Thompson, Thomas C. (1839–1898)

By: Chester R. Burns

Type: Biography

Published: July 1, 1995

Thomas C. Thompson, physician and pharmacist, was born on September 28, 1839, in Matagorda County, Texas, the son of Johann and Ellen (Emily) Thompson. He attended Baylor University at Independence and the University of North Carolina. He received a medical degree from Jefferson Medical College (Philadelphia) in 1861 and served as a Confederate Army surgeon during the Civil War. Afterwards, Thompson practiced medicine in Matagorda and Columbus for a few years before moving to Galveston. In addition to medical practice, Thompson established a pharmaceutical business in Galveston and San Antonio. He was appointed to the University of Texas Board of Regents in February 1887 and served on that board until his death. He steadfastly advocated the establishment of the university's medical department in Galveston (see UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS MEDICAL BRANCH AT GALVESTON) and assumed regental responsibility for all fiscal and political matters associated with the construction of the Medical College Building (now named the Ashbel Smith Building or "Old Red"). Thompson also chaired the John Sealy Hospital Board of Managers. William Keiller, the first professor of anatomy at the University of Texas Medical Branch, eulogized Thompson as the "father" of UTMB, "the untiring and enthusiastic promoter of medical education and scientific progress" in Galveston for eleven years. Thompson was a member of the board of directors of the Galveston and Western railway and the Galveston National Bank. In 1867 he married Maggie Pearson of Matagorda, and they became the parents of two children. Thompson died in Galveston on April 17, 1898.

Lewis E. Daniell, Personnel of the Texas State Government, with Sketches of Representative Men of Texas (Austin: City Printing, 1887; 3d ed., San Antonio: Maverick, 1892). University Medical, October 1898. Thomas D. Wooten Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
  • Education
  • Educators
  • Medical
  • Health and Medicine
  • Pharmacists
  • Physicians and Surgeons
  • General Practitioners

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Chester R. Burns, “Thompson, Thomas C.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 26, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

July 1, 1995

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: