John W. Thompson


John W. Thompson was born in 1843 in Ohio. At the age of eighteen, Thompson enlisted in the US Army, and served as a Private in the 43rd Ohio Vol. Infantry during the Civil War. He was promoted a number of times during his service. Thompson completed his military service in 1864. He moved to Evanston in 1890.


John W. Thompson was known for his personable nature, and those who knew him “associated him at once with the Evanston Public Library.” His work with the library began on May 1, 1890, and he remained a member on its board for twenty-eight years, until his death in 1918. During his time with the library, he served as President for eleven years, from June 1895 until June 1906. Thompson is credited with the board’s decision to erect a new Library Building in 1906. 


Also notable was his membership on the Evanston Historical Society’s founding board of directors. His competence and passion for library services likely spurred his interest in establishing such an organization. He served on the Evanston Historical Society’s Board of Directors for a span of nine years, from its establishment in 1898 until early 1908.

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