Browse: Collections Digital Content Subjects Creators Record Groups

Reminiscences of Anderson Mann "Doc" Thompson audiotapes


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Adminstrative Information

Detailed Description

Box 0

Reminiscences of Anderson Mann "Doc" Thompson audiotapes, 1972 | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Email Us Contact Us About This Collection

Collection Overview

Title: Reminiscences of Anderson Mann "Doc" Thompson audiotapes, 1972Add to your cart.

ID: 1/6/MSS 365

Primary Creator: Thompson, Anderson Mann

Other Creators: Thompson, Cinda

Extent: 0.2 Cubic Feet

Date Acquired: 00/00/1972

Subjects: African American coal miners - Illinois - Williamson County, African Americans - Illinois - Marion, Agricultural exhibitions - Illinois - Marion, Birger, Charlie, 1880-1928, Coal miners - Labor unions - Illinois - Williamson County - History, Daley, Richard J., 1902-1976, Democratic National Convention, Democratic Party (Cook County, Ill.), Democratic Party (Ill.) - History, Durkin, Martin P., Fraternal organizations, Gangsters - Illinois - Williamson County, Glenn, Otis F., Herrin (Ill.) - History, Horner, Henry, 1878-1940, Jews - Illinois - Marion, Kerr, Angus, Ku Klux Klan (1915-) - Illinois, Lewis, John L. (John Llewellyn), 1880-1969, Marion (Ill.) - History, Marion (Ill.) - Social life and customs, Mineral industries - Illinois - History, Nash, Patrick A., 1863-1943, Pinkerton's National Detective Agency, Police, Rural - Illinois - Marion, Political conventions, Powell, Paul, 1902-1970, Prohibition - Illinois - Williamson County, Rural schools - Illinois - Marion, Shelton, Carl (Carl Ray), 1888-1947, Shelton Brothers Gang, Strikebreakers - Illinois - Williamson County, Strikes and lockouts - Illinois - Williamson County, Thomas, Orey, Truman, Bess Wallace, Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972, United States. Department of Labor - Employees, Williamson County (Ill.) - History, Williamson County (Ill.) - Social life and customs, Young, S. Glenn, 1886-1925

Forms of Material: Audiotapes

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Reminiscences of Anderson Mann "Doc" Thompson audiotapes are a collection of interviews between Anderson Mann "Doc" Thompson, and his granddaughter Cinda Thompson recorded from June to December 1972.  The collection consists of 5 reel-to-reel ¼ inch tapes recorded at 3 ¾ speed.

The interviews provide insight into Marion, Illinois and Williamson County history and culture, coal mining, labor unions, and the Democratic Party in Southern Illinois during the first half of the 20th century.  In the interviews, Doc Thompson reminisces about his childhood and his life as a Williamson county coal miner, which began when he was 9 years old.  Some of the topics he discusses include the social customs and daily life of early 20th century Marion, IL, the conflict between the Ku Klux Klan and bootleggers such as the Shelton Brothers and S. Glenn Young during the Prohibition era, the coal miner's union, labor strikes, and his involvement in the Herrin Massacre trial. Thompson also discusses his involvement in Democratic Party politics such as his role as Labor Commissioner in Governor Henry Horner’s administration, and employment with the United States Department of Labor during President Harry Truman’s administration.  He speaks about the various politicians he encountered throughout his government career including Pat Nash, Martin Durkin, and Paul Powell and his participation in Democrat Party conventions.

Biographical Note

Anderson Mann "Doc" Thompson (1885-1973) was born in Marion, Illinois to David Lee Thompson and Lucinda Goodall Thompson. Both the Thompson and the Goodhall families settled in the Southern Illinois area in the early 19th century.  Doc Thompson dropped out of third grade when he was nine years old, and began working in the coal mines with his parents. His family also operated several businesses in Marion including an ice packing business. His mother used part of their home as a restaurant, and cooked at local fairs. In 1902,Thompson married Frankie Lee Crossen who was also born and raised in Marion. They had five children, three sons and two daughters. Thompson joined the miner's union, and eventually became a legal investigator for the United Mine Workers of America. During strikes, he handled disputes between company management and the union. He was involved in the trial of the miners convicted of murdering scabs in the 1922 Herrin Massacre. When there were long term strikes, Thompson would work as a policeman in Marion.

Thompson was active in local and state politics, and campaigned for Governor Henry Horner. He was elected for three terms as the Central State Committeeman of the Democratic Party, and was in charge of eight counties in Southern Illinois. He coordinated social functions and benefits for the Democratic Party whenever Governor Horner visited Southern Illinois. In 1933, Horner offered Thompson a job as a Commissioner for Labor to the Industrial Board of Illinois, where he handled injury and strike cases. In 1940, after Governor Horner's death, Thompson resigned from his position, and in 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt on the recommendation of Senator Scott Lucas, offered Thompson a position to work as a Conciliator on the Federal Mediation Board in Washington D.C. He was responsible for training state labor commissioners to settle strikes and labor disputes. He worked in this position for 15 years, and retired in 1957.

Subject/Index Terms

African American coal miners - Illinois - Williamson County
African Americans - Illinois - Marion
Agricultural exhibitions - Illinois - Marion
Birger, Charlie, 1880-1928
Coal miners - Labor unions - Illinois - Williamson County - History
Daley, Richard J., 1902-1976
Democratic National Convention
Democratic Party (Cook County, Ill.)
Democratic Party (Ill.) - History
Durkin, Martin P.
Fraternal organizations
Gangsters - Illinois - Williamson County
Glenn, Otis F.
Herrin (Ill.) - History
Horner, Henry, 1878-1940
Jews - Illinois - Marion
Kerr, Angus
Ku Klux Klan (1915-) - Illinois
Lewis, John L. (John Llewellyn), 1880-1969
Marion (Ill.) - History
Marion (Ill.) - Social life and customs
Mineral industries - Illinois - History
Nash, Patrick A., 1863-1943
Pinkerton's National Detective Agency
Police, Rural - Illinois - Marion
Political conventions
Powell, Paul, 1902-1970
Prohibition - Illinois - Williamson County
Rural schools - Illinois - Marion
Shelton, Carl (Carl Ray), 1888-1947
Shelton Brothers Gang
Strikebreakers - Illinois - Williamson County
Strikes and lockouts - Illinois - Williamson County
Thomas, Orey
Truman, Bess Wallace
Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972
United States. Department of Labor - Employees
Williamson County (Ill.) - History
Williamson County (Ill.) - Social life and customs
Young, S. Glenn, 1886-1925

Administrative Information

Repository: Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Access Restrictions: Unrestricted access.

Use Restrictions: To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the World Wide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright.  Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult Special Collections Research Center to determine copyright holders for information in this collection.  Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original.

Technical Access Note: A reel-to-reel player capable of playing 7 inch audio reels, 1/4 inch tape, at 3 3/4 speed is required to listen to the original tapes.  Digital surrogates are available.

Related Materials:

VFM 1992, Reminiscences of Anderson Mann "Doc" Thompson of Marion, Williamson County, Illinois, 14 February 1973, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

These tapes have been digitized as the Anderson Mann Thompson Interviews digital collection, published by the Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.  Available at :

Preferred Citation: [Item], Reminiscences of Anderson Mann "Doc" Thompson audiotapes, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Processing Information: Processed by Joseph Valle in January 2017.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],

Box 1Add to your cart.
Item 1: Reel-to-Reel Tape 1, 1972Add to your cart.
Item 2: Reel-to-Reel Tape 2, 1972Add to your cart.
Item 3: Reel-to Reel Tape 3, 1972Add to your cart.
Item 4: Reel-to-Reel Tape 4, 1972Add to your cart.
Item 5: Reel-to-Reel Tape 5, 1972Add to your cart.

Page Generated in: 0.193 seconds (using 356 queries).
Using 3.14MB of memory. (Peak of 3.44MB.)

Powered by Archon Version 3.21 rev-2.1
Copyright ©2012 The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign