WILLIAM EMERY THOMPSON, controller of Allegheny county, was born in Fredericktown, Washington Co., Pa., Jan.
31, 1850. When six years old he moved with his parents to Elizabeth, Allegheny county, and lived there until 1885.
Mr. Thompson received only a limited education, and left school at the age of thirteen, being employed at first
in a boat yard, and later in a sawmill. In 1868 he went into his father's wagon shop in Elizabeth, and was engaged
with his father for several years in making wagons. Afterwards he ran the business himself for a time, until 1876,
when he became a clerk in the office of the county recorder. He has since been prominent in public life, and, after
some six years' service in the recorder's office, was elected, in 1882, to the State legislature, where he remained
for two two year terms. While a resident of Elizabeth, he was one of the leading citizens of that place, serving
his city as a justice of the peace from 1880 to 1883, and as burgess in 1881 and 1882. After his service as legislator,
he was engaged for a time in the office of register of wills. He was made mercantile appraiser of Allegheny county
in 1893, was elected controller in 1896, and reelected in 1899. On Sept. 1, 1885, Mr. Thompson moved to McKeesport,
where he was for some years chairman of the republican city committee, and, in 1891, acted as secretary of the
McKeesport board of education. Mr. Thompson entered the State militia service in 1868, as a private, and has risen
by reason of ability and faithful service through minor positions to the office of colonel of the 14th regiment,
Pennsylvania national guards, which position he has held since 1899. He served at Johnstown from June 4 to June
30, 1889, during the terrible times following the flood. He served as senior major of the 14th regiment, Pennsylvania
volunteer infantry, during the Spanish-American war. Colonel Thompson is a past master of Stephen Bayard lodge,
F. and A. M.; a member of Shiloh chapter, No. 257, and of Ascalon commandery. No. 59, Knights Templars, and is
also past exalted ruler of Lodge No. 136, B. P. O. E. He was married, on Oct. 7, 1872, to Miss Mary F. Applegate,
Eight children have blessed this union, namely: Harvey A., Malinda Y., Mary F., Lillian B., Jean M., Sarah A.,
Lila L. and William E., Jr.
Memoirs of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
personal and genealogical with portraits.
Publishers: Northwestern Historical Association
Madison, Wis. 1904.
Allegheny County Pennsylvania Biographies
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