Thompson Family Fund

TYPE OF FUND:  Field of Interest                DATE ESTABLISHED:  January 6, 2000

 PURPOSE:  To provide funds for community needs and to assist needy families. 

DISTRIBUTION:  Annual grants to the Blackwater Ministerial Association and / or Parsons Ministerial Association, Buena Chapel, Davis Cemetery and other local community entities in need, with preference to be given to the needy of the Davis / Canaan Valley Area.  Distribution upon the recommendation by the Grants Committee and approval by the full Board of Directors of TCF. 

VARIANCE POWER:  If, in the judgment of the TCF Board of Directors, the restrictions and conditions of the fund become unnecessary, incapable of fulfillment or inconsistent with the charitable needs of the community, the TCF Board of Directors maintains the right to modify the terms of this fund.

FUNDING:  Initial funding from a $10,000 donation by B. Dorothy Thompson, of Canaan Valley.

BACKGROUND:  The George B. Thompson family came to West Virginia and Tucker County in the late 1800’s with the booming timber industry taking advantage of Tucker County’s forests.  Albert Thompson of Philadelphia bought the J.L. Rumbarger Lumber Company which was the first lumber company in the area of Davis and Canaan Valley.  He established the Thompson Lumber Company which later became the Blackwater Boom and Lumber Company.  George Thompson came to Tucker County as part of the Blackwater Boom and Lumber Company working as a secretary and timekeeper.  His uncles, Frank Thompson, J.F. Thompson, and S. W. Thompson, were among the first stockholders of the company.

The Blackwater Boom and Lumber Company harvested lumber in the Blackwater Canyon and Canaan Valley.  In 1907, the holdings of the Thompson Lumber C. and the Blackwater Boom and Lumber Company were purchased by the Babcock Lumber Company of Pittsburgh, Pa.  George B. Thompson was appointed manager.

The Babcock Lumber Company contributed much to the economy and lumber boom of the 1900’s.  The mill closed at Davis in 1924.  Mr. Thompson remained in the community as a local business man and served a term as postmaster of Davis.  He also served a term in the House of Delegates as the representative from Tucker County.

George Thompson’s son, Ben F. Thompson, the second of five children, became a well known farmer in Canaan Valley.  Ben F. and his family still retain their family farm in Canaan Valley.  The Thompson Family has retained strong ties to Tucker County.  Mrs. Sarah M. Thompson Kaemmerling (a cousin of George Thompson) donated land in Canaan Valley which is part of Canaan Valley State Park and is at the heart of the tourist industry in the valley.

Ben F. (1903-1994) and the former Barbra Dorothy Mayor, a native of Arthurdale, WV, were married April 13, 1942, and were the parents of three children, Sarah Thompson Fletcher, the late Frank H. Thompson (Nov. 1, 1944 – Jan. 1, 1994), and Danny, who died at the age of three.  They have four grandchildren, Ben Fletcher, and Bobby and Brian Thompson, and Jenny Thompson Snyder.  Today the farm is the site of several small businesses run by various members of the extended family of the Thompsons.