In 1988, The Centennial History of Hurricane, WV was published to commemorate the town’s 100th anniversary. Since the Centennial History is now out of print, the Breeze is reprinting articles from the book as space allows. This week’s selection will be the 233rd installment of the Centennial History.
THOMAS THOMPSON FAMILY
Written by Dosha Thompson
Thomas “Tommy ” Thompson was born on February 29, 1929, son of Grover Cleveland and Maude Chloe Pierce, daughter of Frank and Viola Phelps Pierce. Tommy’s parents were married in Ironton, Ohio. He is one of twelve children. They include Virginia Bird, Janet Williams, Grover, Jr., Bryan, Don, Jean Reedy, and Patricia Lewis. Other siblings, Helen Mynes, Margaret Ledbetter, Stella Bird and Charles, are deceased. With the exception of Charles, all the children lived to celebrate their parents’ golden wedding anniversary in 1961.
Grover, at the time of his death was the oldest living member of Hurricane Baptist Church. He was a Mason for 58 years and a member of National Guard during WWI. He was a foreman for State Road. The family holds many memories of the harvesting and canning large amounts of food grown on their small farm near Hurricane.
Grover was born in December, 1884, the son of Joseph Patterson and Mary Madgeline McCallister Thompson. His brothers and sisters were Franklin, Ella, Grace, Fannie Charley, Calvin, William and Stella. Joseph Patterson was the son of Juliana and Robert Napoleon Boneparte Thompson. Juliana was the daughter of Thomas Morris. Thomas was the son of Joshua and Frances Sims Morris of Teays Valley. Joshua, son of William Morris, who came from England about 1732, married Elizabeth Stips and settled in Virginia. As one of the first settlers, they moved to Kanawha County. Their home was used as a fort for General Lewis’ soldiers on their march on Point Pleasant during the Revolutionary War.
Tommy and I (Dosha Bias, daughter of Elijah and Agnes Jones Bias) met on a date arranged by a cousin. We had previously met while he was playing football for Hurricane and I was a Milton cheerleader. We were married October, 1947. I went on to graduate from Milton High School.
Before taking retirement at 55, Tommy worked 36 years as a carpenter for Union Carbide.
Tommy helped start Little League Baseball in Hurricane. He continued as manager and umpire for 25 years. He still continues playing softball with the church league.
Tommy and I are active members of the First Baptist Church. He was ordained as a deacon in 1956, and he also served on other church boards.
Our family began September, 1948, with the birth of Stephen Edward, a graduate of Marshall University, who joined the Peace Corps and served in India. He married Deborah Mocarsky. They have two children, Adam Thomas and Judith Nicole. In March 1980, Richard Darrell was born. He attended United Electronics Institute and Marshall University. Richard is married to Teresa Ebert and has two children, Richard Scott and Megan Leigh. Both work for Union Carbide. Stephen has also started a decorating business. Joseph Allen, born December 1953, married Debra Byrnside. They also have two children, Jessica Lynn and Joseph Allen, II. Joseph graduated with a BS in engineering from WV Tech. He lives in Madison where he works as a District Supervisor for Consolidated Gas.
We have attempted to instill in our family the values Grover exhibited throughout his life. The value in hard work, community service, duty and honor to country, service to our Lord and devotion to family life were daily held out to us as the way to live life to its fullest and best. That he was successful in passing these values on to his children and they to theirs is evidenced by their full participation in church activities including service as missionaries, deacons, trustees, religious education instructors, ministers’ wives; their roles in community activities such as Little League, service to the needy and elderly, government service, Scouting and others. Perhaps the finest tribute to these values instilled by Grover is the closeness of his family one to another and the reaching out to others, sharing not only out of the surplus but also so out of the needed.
A digital copy of the Centennial History can be obtained from the Hurricane City Hall for a small donation. For more information, call the City of Hurricane at (304) 562-5896.