Biography of Arthur Raymond Thompson



Compiled and written by Linda M. Thank,  Granddaughter of Raymond and Ruby Thompson

     ARTHUR RAYMOND THOMPSON (known to all as Raymond)  was born May 15, 1896 in Wilbur, Lincoln County, Washington.  He was the only surviving son of HENRY MORGAN THOMPSON and his wife ANNA CORA (JOHNSON) THOMPSON. In 1902 the family built a new home in Almira and moved there;  Henry and Anna deeded to the new city of Almira the present Thompson Addition for city expansion.
    Raymond was an inquisitive child which led him to a  career in many types of work as well as building and maintaining his own business, the Raymond Thompson Company.  He made a living inventing, writing, trapping, bookkeeping, government work, and in  independent employment.  He greatest love was his trapping career and his writing.
     Raymond left Almira, Washington at age 16 for his first real adventure and went to the wilderness of Canada in the Edson and Athabaska regions of Alberta.  He spent the first winter with trappers and at roadhouses learning more about the far north.  The next summer he was back in Almira to visit family and earn a "stake" for more trapping adventures.  Raymond's childhood buddy and best friend, CLIFFE KNOWLES, went with him on his second trip north.
     In Edson, Raymond met his future wife RUBY G. L. TRENCH, born Aug 25, 1899 in West Derby, Lancshire, England.  She lived with her mother, FANNY VENABLES LEA MILLAR who married WALTER GEORGE TRENCH of England after the death of her first husband, WILLIAM ANDERSON MILLAR.  Raymond so loved  the Canadian scene that he enlisted with the Canadian Army without parental permission.  His mother soon had him discharged as a minor and back in Almira!  After majority , he went back to Canada and to Ruby.  They married May 25, 1918 in Edson at the home of Fanny Millar (Ruby's mother).
     Ruby and Raymond lived in trapper cabins along the Peace and Athabaska River drainage in Alberta, Canada.  Raymond trapped as well as wrote articles about his experiences and published boy's stories in the Canadian Boy's Life Magazine.  He worked odd jobs such as bookkeeping and selling cars during the summers for extra cash.  The oldest child, FRANCES ALBERTA THOMPSON, was born June 6, 1920 in Edson.  Next came ANN RHODA THOMPSON  in 1922.  While on a visit to Almira in late 1923 Raymond decided to spend the winter and trap for martins in the Gold Creek area for a biologists doing research.  The following summer of 1924 their 3rd child, ARTHUR RAYMOND THOMPSON JR., was born. Raymond and family went back to Canada that fall and stayed for a few more years.  Their last child, NORMAN ALLEN THOMPSON, was born in Edson in 1926.
     In the mid 1930's Raymond was offered work by his father-in-law, GEORGE TRENCH.  The family packed up and moved to Quebec.  After a few months, Mr. Trench asked the family to move to Lapeer, Michigan for a joint business venture.  Raymond decided to give it a try and moved on to Michigan.  Unfortunately, there was no income to be made in the venture so the family headed  west toward family and  better fortune.  They landed in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho in 1934 and with family help, rented a small store and cabins for rentals. Raymond landed a job writing the Idaho Panhandle section of the State of Idaho publication IDAHO, a Guide in Word and Picture. The work was published  in 1937. Raymond also worked for the State of Idaho  teaching people how to make coats and clothing articles out of leather goods from cattle hides.  An Idaho State supported work program during the depression,  The family spent several  months in Boise for these projects.
     In the early 1940's Raymond moved his family to Seattle, Washington  where he rented a building to start his snare making business and finish perfecting his patents for the Thompson Self-Locking Snare. Successful at this venture he was able to save enough cash and invest in property in Snohomish County, Washington near Alderwood Manor and Martha Lake.  He built a shop and house where he lived until his death Dec.10, 1979. Ruby died in 1991 in Seattle, Washington home of her daughter, Frances.  The Raymond Thompson Company is still in the same location and owned by his grandson, RICHARD LEA SINRUD.
     Raymond has over 30 publications  to his credit on subjects from dog sledding and sled dog breeds to trapping and supplies, poetry, and Canadian adventure stories.  He also wrote the story of his life in Almira, Wilbur, and the Athabaska country.  Surviving children are FRANCES A. SINRUD living with  RICHARD L. SINRUD in Alderwood Manor, ANN R. COZART, of Bellingham, ARTHUR RAYMOND THOMPSON of Lake Bay, Washington, and NORMAN ALLEN THOMPSON of Orange County, California plus numerous grand and great-grandchildren.


Submitted to the WAGenWeb July 28, 2002 by Linda M. Thank

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