Sunday, May 3, 2009

William Leslie Thompson

William Leslie Thompson

My paternal grandmother, Edith Thompson Harward's father is William Leslie Thompson. He was born 22 October 1885 in Scipio, Millard County, Utah, the son of William Riley and Rosetta Johnson Thompson. He went by the name of Leslie.

Leslie was the oldest of eleven children. His family's first home was made of rough, unhewn logs without chinking--the plaster filling. The floors were rough, wide boards with cracks and holes. Grass and alfalfa grew up through the floor. When Leslie was small, he put everything he could find through the holes. His mother missed her scissors and her button hook that she buttoned her shoes with and her big hair pins and many other things. His father eventually had to take up a floor board in order to get the things out.

He grew up in the farming community of Scipio--learning as other boys his age to farm and ride horses. In 1906 Leslie served a mission to the Eastern states and taught many people who were schooled in the arts and sciences.

Upon returning from his mission he married Eva Merinda Stephenson of Holden, Millard County, Utah on 2 September 1908 in the Manti LDS Temple and returned to Holden, to live and work with Eva's father, a widower, Thomas Christian Stephenson. Eva recounted, "Father loved Leslie on account of his high ideals, his strict Latter-day Saint living and his kindly nature."

In preparation for his daughter and son-in-law, Thomas arranged his machinery and had everything ready for Leslie to go to work. Leslie sat beside Thomas during the eleven nights before he passed away on 26 May 1912.

In 1917 Leslie and Eva moved to Sigurd, Sevier County, Utah where he worked for a farmer. Later they moved to Aurora, Sevier County, Utah where he purchased a farm and built a nice brick home.

Because of Leslie's health, he and Eva moved to Provo, Utah County, Utah in 1942 and bought into a turkey farm and worked with their oldest son, Homer. After seven years of turkey farming, Leslie took the opportunity to work for Brigham Young University as boiler operator in the heating plant. They bought a large home which had been remodeled into three apartments--two of which they rented out to BYU students.

In 1950 Leslie and Eva bought another home in Provo and managed the renters in the previous apartments.

Leslie loved to sing and sang for many occasions all through his life with Eva accompanying him. He served in many Church positions including Stake YMMIA president in two different stakes.

Leslie passed away on 11 November 1953 of bleeding stomach ulcers. His wife claimed, "He was a deeply religious man who always gave his family and me the strength and inspiration to meet every situation."

Leslie and Eva Thompson Family

Front Left: Homer, Eva, Leslie
Middle Left: Edith, Elaine, Eva Joy, Rose
Back Left: Daniel, Paul, Alma

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