B. A. Thompson

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Burgess Asbury Thompson, (born May 9, 1849 in Chambers County; died July 23, 1922), was Mayor of Birmingham from 1888 to 1890.

Thompson was the eldest son of builder Jesse Samford Thompson, and his wife, the former Henrietta Collins. He was raised in Coosa County and attended public schools there. He came with his family to the new city of Birmingham in October 1871 and assisted in his father's contracting business until the elder Thompson died in July 1872. Burgess and his brother, Thomas, were partners in the continuation of their father's contracting business until about 1875. Burgess left construction to become a foundry worker while Thomas went on to found the Siluria Cotton Mill in Shelby County.

Burgess worked as a pattern maker at Linn Iron Works and rose to take charge of the pattern shop as foreman. He then left to take a position with the Williamson Iron Company. In 1880 he was elected to the Birmingham Board of Aldermen as part of Mayor Thomas Jeffers' second administration. In 1882 he was elected to the post of City Treasurer and Tax Collector. He resigned in December 1883 to join his brother and two others in the formation of the Thompson Brick Company.

Thompson was returned to public office, this time as Mayor, in the December 1888 election. He defeated three-term incumbent A. O. Lane for the office and served one two year term. He was praised for efficiency in his short tenure, which was mainly marked for the sensational events following the Hawes murders. In the aftermath of the Hawes riot, he penned a plea to resident of the city to, "guard with loyalty the public peace and maintain the law and order of our city." Thompson declined to run for re-election, instead serving as an executive of the Birmingham Safe & Lock Company and of the Alabama Building & Loan Association. He also became a director of the People's Savings Bank.

In 1892 he was appointed chief deputy to Jefferson County Sheriff George Morrow. As such he was elected treasurer of the Alabama Sheriff's Association, meeting in Birmingham in 1893. After Morrow left office in 1896 Thompson returned to the loan business. He served as president of the Birmingham Building & Loan Association.

In 1901 Governor William Samford appointed Thompson to the Jefferson County Tax Commission. He also chaired the Jefferson County Democratic Executive Committee during his tenure on the commission. After five years he returned to private business. By 1907 he joined the Security Savings & Loan Company, and later the Columbia Loan and Investment Company, as a loan officer and director. He also sat on the board of the Southern States Fire Insurance Company and was also president of the Birmingham Board of Education from 1907 to 1908.

Thompson married the former Flora Richards on March 31, 1881 and had four children; Lee, Stanley, Jessie and Emily. Flora died at her home at 2320 12th Avenue North in October 1918.

Thompson died in July 1922, also at home, and was buried alongside his wife at Oak Hill Cemetery.

Preceded by:
A. O. Lane
Mayor of Birmingham
Succeeded by:
A. O. Lane


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