Newspaper Articles

Hon. Phil B. and Martha Thompson Celebrate Golden Wedding

The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Wednesday, November 2, 1892

A Golden Wedding

Hon. And Mrs. Phil B. Thompson, of Harrodsburg, To Celebrate Theirs Tonight

They Were Wedded Fifty Years Ago At the Home of the Bride, On Her Father’s Plantation In Mississippi, Near Natchez, On the Bluff.

Harrodsburg, Ky., Nov. 1 – (Special) – The social event of the week in Central Kentucky, and one that is attracting great attention, will be the celebration of the golden wedding of the Hon. and Mrs. Phil B. Thompson, of this place, to occur tomorrow evening between the hours of 7 and 11 at their elegant and handsome residence, on East Lexington Avenue, this date being the fiftieth anniversary of their marriage.

The marriage of Phil B. Thompson and Miss Martha Montgomery was solemnized on the 2nd day of November 1842, at the residence of the bride’s father on his large plantation, near Natchez, Mississippi.  They immediately, after their marriage, came to Harrodsburg, the home of the groom, where fifty years of blissful and happy married life, unruffled by a single incident of domestic infelicity, have been spent.

Mrs. Martha Montgomery Thompson is the daughter of the late Davis Montgomery, of Mississippi, who at the time of his death was one of the wealthiest plantation owners in the south.  She was born in August 1824, and reared near Natchez, Mississippi.  She is a very devout member of the Christian church and has been since 1846.  In the interests of the church, together with the many charitable societies of which she is a member, she has spent a great deal of time, and is known throughout the State among the members of her church and societies as one of the ablest supporters and most liberal contributors.  Being a lady of remarkable vivacity, endowed with brilliant social qualities and possessed of a kind and generous nature, it is needless to say that she has been the gem of happiness in her home for a half century, and has presided over the household of her talented and honored husband with that queenly dignity, cultured taste and devotion for which Kentucky women are so famous.

The Hon. Phil B. Thompson, Sr., was born in Harrodsburg, on January 8, 1821, and is a son of John B. Thompson, the once noted lawyer, now deceased.  He has three brothers and four sisters.  The brothers are Judge James H. Thompson, of Hillsborough, Ohio; J. B. Thompson, who was in 1857 United States Senator from Kentucky, and Charles Thompson, who, with the exception of the first, are deceased.  The sisters are Mrs. M. T. Davis, Harrodsburg, Ky.; Mrs. A. P. Tribble and Mrs. Susan Massie, Columbus, Ohio, and Mrs. Kate Dun, Mechanicsburg, Ohio.

Mr. Thompson was educated at Jefferson College, Pennsylvania, from which he graduated in 1838.  In the fall of 1838 he began the study of law under his senior brother, John B. Thompson, and was admitted to the bar in 1840.  He immediately commenced the practice of law, which he continued until October 1846, when he was mustered into service at Louisville, as a volunteer of the Mexican War.  Leaving a young wife and three small children at home, he, with that same unswerving allegiance to duty that has characterized him through life, heeded his country’s call, and marched to battle to save it from invasion by a foreign power.  He was Captain of Company C of Col. McKee’s regiment, and stood within a few feet of Col. Clay when he was shot at the Battle of Buena Vista.  Having serviced in this war with distinction, he was mustered out at New Orleans in July 1847.  He returned to Harrodsburg and again began the practice of his profession.  In 1851 he was elected Commonwealth’s Attorney for his Judicial district, serving until 1856.  In September 1861, he entered the Southern army, was a member of the Provisional Government of 1862, served during the war under the command of Gen. Bragg and Gen. S. B. Buckner, and returned home in 1865, when he again resumed the practice which he has ever since continued, it being conceded at all that he has since that time been the leading attorney of the very able bar at this place.

The name and fame of P. B. Thompson is familiar to every court and lawyer in Kentucky, and to many all through the South.  He has been publicly recognized for a quarter of a century as one of the most brilliant, successful and famous criminal lawyers in the State.  There are but few counties in the State, and none in Central Kentucky, whose courts and juries have not, at some time during his long career of successful practice, listened to and felt the wonderful power of his magnetic oratory.

Of the many cases in which he has been engaged, one was the defense of Tom Buford, charged with the killing of Judge John Elliott, at Frankfort, Ky., the case being tried in Owen County.  Another was the defense of James Arnold, charged with the killing of Robert Little, at Richmond, Ky.  His associate counsel in this case was Hon. Dan Voorhees, Hon. W. O. Bradley, Hon. Curtis Burnam and Hon. James B. McCreary.

Mr. Thompson served in the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1885-1886, was the Chairman of the Criminal Law Committee, and is the author of the bill permitting the defendant to testify in criminal cases.  He has never sought political distinction and has an aversion for politics.  He is a Democrat, and with his remarkable intellect, magnetic bearing, genial sociability and indomitable courage, had he preferred to enter the political arena, rather than enjoy the quiet, peaceful and successful practice of law, there is no doubt but that he would have attained high honors.

Three bright boys, now in the prime of manhood, blessed the union of this venerable couple.  The are Dr. Davis Thompson, of Chicago; Hon. John B. Thompson, Jr., of this place, one of the most noted lawyers in Kentucky, and proprietor of the Old Fort Springs Distillery here; and Hon. Phil B. Thompson, Jr., ex-member of Congress of this district and now practicing law in New York, of whom it is said by people able to judge that few brighter intellects ever graced the halls of Congress or the United States bar.

Mr. and Mrs. P. B. Thompson have three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Prominent among the people from a distance who are invited and expected to attend the wedding are:  Hon. Dan Voorhees, Hon. J. C. S. Blackburn and wife, Hon. R. P. Jacobs and wife, Hon. Joseph Lewis, Hon. W. L. Jackson, Jr., and wife, Hon. P. W. Hardin and wife, ex-Gov. S. B. Buckner and wife, Hon. John S. Branaugh and wife, Hon. Chas. Pierce, Hon. M. J. Durham and wife, Hon. J. C. Wickliffe and wife, Hon. J. J. McAfee and wife, Rev. W. P. Harvey and wife, Hon. E. J. Polk and wife, Hon. Richard Wintersmith and Hon. W. L. Davis.

There are about three hundred invitations issued and an elaborate supper will be served.  President John Williams, of Daughters’ College, Harrodsburg, will deliver the address of the evening, and while it is being delivered Mr. and Mrs. Thompson will stand under an arch constructed of holly and mistletoe, suspended from which will be cotton stalks with the bowls in bloom, and a hand of tobacco, the cotton being emblematic of the industrial product of the bride’s native state, the tobacco that of the groom’s.  Hon. Phil B. Thompson will hold in his arms their beautiful great-grandbaby, of whom they are so fond.  An old colored servant will stand at the rear of the parlor, he being the only living witness to their wedding of 1842.

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