Search Blog for Surname

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


This photo was located at the Stone Soup Antique Mall in Ballston Spa, New York, along with several other photos from the same time period and region. However, I only bought the ones that were sufficiently labeled with clues to the subject's identity.  This one has a hand-written note on the back which says "Harry Thompson, my friend".

The photo was taken at the photographic studio of "Hammond Bros." in Lewiston, Maine and appears to be circa 1910 - 1912. The young man is in his late teens or early twenties. So best guess on his birth-year would be around 1890.

There are two possible Harry Thompsons whom this can be.


Checking 1900 Maine census records, I have found a Harry G. Thompson born February 1891 living in Auburn Maine, a community just west of the larger town of Lewiston. In the household are parents Aaron and Emily, and a sister Maggie. The father worked as a laborer in the ice business. He was born in Canada in January of 1845. There is a column which indicates Harry was age 9 at the time of his last birthday, which would be accurate based upon the Feb 1891 birthday and the June 2, 1900 date of the Census.

Dingley-Foss Shoe Company in Auburn, Maine
By the time of the 1910 Census, mother Emily is widowed. Harry and a sister Mercy (might be the same as Maggie, mentioned above) live at home with her and both of the siblings worked at the Dingley-Foss Shoe Company.

Harry's mother Emily died in 1916 and was buried at the Mount Auburn Cemetery. The following year, he registered for the WWI draft and may have lied to the registrar about his age. The Draft Registration form states his official name as "George Harry Thompson" and his birthdate as Feb 13, 1890, Newcastle, New Brunswick, Canada. He gives his occupation as Shoemaker for Dingley-Foss Shoe Company.

The 1920 Auburn Maine Census find him living at the home of his sister Laura and her husband Timothy Cohoon. The 1940 Auburn Maine Census shows him living with a housekeeper Rose Ellis, and his occupation is still shoemaker.

There is a headstone in the Mount Auburn Cemetery which reads simply : GEORGE H. THOMPSON 1891-1942. This offers very few clues but the official name matches the one on the Draft registration, and the year of birth matches the one on the 1900 Census.

It would appear that Harry never married and left no descendants.


Harry O. Thompson, born about 1894 in Maine, lived in the town of Sabattus Village, Maine, which is the next community just to the Northeast of Lewiston. It is entirely possible a resident of Sabattus Village might have gone into Lewiston to have a portrait made.

On the 1920 Sabattus Census, 26 year old Harry O. Thompson is described as a textile maker in a woolen mill. He lives with his father Sanford Thompson (age 66), mother Margaret E. Thompson (56) and brothers Sanford  E. Thompson (23) and Leonard W. Thompson (21). The siblings also work at the woolen mill.

By 1930, he had married a woman named Rae, relocated to Douglas, Worcester County Massachusetts, and had a daughter named Eleanor M.  Harry was employed there as an assistant supervisor at a woolen mill.

No comments:

Post a Comment