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Thompson, Anderson Mann | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Name: Thompson, Anderson Mann

Historical 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.

Sources: The Southern Illinoisan, Obituary of Anderson Mann Thompson, June 27, 1973, page 34.
Note Author: Joseph Valle

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