William Thompson Mary Ann McGilvray John A MacFarlane



William Thompson and Mary Ann McGilvray
& daughter Jessie Duff Thompson
Riverside Cemetery, Denver, Colorado


William Thompson and Mary Ann McGilvray married 23 July 1874, in Chicago, Illinois.  William Thompson, was the son of William Thomson and Margaret Japp, Parish of Brechin, Angus, Scotland.  William Thompson apprenticed as a carpenter from 1858 to 1862 in Scotland. William and his youngest brother Robert, born 1853, departed from the Port of Glasgow in 1871 immigrating to the United States. They settled in Chicago, Illinois obtaining employment as carpenters. In the process of immigrating to the United States the surname Thomson was changed to Thompson.

Two children were born to William Thompson and Mary Ann McGilvray in Chicago: James S. Thompson, b. March 1875, and Jessie Duff Thompson, born December 1879. 

Wife Mary Ann McGilvray, born March 1854,  Scotland, was the daughter of William McGilvray and Jessie Duff of the Parish of Inverarity, Angus, Scotland.  Mary Ann immigrated to the United States with her mother and siblings, settling in in Chicago, Illinois in 1870.

William Thompson and wife Mary Ann moved to Denver, Colorado in 1883 while William's younger brother Robert Thompson moved to Salt Lake City, where he died in 1894.  Mary Ann's mother Mrs. Jessie Duff McGilvray, a widow, and her sisters and brothers John Duff McGilvray, Mrs. Margaret Sturrock, William B. McGilvray, James Scott McGilvray, and Mrs. Jessie P. Hayes moved from Chicago, Illinois to Denver, Colorado in 1880.  

Brothers John Duff McGilvray and William B. McGilvray both made a living as stone cutters in Chicago.  Upon arrival in Denver both became stone-contractors. Brother John Duff McGilvray, became a well-known stone contractor of Denver, San Francisco, and Leland Stanford University where he built many stone structures. John D. McGilvray also owned and operated several stone quarries in California including the McGilvray-Raymond Stone Quarry in Madera County, California.  Sister Jessie P. McGilvray married Thomas Carroll Hayes who was also a stone contractor.  Mr. Hayes is known for his work on the United States Denver Mint, rebuilding the Denver Union Depot after the fire, and Printers National Home in Colorado Springs.


Denver, Colorado

William Thompson first co-founded with Thomas Nichol and E. F. Hallack the company " Hallack-Sayre-Newton Lumber Company."  After two years William sold out his interest in the lumber company and co-founded the the contracting business "Thompson & Helm" in 1882.  The company was involved in contracting work for building 21 public schools in Denver including  Whittier, Wayman, Manual, Franklin, Logan, Fairmount, Columbine, Louise A. Alcott & Webster Schools.  The company also did work on the Arapahoe block, Union depot, Charles block, & the finishing of the Albany Hotel. William was a member of the Arapahoe Lodge No. 24 and organized the Master Builders' Association in Denver.

By 1894 the Thompson family had increased to five children with the addition of George W. Thompson (1884), Jean Thompson (1890), and Helen Thompson (1894). A Scottish couple John Dick, age 35, b. Jan 1865 and Alice Dick, age 30, b. May 1870 were boarding at the Thompson residence in 1900.

James S. Thompson, b. 1875,  graduated with the Class of 1899 from the Colorado School of Mines with a degree of mining engineer. He was an outstanding athlete in baseball. Colorado Fuel and Iron (CF&I) hired Mr. Thompson where he earned promotions leading to the division superintendet of the entire Trinidad district. " In 1907 he became assistant superintendent for the Federal Lead Coompany at Flat River, Missouri, going from there in 1908 to the position of general superintendent of the Stone Canon Consolidated Coal Company at Stone Canon, California. In 1909 he again entered the service of the CF&I Company remaing until 1913.

James joined the Utah Fuel Company in 1915, put in charge of all its mines. Under his supervision there was a constant growth in output, vast improvements in equipment and in housing and living conditions for the men. "He held the highest estemm of the humblest miner as well as the officials above him." It was while working with rescue squads in a mine accident in the Trinidad district that his health was underminded by fumes. As a result of the Trinidad mine accident Mr. Thompson promoted mine training, safety, and rescue methods.

Mines & Metallurgy Building, Avenue of Progress
Panama-Pacific International Exposition
1915-San Francisco, California

The Sunnyside, Utah rescue team took first prize in rescue work contests at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition held in San Francisco. The Utah exhibit, built at a cost of $6,000, was an obelisk of coal standing 30 feet tall. The obelisk consisted of five huge blocks of coal specially mined for the exhibit, having the same proportions as Cleopatra's Needle in Central Park, New York. Actual working mining operations and mining safety were conducted daily in the Mines & Metallurgy building.

James S. Thompson was president of the Colorado School of Mines Utah alumni chapter which he helped organize in October of 1915. Members represented the states of Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Nevada. Mr. Thompson died of a heart attack January 15, 1919 at Sunnyside, Carbon County, Utah and was buried January 18, 1919 at Mount Olivet Cemetery, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Jessie Duff Thompson, b. 1879, lived in Denver and never  married.  George W. Thompson, b. 1884, attended military training school in California, lived in San Francisco, California and died in Los Angeles in 1947; Jean Thompson, b. 1890, married Harry Carr McVean, a life-time employee of the Denver Rio Grande Railroad, and an immigrant from Prince Edward Island, Canada (40 miles east of northern Maine). Helen Thompson attended the Miss Harker's School for Girls in Palo Alto, California. She married Newman Atwood on June 30, 1919 in Maine; and secondly  married John A. MacFarlane, who died June of 1961. 

Mrs. Mary Mary Ann (McGilvray) Thompson, age 56,  died in Palo Alto, California, in late October of 1910. Mrs. William Thompson was living at 1102 Ramona Street, in the "Professorville" section of Palo Alto, California, located near the Leland Stanford University campus.  William Thompson, age 78, died September 20, 1922, at his home at 718 Grant Street , Denver, Colorado.  Both parents are interred at Riverside Cemetery along with their daughters Jessie Duff Thompson and Helen Thompson MacFarlane. Husband John A. MacFarlane, a native of Dereham, Oxford South, Ontario, Canada, and son of Scottish immigrant Archibald MacFarlane of the Port of Montieth, Perth, Scotland is buried at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens, Littleton, Colordo. Jean Thompson and husband Harry Carr McVean are buried at Crown Hill Cemetery, Denver.


  William Thompson & Mary Ann McGilvray
Married July 23, 1874 Chicago, Illinois

Children: Born Where Died Spouse

James S. Thompson

b. March 1875 Chicago, Illinois 1919 Laura Tuckeer

Jessie Duff Thompson

b. December 1879 Chicago, Illinois 1949 Never married

George W. Thompson

b. February 1884 Denver, Colorado 1947  

Jean Thompson

b. January 1889 Denver, Colorado 1960 Harry Carr McVean

Helen M. Thompson

b. December 1894 Denver, Colorado 1975 Newman Atwood
John A. MacFarlane


Mrs. Helen Thompson MacFarlane
Riverside Cemetery
Adams County, Colorado
Mr. John A. MacFarlane
Jan 17, 1873-June 5, 1961
Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens
Littleton, Colorado

Photo of John A. MacFarlane gravestone courtesy of 
Random Acts of Kindness Volunteer Terry Lasky

John Alexander MacFarlane

John A. MacFarlane, son of Archibald MacFarlane & Margaret Kilgour, born January 17, 1873, Dereham, SW Oxford, Ontario, Canada. Married first to Achsa Jane Wisner, about 1898 in Clay County, Nebraska.  They had three girls:  The photo below is of daughters, Eva Margaret, b. 1899 and Alta Lavon, b. 1900. Photo courtesy of the Hutchison family.

 Eva Margaret MacFarlane and Alta Lavon MacFarlane


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