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Portrait of Florida State Senator William Naylor Thompson.

Portrait of Florida State Senator William Naylor Thompson.

Credit this photo: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/258480
(please include photographer's name when noted).


  • Portrait of Florida State Senator William Naylor Thompson.

Image Number

  • PR77926


  • ca 1895

Series Title

    Biography Note

  • William Naylor Thompson was born at Harper's Ferry, Virginia on September 17, 1842. His grandfather was an immigrant from Ireland to Charleston, S.C., prior to 1776 who fought with Virginia troops in the Revolutionary War. His father was a lawyer and merchant in Martinsburg, VA, then in Harper's Ferry. The family moved to Alachua County, FL, (Newmansville) and farmed from 1859 on. WNT enlisted in spring of 1862 in Co. A, 7th Florida Regiment, at Camp Finegan, 3 miles from Jacksonville, serving under Col. Robert Bullock, Regimental Commander, and Captain P.B.H. Dudley, Captain, Co. A. He was made corporal though "the shortest man in the company". He served two and a half years and was wounded in one knee in combat at the battle of Decatur, (Valley Church), July 20, 1864, then returned to Florida to farm and complete his education. He attended East Florida Seminary in 1867-68 and entered the employ of the Florida Railroad as clerk in the office of the treasurer in 1869. He became Treasurer when J.H. Thomas died 1888.

  • Biography Note

  • WNT married Olivia Ann McGehee, a niece and adopted daughter of Judge John C. McGehee of Moseley Hall, Madison County, on November 22, 1871. He built a home for them at 11 South 7th Street, Fernandina, FL, in 1873, on land bought from Coxetter 1-24-1873, and two more homes on adjacent lots for members of his family (sister Lucy Thompson and TG Pratt Thompson).

  • Biography Note

  • WNT was elected to the State Legislature in 1876, the first Democrat elected from Nassau County after reconstruction. He was elected to serve in the Florida State Senate for 1879, 1881 and 1895. He was a Presidential Elector in 1892 for President Cleveland. He was Clerk of Session of the Fernandina Beach Presbyterian Church.

  • Biography Note

  • He died in Fernandina on September 30, 1896 from complications from an accidental gunshot wound and was buried in St. Peter's Episcopal Church Cemetery, Fernandina Beach, FL.

Physical Description

  • 1 photoprint - b&w - 6 x 4 in.

Subject Term

Geographic Term

Personal Subject

Subject Corporate

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