William T. Thompson (Nebraska)

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William Townsend Thompson

William T. Thompson was a lawyer who served as state Nebraska Attorney General and Solicitor of the United States Treasury.


William Townsend Thompson was born near Fennimore, Wisconsin on May 23, 1860. After being orphaned at age 11 he was raised first by a family friend, and later by an older, married sister in Pottawattamie County, Iowa. At age 19 he began attending Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa, teaching school to pay his tuition, and also studying law.[1]

In 1884 Thompson was admitted to the bar in Des Moines. He practiced for a year in Indianola, and then relocated to Central City, Nebraska.[2]

A Republican, Thompson served a term as Merrick County Attorney (1889 to 1901) before serving two terms in the Nebraska House of Representatives, 1899 to 1901 and 1903 to 1905.[3]

In 1905 he moved to Lincoln and from 1905 to 1907 Thompson served as Nebraska's Deputy Attorney General.[4]

In 1906 Thompson was elected state Attorney General. He served until October, 1910, when he resigned to accept appointment as Solicitor of the Treasury. He served until 1915, when he resigned and returned to Lincoln, where he continued to practice law.[5][6]

Thompson died in Lincoln on June 20, 1939.[7]


  1. Lincoln: The Capital City and Lancaster County, Nebraska, edited by Andrew J. Sawyer, Volume 2, 1916, pages 167 to 169
  2. Herringshaw's American Statesman and Public Official Yearbook: 1907/08, edited by Thomas William Herringshaw, page 531
  3. Portrait and biographical album of the state officers and members of the, edited by Daniel M. Carr, 1903, page 157
  4. Nebraska Blue Book, published by Nebraska Legislative Reference Bureau, 1918, page 12
  5. Miscellaneous, The Green Bag: A Useless but Entertaining Magazine for Lawyers, February, 1911, page 110
  6. Newspaper article, Hoosier is Pushed Into $5,000 U.S. Job, Indianapolis Star, March 3, 1915
  7. Newspaper article, William T. Thompson; Nebraskan Once Solicitor of the United States Treasury, New York Times, June 21, 1939
Legal offices
Preceded by
Norris Brown
Attorney General of Nebraska
Succeeded by
Arthur F. Mullen
Preceded by
Maurice D. O'Connell
Solicitor of the United States Treasury
Succeeded by
Lawrence Becker