William Thompson (executive)

From BR Bullpen

William G. Thompson

Biographical Information[edit]

William Thompson was President and principal owner of the Detroit Wolverines from the team's admission in the National League in 1880 and through its first three seasons in the circuit, from 1881 to 1883. He then sold the team to businessman Joseph Marsh. He was also the mayor of Detroit, MI, his term in office coinciding with his ownership of the Wolverines.

He served in the Civil War first in the Fourth Pennsylvania Cavalry, spending the winter of 1861-62 in Detroit, his first time in the city. After the regiment was disbanded without seeing any action, he enlisted in the 6th New Jersey Volunteer Infantry and was wounded at the battle of Chancellorsville in 1863. After the war, he studied law in new York, NY, then moved back to Detroit to practice. he first ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 1876, and was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1876 and 1880. He was twice elected mayor as a Republican, but after switching to the Democrats in 1884, he failed to secure the nomination. He ran again, unsuccessfully, in 1891 and was elected a state senator in 1894. He died in 1904 of injuries sustained after being knocked down by a bicycle.

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