Ott Thompson


OTT THOMPSON, of Templeton, Armstrong county, has passed all his life in that section, having been born there March 7, 1860, son of Robert Templeton, and grandson of James and Jane Thompson. The grandparents were born in eastern Pennsylvania, near Altona, and settled in Clarion county, Pa. He was a millwright. To them were born the following children: Robert, John and Henry. John was for many years a steamboat captain in the Allegheny river and after the days of boating were over followed the hotel business in the lower and upper oil fields; he died in Bradford about 1896. Henry, who was engaged in the grocery business, died Aug. 10, 1895, in the East End, Pittsburgh.

Robert Thompson, father of Ott Thompson, was in his day one of the best known citizens in this part of Pennsylvania. He was born May 30, 1817, and grew to manhood in Armstrong county, receiving his education there in the common schools. When a young man he went to work in a store for Sam Huston, with whom he remained several years. Not long after his marriage he and his young wife moved with their household goods by boat to Mahoning, this county, and went into the hotel business at Grey's Eddy. Some time later he went to Red Bank, where he was employed in a warehouse for several years, in 1858 building the "Thompson House," a hotel at Templeton, which his brother Henry conducted for him for two years. From 1860 until his death, for a period of thirty-five years. he conducted the hotel himself, being remarkably successful in the business. He also had a general store there; served ten years (two terms) as justice of the peace, and for two terms represented his district in the State Legislature. Few men were more popular in this region than Mr. Thompson. His circle of acquaintances extended into Jefferson and Clarion counties, and he was universally esteemed, his busy life bringing him into contact with almost all the residents of his locality, and his honorable dealing winning and holding their good will. For many years he was an elder in the Presbyterian Church. In political opinion he was a stanch Republican. His death, which occurred Aug. 15, 1895, was regarded as a public loss.

In 1842, Mr. Thompson married Anna Maria Nicholes, of Westmoreland county, Pa., who died the same year, leaving one daughter, Jane, wife of J. H. Patrick, an attorney of Clarion Co., Pa. Mr. Thompson's second marriage was to Mary W. O'Donnell, of Huntingdon county, Pa., whose mother was a cousin of Robert E. Lee. They were married at Red Bank, Pa., in 1851, and to them were born the following children: Lee, who died Jan. 13, 1886, was a member of the State Legislature from this district for two terms, merchant and postmaster at Templeton, and one of the leading citizens of the community (he married Martha Ernsfield, and they had two children, Claire, who is deceased, and Robert B., now serving his second term as postmaster at Freeport, Pa.); Ott is mentioned below; Locke, postmaster at Templeton, was also in the hotel business; Strang, of Pittsburgh, Pa., in the employ of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, married Reda Richardson and has one child; Eddie died at the age of eight years; Lolla died at the age of seven years.

Ott Thomspon obtained his schooling in the home locality, and at an early age began to work with his father, remaining with the latter until his death. He was connected with the hotel business as well as with the store, but sold out his interests in the former in the year 1904. In 1906 he built his present store, which is stocked with general merchandise, and he has a patronage drawn from a wide territory, being one of the foremost business men of his district. He has taken considerable part in the management of local affairs, having served six years as supervisor of Pine township and two terms as justice of the peace. In fact, he is a typical member of the progressive family to which he belongs.

In 1897 Mr. Thompson was married to Adda Gould of Boggs township, this county, daughter of Elias and Mary Gould, now of Washington township, this county. Mr. and Mrs. Thompson have two sons, Mason and Harold. They are members of the Presbyterian Church, and socially he is a Mason, belonging to Blue Lodge No. 244 at Kittanning. In political connections he is a Republican.

Source: Page 686, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed September 1998 by James R Hindman for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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