Stacy & Marian 1918-1924

Ida May Goodenow Thompson

Ida May Goodenow Thompson 1856-1906

Shall we title this Stacy & Marian or Marian & Stacy? It could be either.  The couple I knew only through family lore, come alive in the following series of snapshots taken from 1918 until 1924.  Most of the shots are of their children: Ida May, Stacy W., and Gayle. However, there are others which reveal members of the family I had never heard of.  I know about these folks because of the fine captioning of the photos done by Marian.  I will share some of her captions and comments with you. They portray a person intent on raising her family and sharing family experiences with her greater family; namely my grandparents; Walter and Blanche Thompson.

But first, a little history. In 1906,  Stacy’s first wife, Ida May Goodenow Thompson, died while Stacy was away in South Dakota.  He ran the Redwater Land and Canal Company, and twice a year traveled to Belle Fourche, South Dakota, first as Treasurer and later as President of the company to manage the companies business.

On May 7, 1906, a Western Union Telegram was received by Stacy in Belle Fourche, South Dakota. It was from his son, my Grandfather Walter.  It said: “Finish your work and hurry home.  Mother sick. Walter. “

During the next 24 hours, several telegrams were exchanged between Walter and Stacy.  On May 8, 1906 the following telegram was received by Stacy.  It read: “Mother passed away at 2 O’clock.  Walter.”

Mother passed away at 2 O'clock.

Mother passed away at 2 O’clock.

At 9:05 P.M., Stacy wired Walter saying: “Make arrangements as you think best and wire my love and sympathy to you all.  Stacy.” 

The following day Stacy again sent a telegram to Walter saying: ” No train until tomorrow noon.  I will arrive Manistee Friday night or Saturday.  I mourn with you all.  Stacy”

No train until tomorrow

No train until tomorrow

The only story I remember surrounding the death of my Great Grandmother was told to me by my Great Aunt Bess when I visited her in Sacramento, California in 1960.  She said: “Father came into the front room where Mother was laid out.  He took off his hat, laid it on a chair, then walked over to Mother and picked her up, right out of the casket, and held her for a long, long time.  It was the only time I ever saw my Father cry.”

In 1905, Marian Kubiac was hired to take care of the Thompson home and attend to Ida May, who was very ill.

On September 17, 1907 Stacy C. Thompson and Marian Kubiac were married in Manistee, Michigan. The Manistee Daily Advocate wrote on September 21, 1907: “Representative S.C. Thompson and Miss Mary F. Smith were quietly married Tuesday evening by Rev. O.H. Stenson.  Mr Thompson has taken his bride to his new home near Peanut Junction.  Miss Smith has been a domestic in his home for the past three years.” (Thanks to my cousin, Claudia Breland, a professional genealogist, for finding this article and sharing it with me.)  Why Marian’s name was changed from Marian to Mary and from Kubiac to Smith is a mystery enshrouded in bigotry. In any case, on September 17, 1907, Mary F. Smith became Mrs. Stacy C. Thompson.

On July 20, 1908 Ida May Thompson was born to Stacy C. and Marian Thompson.

Stacy, Marian and Ida May 1908

Stacy, Marian and Ida May – 1908

Ida May, Stacy and Marian 1912

Ida May, Stacy and Marian – 1912

On July 10, 1916  Stacy Winfield Thompson was born to Stacy C. and Marian Thompson.

Stacy C. & Stacy W. 1916

Stacy C. & Stacy W. 1916 Marian writes: “Spring & Winter, Father & Son 60 years difference”

On  August 28, 1920 Gayle Blanche was born to Stacy C. and Marian Thompson.

Gail Blanche Thompson

Marian writes: “Today I will do a big washing for my new baby. My but she was glad to get home again. Brother said he would like to see Walter again but he thinks he will have to wait awhile. Love to all from all. Marian”

“Our Little Man”  “Stacy Winfield, 10 Months Old”.  “Baby is 18 months old”  “Mother and her Boy”  “Cry Baby!”  “Baby Stacy Winfield Thompson 2 years old 1918.” These captions and other’s are found on the following snapshots taken at the Thompson home.

Marian must have been a busy Mother during these years.  The pictures comprising the years 1916-1924 had little to do with anything except her three children.  However on the back of one picture of Stacy W., taken in 1918, Marian says: “Claudia had a bad spell yesterday and was awake all night.  She is staying with us for a while.  She seems to be more quiet today.”  Here she must be referring to Stacy C.’s eldest daughter Claudia Thompson Randall, who was staying with them during an illness.



 “Our boy in his first store suit,” Our boy trying to climb a tree,” “Stacy Winfield Thompson 2 years & 10 months,” “S.C.Thompson 63 years,” “Aunt Lilly, myself and our pet,” “Aunt Lilly and the children.”  These are  captions written by Marian on the back of the following gallery of photos, taken in 1919. The “Aunt Lilly,” to whom Marian refers, is Stacy C’s sister Lilly May Thompson Johnson, who was visiting Manistee in 1919.


“Gail Blanche Thompson 3 months old”, “S.C.T & Ida May”, “Ready to go down to the movies to see Charlie Chaplin,” “I guess he is tired and sleepy,” “Gail looks like Ruth Porter used to look,”

In 1920, another Thompson arrived: Gail Blanche Thompson.  Many of the photos taken in this year are of little Gail. But there are others, including Marian herself.


“Ida May on the neighbor’s horse” “A Young Real Estate Dealer” “E.G.Thompson” “Mark Thompson and his Mother” “Stacy having a lot of fun” “Daddy Mama and Brother”  “Mr. E.G. Thompson and Mrs. S.C.Thompson May 22, 1921”

1921 looked like a year for receiving visitors.  Mark Thompson, a Chiropractor and son of Ambrose Thompson along with Margret Thompson, widow of Ambrose, visited Stacy and Marian. I found the following newspaper advertisement in Stacy C.’s scrapbook, which he started in 1873.

Mark Thompson Kiro Practic

Mark Thompson Kiro Practic

Another visitor was Stacy’s brother, E.G. Thompson, the owner and publisher of the Ligonier Leader, a newspaper in Ligonier, Indiana. Evidently he arrived in a four door convertable automobile of some brand.  From the snapshots below, it made quite an impression on the family.

Edwin Thompson, or E.G., as he was referred to by family members, had a son, James Stacy Thompson, who went on to become President and CEO of McGraw-Hill Publishing Company.  In his book, JST Reminiscing, James says:  “The Thompsons of my memory migrated from Clearfield, Pennsylvania, to Michigan – Uncle Stacy to Manistee, Byron and Winfield to Grand Rapids, a sister to Coldwater, and my father to Sturgis, a Michigan town just over the line from Indiana. It was in Sturgis that Ella Kennedy married my father.  They moved over the state line to Ligonier, Indiana, where in 1880 my father started the Ligonier Leader.  A group of Republicans, wanting some opposition to the one Democratic paper in town, had urged him to do this.”

Legonier Leader 5-18

Ligioner Leader May 18, 1921

In preparing for this post, I contacted the Public Library in Ligonier, Indiana and asked if they had copies of the Ligioner Leader during May of 1921.  To my surprise and delight, a person by the name of Anne Ringer at the Ligioner Library supplied me with a  front page copy from the Leader, dated May 18, 1921.  This was the time in which E.G. Thompson was visiting Stacy and Marian in Manistee, Michigan. In reading the front page, I was reminded that Warren Harding was President and that World War 1 had recently concluded.  Also I read that the “Boys Corn Club Gets Started” in Nobel County, Indiana.

In 1921, Stacy and E.G., must have had many a conversation about politics, as E.G. was a staunch Republican, and Stacy was an equally staunch Democrat. I’m glad to come from Stacy’s line and not that of E.G. Enough said.


1923 Stacy and children

1923 Stacy and his three children


By 1924 Stacy and Marian were ready to travel a bit.  They travelled with their three children to attend the wedding of their granddaughter, Bessie Randall to Arnold Stoelt in Detroit, Michigan.  One picture of the entire Michigan Thompson Clan was taken in the back yard of Claudia and Herbert Randall in that year.  Here you see Stacy and Marion’s three children along with two of the three children Stacy had with his first wife, Ida May. His youngest daughter from his first marriage, Bessie Thompson Porter was living in California at the time this photo was taken.  I received this photo from a Thompson cousin of mine who now lives in Seattle, Washington – Ryan Jach. (Thanks Ryan.)


Thompson Family

So now you have it…a bit of Thompson family history that only could be told by the information contained on photographs and memorabilia, some of which are over one hundred years old.

Stacy and Marian remained together until 1944 when Stacy, then 88 years of age, died.  I visited Marian shortly after Stacy died, when my family travelled to Manistee, Michigan.  She had the kindest face of any family member in my memory.

The next blog entry will begin a history of the professional career of Stacy C. Thompson.  His professional career spans activities in publishing, politics and real estate.



  1. Michaeleen McKinley Laney says

    Thank you so much David for the pictures and history of our family. A lot of this I have not seen not heard. It is so nice to hear some of the thoughts of my Grandmother (Gram, as I referred to her) and how she was as a young Mother. I had never seen any baby pictures of my Mom, Gayle, and that was a real treat for me. I grew up living with Gram all my like til I married, so if there is anything you would like to know as she aged, I might be able to answer. Again, thanks for your blog, Michaeleen

  2. Kristen (Mowry) Janiczek says

    Dear David,
    Hello! My name is Kristen (Mowry) Janiczek, and Ida May Thompson Jach is my great grandmother. I have a lot of great memories of her from when I was younger. I also have some family pictures from the 1980s and 1990s, and also an old picture from 1917 she gave me of her when she was nine dressed up as a princess. She loved fairytales when she was young, and because I did too, she bought me a beautiful book set of fairytales and wrote a lovely passage and gave me the picture of her as a princess. If you were interested, I could send you copies of these.
    I have been researching our family tree, and was so happy to discover this page you created and all the beautiful pictures! The history, stories and photos you’ve collected are amazing! Thank you for doing this!
    Ryan Jach is my third cousin, and he and I are close in age and are friends. We’re actually comparing family notes soon.
    Please feel free to e-mail me anytime. Take care!

    • Thank you Kristen for your reply and your family information. I would love to have a copy of the stories and photographs of Ida May. Perhaps I can include them in a blog entry abour your great grandmother. My email address is:

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