Obituary of John Thompson

Last Civil War Veteran in Skaneateles

Last Civil War Veteran
of Skaneateles Passes Away


John Thompson, 92, the last member of the Ben H. Porter Post, No. 164, G.A.R., of Skaneateles, died at his home on West Elizabeth Street, Skaneateles, early Thursday morning, March 9, after two weeks' illness.
Born in Victory, Cayuga County, December 1, 1846, he was the son of Joseph and Martha Wardwell Thompson. He was a member of a family of soldiers. His father died in a field hospital of a wound suffered in a Civil War battle. A brother, Charles Thompson, was killed in action, and what happened to a second brother, George Thompson, after leaving for an Indian campaign in the West, Mr. Thompson never learned. John Thompson enlisted February 6, 1865, at Auburn, being mustered in as a private in Company G, 40th N.Y., infantry, serving during the remaining months of the Civil War.
He was present at Lee's surrender to Grant at Appomattox Court House, on April 9, 1863[sic]. Re-enlisting for four years' service in September 1865, he was stationed at Fort Ontario, Oswego. During his military service he was engaged in railroad construction work. Among the projects he worked on was the New York Central when it was made a four-track road, the Lake Shore line which later became the R. W. & O. After the completion of that line he went to Schenectady and worked on the ???? Shore from that city to Fairport.
Moving with his family to the Town of Skaneateles he engaged in farming. In 1900 he moved to the village of Skaneateles where he has since lived.
Thompson was employed by the J. L. Shultz Company and the Dewitt-Tucker firms of the village for 27 years and upon his retirement a number of years ago was a National Hay Grader Inspector.
On March 1, 1882 he was married to Sarah Couch, of Wolcott, who died July 4, 1935.
Since his retirement he has taken a strong interest in the news of the day and was a constant reader.
He was one of the oldest members of the Skaneateles Methodist Church.
Surviving are two sons, Roy Thompson of Marcellus and John W. Thompson of Skaneateles; two daughters, Mrs. Floyd McBride and Miss Marcellia Thompson of Skaneateles, 10 grandchildren and several great grandchildren.
Funeral services will be conducted at the home on 39 West Elizabeth St., Saturday afternoon at 2:30. Military services will be conducted at the grave in Lake View Cemetery.
Rev. Harold E. Steer of Chittenango assisted by Rev. Harry Stubbs, pastor of the Skaneateles Church will officiate at home.

(NOTE: The microfilm from which I got the above information had missed about 1/4 inch at the left edge of the column of text. I have filled in some blanks either because they were obvious or because I had an independent source for the information.)
The Skaneateles Press
Friday, March 10, 1939

Civil War Veteran Buried with Military Honors

John Thompson, the last member of the Ben H. Porter Post 164, G.A.R., of Skaneateles was buried with military honors last Saturday afternoon, March 11, 1939, in Lake View Cemetery. the military services at the grave were in charge of the R. J. Hydon Post, 239, American Legion.
The bearers, all members of the R. J. Hydon post were Charles Spearing, Reginald Cox, John Scott, Leonard Wilson, Leland Dewitt, and Walter Spafford. Hugh R. Shear removed the flag from the casket and handed it to a member of Mr. Thompson's family. The firing squad, under command of Melvin Weeks, fired a volley over the grave, and taps was sounded by Donald Whiting, a member of the Sons of the Legion of this village. Those in the firing squad and acting as color guard were: Ray Dougherty, Walter Spafford, George Bentley, James Huxford, Francis Kelly, T. Dean Howland, Lawrence Whiting, John Keebler, Carl Farnham and Leonard Wilson.
Mr. Thompson, who was 92 years old December 1st, died Thursday, March 9 after an illness of two weeks.
Funeral services were conducted at the home, 39 West Elizabeth street at 2:30 o'clock by Rev Harold E. Steer, pastor of the Methodist Church at Chittenango, formerly of this village. He was assisted by Rev. Harry Stubbs, pastor of the local Methodist church of which Mr. Thompson was one of the oldest members.

The Skaneateles Press
Friday, March 17, 1939

John Thompson died Thursday, March 9, 1939 and is buried in Section 2, Lot 178 of Lake View Cemetery.

File created March 18, 1999 by Kenneth Jennings Wooster.
File modified: March 26, 2000; October 23, 2002; July 19, 2003.