Biographical Sketch of Jessie Sloane Thompson

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Jessie Sloane Thompson, 1871- ?

By Katie Sanderson and Jill Blevins, student researchers, Montana State University, Bozeman

Clubwoman, suffragist

Jessie Sloane was born on November 1, 1871 in Wichita, Kansas to John L. Sloane and Elizabeth A. Sloane. Her father, John Sloane, was born in New York, the son of an Irish father and Scottish mother. Her mother, Elizabeth A. (Mausfield) Sloane, was born in Illinois. Jessie's family moved from Kansas to Hellgate, Missoula, Montana, where her father occupied the elected position of Clerk of District Court. Jessie married Tyler B. Thompson, a Canadian immigrant, in 1890. Mr. Thompson, who had become a naturalized citizen by 1910, became involved in politics as a progressive Democrat. The Thompsons were often mentioned in the society section of local and state newspapers as well as in political news. In 1910, Jessie and her husband lived in the same household with Jessie's widowed father, four of her siblings, her adopted daughter, two boarders, and a maid.

On June 10, 1911 in Bozeman, Montana, Jessie Thompson was elected the vice president of the western district of the Montana Federation of Women's Clubs. Fellow members of the club eventually recognized her dedication to the women's causes by electing her president of the entire state federation in 1914. At about the same time, Thompson became active in the state campaign for woman suffrage. On May 2, 1914, she joined her colleagues, Mary Stewart and Jeannette Rankin, speaking about suffrage topics on the Missoula courthouse steps. It was nothing shy of an exciting event, as there was even a brass band present for the affair.

Aside from being a proponent for women's rights, Thompson also advocated for conservation of food in the United States during World War One. As a result, she was appointed to the Montana State Council of Defense by Governor Stewart in April, 1917. Thompson was in charge of a committee dedicated to the economy and utilization of food. Later, in 1920, Thompson continued her political activities by running for delegate for the Democratic national convention. It is unknown if she was elected to the position.

When not fighting for the cause, Jessie Thompson could be found enjoying leisurely activities such as camping and visiting local hot springs. She frequently camped with friends in the Kalispell area and quite liked soaking at Lolo Hot Springs located just outside of Missoula. Thompson was also an active member of the Federated Church Women of Missoula. One of her roles in the association was to act as the treasurer of a committee dedicated to "undertaking rescue work among the unfortunate young girls of Missoula."

After nearly thirty years of marriage, Jessie's husband Tyler died on February 26, 1919 and was buried in the Missoula cemetery. Jessie Thompson's death date is unknown, although she was still active in Montana Federation of Women's Clubs in 1939.

 

Photo Credit: "Governor Names Defense Council," The Ronan pioneer. (Ronan, Mont.), 27 April 1917, p. 5. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86075298/1917-04-27/ed-1/seq-5/

Sources:

"Around the Town," The Kalispell Bee. (Kalispell, Mont.), 02 Aug. 1901, p. 3. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85053328/1901-08-02/ed-1/seq-3/

"Church Women Make Plans," The Daily Missoulian. (Missoula, Mont.), 03 Dec. 1909, p. 5. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.<http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83025316/1909-12-03/ed-1/seq-5/

"General Federation Foundation Fund," Montana Woman, February 1939, p. 15, Montana Memory Project, http://mtmemory.org/digital/collection/p16013coll68/id/1974.

"Governor Names Defense Council," The Ronan pioneer. (Ronan, Mont.), 27 April 1917, p. 5. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86075298/1917-04-27/ed-1/seq-5/

"Montana Presents Many Candidates for Early Primary," Great Falls Daily Tribune. (Great Falls, Mont.), 04 April 1920, p. 15. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84024808/1920-04-04/ed-1/seq-15/

"Montana Suffragists Were Busy, May 2," The Ronan Pioneer. (Ronan, Mont.), 08 May 1914, p. 4. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86075298/1914-05-08/ed-1/seq-4/

"Society," The Daily Missoulian. (Missoula, Mont.), 29 Dec. 1912, p. 17. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83025316/1912-12-29/ed-1/seq-17/

"To Increase Food Output of State," The Butte Daily Post. (Butte, Mont.), 19 April 1917, p. 3. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85053058/1917-04-19/ed-1/seq-3/

"Tyler B. Thompson Elected Head of State Wholesalers," The Daily Missoulian. (Missoula, Mont.), 11 Dec. 1917, p. 5. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83025316/1917-12-11/ed-1/seq-5/

U.S. Census. Year: 1900; Census Place: Hell Gate, Missoula, Montana; Page: 10; Enumeration District: 0069. Ancestry.com.

U.S. Census. Year: 1910; Census Place: Missoula Ward 1, Missoula, Montana; Roll: T624_834; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 0064; FHL microfilm: 1374847. Ancestry.com.

U.S. Find A Grave Index. Ancestry.com. [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012. Original Data: Find A Grave. Find A Grave.

https://www.ancestry.com/inst/discoveries/PfRecord?emailId=N-4545564a-45b5-4b7d-b471-6ff01dc4fd73&collectionId=60525&recordId=45809551&ahsht=2018-03-05T18:27:18&language=en-US&ahsh=cc55efd04bd863dda954cb1bf7531180

"Women Meet in Butte Next," The Daily Missoulian. (Missoula, Mont.), 11 June 1911, p. 1. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83025316/1911-06-11/ed-1/seq-1/

"Women Meet in Lewistown," Yellowstone Monitor. (Glendive, Mont.), 11 June 1914, p. 5. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86075153/1914-06-11/ed-1/seq-5/

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