ABOUT THOMPSON & SONS
From Farm Supplies to Feed Grinding and Case Equipment
In 1929, Paul Thompson, Sr. was the general manager for a local farm cooperative selling farm supplies. The co-op was dissolved, so Paul, Sr. bought out the assets and started Paul Thompson & Sons. He continued to develop the business with his two sons, Lewis and Paul, Jr., as they became old enough to help. They operated a custom feed grinding business and also sold Case equipment from the original building on Railroad Street.
Selling Flour and Sugar to Local Grocery Stores, Bakeries, and More
During the 1950’s, there were many mom-and-pop grocery stores in every town, but the only large stores would have been the A&P stores. Paul Thompson & Sons gradually drifted into selling flour and sugar to these small town grocery stores. The next logical move was to sell to the local bakeries, bottling companies, and the many dairy operations that made ice cream and other products from sugar. In 1962, General Mills, which was Paul, Sr.’s main supplier of flour and cereal, asked if he would supply the bakeries in Clarksburg, West Virginia. The answer was yes, and a whole new area of growth into bakery supplies was started.
The Continuation of Thompson & Sons, Inc.
In September of 1971, Paul Thompson & Sons became Thompson & Sons, Inc., with Lewis and Paul, Jr. becoming equal shareholders. Paul Thompson, Sr. died in 1975, but the business continued to be solid and grew in name throughout the 1970’s. In 1978, Lewis died, and Paul, Jr. bought out his shares, becoming the sole owner.
Paul, Jr.’s oldest son, the present owner, is Donald Paul Thompson. Donald graduated from California University in Pennsylvania, with a degree in math education. He later received his master’s in math, as well as his principal’s certificate, from Xavier University. He taught math in Columbus’s inner-city school system from 1970-1981. In June of 1981, he moved back to his hometown of Mt. Pleasant with his wife Rhoda and son Christopher, to help his father run the business.
Christopher currently works for General Electric as a mechanical engineer. He and his wife, Alicia, live in Atlanta, GA, with their two sons, Tristan and Jameson. Donald and Rhoda also have a daughter, Amanda, who started working with her father after receiving her bachelor’s in Digital Media Design, from West Liberty University. Amanda and her husband, Wayne, live in Mt. Pleasant, OH, with their two daughters, Jaelee and Emerson. Rhoda is a retired English Teacher and is now a full-time babysitter for her granddaughters. Donald and Rhoda still reside in Mt. Pleasant in the 160+ year old house they restored together.
Today, Thompson & Sons, Inc. sells products to large areas of Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. With hard work and a lot of commitment, Donald has expanded his family’s business from $700,000 sales per year to over $10,000,000 sales per year. The facility now occupies about 40,000 square feet of warehouse space, including 18,400 cubic feet of freezer space and 8,600 cubic feet of cooler space. The business runs six large trucks, 52,000 pounds or larger, and has 22 employees on the payroll. At 89 years of age, Paul, Jr. worked nearly every day until he got too ill in the Fall of 2012. He passed away in 2013 at the age of 90, and while he is missed immensely, he is still at work in spirit and it is certain that he is very proud of Donald and his growing success.