Mary M. Standifer

THOMPSON, HOPE (ca. 1826–ca. 1895). Hope Thompson, a former slave who became a wealthy landowner in Dallas after the Civil War, was born in South Carolina about 1826. She married Isaac Thompson sometime in the 1850s and they had at least one child, a daughter named Ellen, born about 1857. On September 10, 1869, Isaac and Hope Thompson purchased property in what is now downtown Dallas. Hope Thompson, then a washerwoman, borrowed the purchase price of fifty dollars from banker William Henry Gaston and repaid the loan by doing Gaston's laundry. The property the Thompsons bought was on Elm near its intersection with Live Oak, two blocks north of Commerce Street, one block north of Main, and a block south of what became Pacific Street, after the Texas and Pacific Railway built into Dallas along that road in 1873. In 1872 Isaac Thompson left his wife and moved to Collin County. Beginning in 1870, before her husband's leavetaking, and extending to 1891, Hope Thompson was involved in a number of transactions that involved the Elm street property or parts of it. From the 1870s until at least the mid-1880s she was also involved in a number of lawsuits over the property, but she succeeded in retaining title to it. The value of the land increased rapidly. In April 1884 Thompson won a suit brought against her by W. C. and T. J. Putty over property at Live Oak and Elm worth about $10,000. In September 1885 her real estate was appraised at about $35,000. That same month she sold a lot with fifty feet fronting on Elm Street to John H. Taylor for $5,000. In October 1886 the Cleveland Gazette reported her assets to be worth $30,000. In 1890 her real estate was valued at $23,000. The 1880 census listed Hope Thompson as a divorced woman living with Ellen and Samuel Miller, her daughter and her son-in-law (age twenty-three and twenty-six, respectively), their two young children, and another young couple. Hope Thompson last appears in the Dallas directory in 1894–95.

Cleveland Gazette, October 23, 1886. Dallas Times Herald, August 28, 1949. Dallas Weekly Herald, January 30, October 2, 1875, April 13, 1878, April 3, 1884, September 24, October 1, 1885.

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

Handbook of Texas Online, Mary M. Standifer, "THOMPSON, HOPE," accessed July 22, 2019,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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