Age 33
London, England
January 9, 1850
Age 34
London, Middlesex, England