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Memorial Record of Western Kentucky, Volume I and Volume II, Lewis Publishing Company, 1904, pp. 142-144. McCracken Co.
DR. JOSEPH W. THOMPSON Dr. Joseph W. Thompson, deceased, was for years a leading physician and surgeon of the city of Paducah, where he was esteemed for his professional knowledge and skill and beloved for his many sterling traits of character as a man. He was born in Graves county, Kentucky, June 27, 1838, and was descended from one of the oldest and most highly respected families of the Jackson Purchase. His grandfather, Moses Thompson, settled in Graves county about 1825, and was one of the first associate judges appointed to preside over the courts of that district. He was a farmer by occupation, but a man of more than ordinary mental ability for his day. He died in Ballard county, Kentucky, at the home of his son, Augustus Thompson, in 1844. He was the father of twelve children, including eleven sons, who inherited not only the mental strength of their father, but the native energy of their mother, who is said to have been a remarkable woman for the day in which she lived. She was one of the founders of the Christian church in western Kentucky, and was noted for possessing a degree of refinement and lady-like culture rarely seen among people of the new country. Of their sons, Augustus was born in Butler county, Kentucky, in 1815, and removed with the family to Graves county, where in early life, he began the practice of medicine, having prepared himself for the profession in the Cincinnati Medical College. He married, in 1837, Miss Susan M. Grundy, and reared three sons, of whom the subject of this sketch was the eldest. He died in the prime of life of cholera in the latter part of June, 1849. His wife, who was born in 1817, died in Ballard county in February, 1869. A biography of her youngest son, George C. Thompson, appears elsewhere in these volumes. Dr. Joseph W. Thompson was principally reared on the farm and in Ballard county. He received a fair literary education, and at the age of eighteen years began the study of medicine under Dr. G. Stovall, of Ballard county, and in 1857 entered the Medical College of Nashville, Tennessee, whence, in 1858, he went to the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was graduated in March of 1859. He then located in Ballard county, where he successfully practiced till 1861, when he entered the Confederate army as surgeon of the Third Kentucky Regiment. In this capacity he served for two years, and was afterward placed in charge of Forrest's Hospital, at Lauderdale Springs, Mississippi, remaining there two years and until the close of the war. Immediately after the close of hostilities Dr. Thompson located in Paducah, where he continued to reside and to practice medicine till he passed away in death. He rose to a front rank in his profession; was a member of the Medical and Surgical Society of Paducah, of the Southwestern Kentucky Medical Society, of the Kentucky State Medical Association and the American Medical Association, and was also a Mason and a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. February 17, 1867, Dr. Thompson married Miss Victoria H. O'Brien, a native of North Carolina. She is still living in Paducah. In the death of Dr. Thompson there passed away a beloved physician, a good citizen and one whom everyone who knew him highly respected.