Wednesday, July 2, 2008

DeWitt Clinton Thompson - Civil War Leader, Businessman, Politician

[DeWitt Thompson gravestone photo by Michael Colbruno]

Dewitt’s insurance certificate reads in part: “...assured is to take his own risk of death from hostile Indians.”

DeWitt Clinton Thompson (1826-1919) arrived in San Francisco on the steamer California in 1849 where he became one of the founders of the California guard. He distinguished himself by recruiting members for the California Hundred and the California Cavalry Battalion, whose men served in the Civil War. Thompson accompanied the latter group as commanding officer when it went east to join the Massachusetts Cavalry.

After the war Thompson became prominent in San Francisco real estate, brokerage, banking and became a city official in San Francisco. In 1854, he became one of the founders of the State Agricultural Society. In 1865 he organized the National Insurance Company and three years later he founded the California Trust Company. In 1876, he went on to found the Bank of Commerce.

He was appointed Major General of California in 1874.

He died at his home in Santa Rosa on May 13, 1919.

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