Biographies

If you have a biography for someone from this county, please contact the County Coordinator.

THOMPSON, William Naylor, treasurer Florida Central and Peninsular railroad company, was born at Harper's Ferry, Va., Sept. 17, 1842, of Scotch-Irish ancestry, his grandfather having emigrated from Ireland to Charleston, S. C, and subsequently removed to Hampshire county, Va. He served in the revolutionary war with the Virginia troops. He married Martha Baird of Philadelphia. Their son, the father of William Naylor, was educated for a lawyer, but preferring a mercantile life, he settled at Martinsburg and removed to Harper's Ferry, Va., in 1841. He married Elizabeth Glass of White Past, Va. He removed to Florida in 1859, settling on a plantation near Gainesville. When the civil war broke out the son was a lad nineteen years old. He enlisted, however, in the 7th Florida infant rv, commanded by Gov. Madison Perry, and fought under Gens. Kirby,Smith, Bragg, Johnston and Hood. He was wounded before Atlanta July 22, 1864, and incapacitated from further service. After the war he entered the East Florida seminary at Gainesville and studied for two years, when he took up cotton planting, and in 1869 entered the service of the Florida railroad as clerk in the treasurer's office. He was soon after appointed paymaster for the road, serving in that capacity for twenty years. In 1889 he was made treasurer of the combined roads. He was elected a representative in the state legislature in 1876, the first democrat elected from Nassau county after the war. He served on the judiciary, railroad and other committees. In 1878 he was elected to the state senate. In the presidential campaign of 1892 he was elector from Florida, and carried the vote of the state to Washington, polling it for Cleveland and Stevenson. He was married Nov. 22, 1871, to Olivia McGehee, daughter of Dr. Wylly McGehee of Wakulla county, Fla.; her mother was Evelyn Byrd, a descendant of the Virginia Byrds, both parents having died when she was quite young. She was brought up in the family of her uncle, Judge John C. McGehee of Madison county, who presided over the secession convention at Tallahassee in January, 1861. They have five children. Mr. Thompson is a Royal arch Mason, and commander Nassau county Confederate veterans.

The National cyclopaedia of American biography:
being the history of the United States as illustrated in the lives of the founders, builders, and defenders of the republic, and of the men and women who are doing the work and moulding the thought of the present time, Volume 5


J. T. White company, 1894 - Biography & Autobiography