Not a word about the Thompsons of Kensal so I added a copy to Kevin Thompson of Pennsylvania as he is doing the Thompson genealogy and is in contact with a relative in England and another in Maryland, both of whom have contributed. Years back Thompson genealogy was among that which I do but I have since shared all with the younger Thompsons to include in all that they are researching.

My father-in-laws family had the Kensal tow mill and that history started in Belfast, Ireland prior coming to the United States. I worked briefly in the mill office in 1945-6 when uncle, George Thompson, was managing the facility. My mother in law was the only nurse for a doctor Longstrum. When Dr. Martin was there he owned the drug store and his upstairs office had days for people and days for the animals, he wore three hats. His small plane was parked in the field next to Mrs. Thompson's home, the same field my daughter took her first steps in-60 years ago.  In fact during that visit it was an extremely busy household as  three couples became parents of babies born on the Thompson dining room table. Dr. Martin had time to sew up a tear in my little girl's teddy bear. I still have that curved needle. Besides keeping my daughter out from "under foot" I'd serve coffee and chat with the fathers-to-be who sat on the front porch. It was my young sister in law, Jeannette, who assisted her mother.

While on a tour of Ireland, led by a Thompson cousin from Ohio, we met two of her cousins, one from Bangor just outside of Belfast and the other from Rugby in England. I've hear wonderful stories of Manitoulin Islands in Canada which the grandchildren from Maryland have visited and prepared
that very interesting family history, That was Mrs. Thompson's family home and birthplace.

Forty years ago members of the ?volunteer fire dept. ordered the old Thompson house torn down. My son's father, Frederick, took my son out there from California  and started him on the project, leaving this teenager there to finish the project. His primary pay was to be inheriting his grandfather's transit which they'd stored in the basement of the old house. Well some "light-fingered" individual "lifted it" and the community didn't have any "whistle blowers" so it has yet to reach my son. It was a sad day for him. and if it weren't for the wonderful Parker house rolls and cinnamon buns Grandma Thompson made for his meals, he had few other positive experiences. Frederick Thompson died at an Alzheimer disease care center here in Az. on April 13, 2003. His children prepared a memorial service for Good Friday the  following April at the Arizona (veterans) Memorial Cemetery in Phoenix. It was attended by his two children, three grandchildren and three great granddaughters. There were ten children in the Kensal Thompson family. The older ones were born in Ladysmith, Wi where Andrew Thompson was employed at the Peavy Paper mill, as was my father. When the mill closed in 1927, my father relocated our family to Winona, Mn where he continued his career as an engineer. Mr. Thompson, his boss, was called to North Dakota to "rescue" the mill. That didn't happen. I still have vivid memories of our family "vacation" to Kensal. The grasshoppers were so thick, the closer we got to Kensal that my father could hardly see to drive. That was in the 1930's and most of the crops were lost.

Of the Andy and Ada Evelyn Thompson family,  only the twins, now 81 years old, are alive and active.. The older sister, 90, has numerous serious medical problems and has been at the home of her son, who is a partner of  the Cottonwood Internal Medicine Clinic in Arizona. You may have met Lawrence Thompson whom I think attended most of the Kensal school reunions. He was a graduate of UClA and a teacher in Santa Ana, Ca. He and his wife are buried in the military cemetery at Riverside, Ca.I am in my 88th year and have been retired from a business career for 23 years, making my home in Sun City, Az. My children's homes are elsewhere, in Arizona and Tennessee, so sharing mine are two five year old Golden Retrievers. I was impressed with your web site,




Wed 3/16/11 11:24 AM

I just forwarded your e-mail to Kevin Thompson, son of Charles and Terri Thompson (the later 2 deceased).He and his siblings grew up in Jamestown. Since college he has been a graphic artist and works forHasbro, making his home in Pennsylvania.  I'll say genealogy is his passion as he has over 3500on his family tree site. What I know about the flax mill is that the original was in Belfast, Ireland. The Thompson's came tothe United States and as they moved west there were several flax mills, the one before N.D. was inIowa. It was Andrew Thompson, Sr. that started the mill in Kensal. He and his wife lived in a 2 storyhome, that in my mind I can picture, as one drives into town, turns left, the road declines and youcross the rail tracks and at the right turn you see that house on the left. I told Kevin that I do notknow the year the father died but the mother died in 1931 and there are graves of the parents andtheir children in the Kensal cemetery. They include: John, Sarah, Marg, Clara, Gladys, Andy Agnes.It was 1927 that the Peavy Paper Mill in Ladysmith, Wi closed and Andy took his wife, Ada Evelynand the older children: Myron, Lawrence, Marjorie, Frederick, and Jack to Kensal as he intended tomake a living running the mill. His wife was a nurse and the only nurse in Kensal so the house wasbusy with that and her additional children:Leo, Charles, Mary Lynn, Courtenay, and Jeannette. Andy'seducation was that of an engineer, in fact he was my dad's boss in Ladysmith and we left therewhen the mill closed in 1927 and moved to Winona, Mn. There were crop failures in the 1930's in ND and the mill failed. Andy took an engineering job in Valley City where he built a dam I was told. Later he became county engineer at Devils Lake where he worked until his death from cancer in 1955. He never moved his family from Kensal and as adults none stayed, except Charles worked at the Kensal post office until he transferred to Jamestown. Fredwas a restless person and he moved us, myself and our baby daughter to his mothers in 1950 andwe'd been there in 1945 when he was discharged from service. His sister, Marjorie did have herwedding to Herbert Arnold at the Methodist Church in Kensal and I was in the wedding party. Allthat happened prior 1961. In 1974 Fred divorced our family in California and in 1979 he marriedhis Kensal High School girlfriend, Marguerite Ekren in Las Vegas. She was a professor at Elmhurst College in Illinois.They made their home in San Pedro, Ca until dementia of both meant our children had to placethem in care centers first in Ca and then in Az. Both are deceased as are Fred's siblings withthe exception of the twins, Mary Lynn and Courtenay.  Marj is in her 90's and has had strokesand an inoperable tumor on her kidneys but I am guessing she is still alive.  Her son, Jeff Arnoldis an oncologist and has a clinic in Cottonwood, Az. She's been there and also at her apt. inSalem, Oregon. Courtenay lives in Lancaster, Ca. and Mary Lynn Thompson Crites has recentlyrelocated from Nipoma, Ca to Visalia, Ca where her two children have homes. The fact you'd not heard of the Thompson's, does that mean they were such good kids that theirreputations did not follow them?  I must say that, despite Fred's wandering emotional lifestyle,I had six of the greatest brother-in-laws and later their wives that anyone could ask for. Betty J. ThompsonI might add that Hegbars were good friends of the Thompsons. That Fred's mother lived next doorto Olaf Ekren in her later years before she moved to Jamestown. That Sam Lowe of Kensal wason the staff of the Arizona Republic here in Phoenix, wrote a book about what he wished anelephant could do that he didn't like to do and he's now a writer for this area's automobile association magazine, AAA Highroads.