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Thompson Family Correspondence

Identifier: M/A 0335

Description of Contents

This collection consists of letters written and received by Theodore Cornelius Thompson and his brother Alfred Conrad Thompson while they attended Minneapolis' Curtiss Business College in 1899 and 1900. Letters sent from Theodore Thompson to his parents and younger brothers in North Branch, Minnesota, form the bulk of the collection. The letters mainly detail daily life, the weather, and crop prices. Of particular note is a February 1899 letter commenting on the burning of the Minneapolis Tribune Building on February 24, 1899.


  • 1898 - 1900


Access Restrictions

The collection is available for use in Special Collections during the department's open hours.


Theodore Cornelius Thompson (May 2, 1880 - May 26, 1940) and Alfred Conrad Thompson (May 15, 1882 - February 7, 1955) were raised by their parents Christian and Karin (Carrie) Thompson on a farm near North Branch, Minnesota. The Thompson brothers were first-generation Americans. Christian emigrated from Norway in 1868 and Carrie from Sweden in 1870. In the late 1890s (most likely 1899), Theodore Thompson left home to attend Minneapolis' Curtiss Business College. Alfred joined his brother as a student in 1900. A younger brother, Harry Thompson, remained at home.

Curtiss Business College was among Minneapolis' oldest business schools. In 1874 New York educator C.C. Curtiss purchased the business school founded in 1869 by Henry Barnard and gave it his name. The school occupied several locations throughout downtown in the late 1800s and early 1900s, including Bridge Square (today's Gateway District), Nicollet Avenue, and the Evanston Building. A St. Paul branch opened in 1879. The school's commerical courses included "Book-Keeping, Arithmetic, Penmanship, Short-Hand, Telegraphy, Grammar, Correspondence, and Spelling" (Minneapolis Tribune, September 27, 1884). In 1916, Curtiss Business College merged with American Business College.

In later life, Theodore Thompson and his wife Selma farmed in Pine County. Alfred Thompson and his wife Emma moved to Duluth, where he worked as a railroad engineer.


0.1 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



Several letters were damaged by rodent or insect activity prior to purchase by Hennepin County Library.

Donor Information

This collection was purchased by the Hennepin County Library as accession 2018.10.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Jenna Himsl in May 2018.

Thompson Family Correspondence
Jenna Himsl
May 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Hennepin County Library Special Collections Repository

Minneapolis Central Library
300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis MN 55401 U.S.A.