Stephen F. Austin State University

Cyrus W. Thompson (1802-1876) (July 2011)

Cyrus W. Thompson (1802-1876)

By Kevin Ladd

Among the more interesting pioneer settlers of this region is this above-named gentleman. The name of Cyrus W. Thompson is little known and rarely mentioned today.
A native of upstate New York, he started out life as a fur trapper, and he was a veteran of two wars. He lived variously in Liberty, Chambers and Galveston counties. He also served as Chambers County sheriff from 1868 to 1869. The mortuary report for the April 10, 1876 issue of the Galveston News lists Thompson as being 74 years of age when he died. Dr. W. F. Blount, a local physician, gives the cause of his demise as "general debility."
Mr. Thompson was the second husband of Melina (Dalton) Whittington, who received an early headright in the Devers vicinity of Liberty County. Melina and her first husband, Elijah Whittington, were the progenitors of the modern-day Whittington family still living in Liberty County today. She was married to Thompson in Jefferson County, Texas on June 22, 1840. Cyrus and Melina are listed as residents of Wallisville in the 1860 and 1870 censuses of Chambers County. Melina Dalton Whittington Thompson appears to have died in Galveston in 1874. It might be noted that the two articles give two different death dates on Mr. Thompson. We will let the articles tell the rest:

Galveston Weekly News
Monday, April 10, 1876

Cyrus W. Thompson, the Texas veteran, who died in Galveston on the third instant, was a member of Capt. [William M.] Logan's company of Liberty volunteers, who were attached to Colonel, afterward General Sidney Sherman's command. The company joined General Houston's command on the Colorado previous to the battle of San Jacinto, in which it was engaged. It was eighty strong. Captain Franklin Hardin, who was First Lieutenant, and R.O.W. McManus, Cornelius Devour [DeVore] and Robert Whitlock were surviving members at last account.

Galveston Weekly News
Monday, April 28, 1876

A Chambers County correspondent of the NEWS gives the following incidents from the life of Mr. Cyrus W. Thompson, an old Texas veteran whose death in Galveston on the 6th instant has already been announced.
He was born in the City of Utica in the State of New York on the 1st day of May 1802. At the age of sixteen he was employed by the Northwest Fur Company, the head of which was John Jacob Astor of New York. His travels along the great lakes and rivers of the great northwest collecting furs from the trading posts located in the extreme portions of the then almost unknown wilderness and conveying them to points to be forwarded to the head of the company at New York, would make a volume. When the Black Hawk war broke out Thomson (sic) volunteered with others, and being familiar with the Indians and their mode of warfare, rendered valuable services in the army under General Dodge.
In 1835 Thompson came to Texas. When General Cos invaded and took San Antonio, the Texans were called upon by committees of public safety. Thomson volunteered in the Company of Capt. [Andrew] Briscoe and was at the fall of San Antonio from the Mexicans. After the fall of that post, and Cos and his garrison had been paroled, he returned to Liberty, where he concluded to reside. When the letters of Travis called for assistance were sent through the country in March 1836, Thomson was again ready, and, as a private in Wm. M. Logan's Company marched for the relief of the Alamo. When the Company had nearly reached San Felipe, it met the news of the massacre. The Company then decided to push on and join the army under Houston in which Mr. Thomson remained until after the battle of San Jacinto and the Mexicans had been driven beyond the Rio Grande.