Thomas Benjamin Thompson, Sr.
1865 - 1939
Thomas Benjamin Thompson, Sr. was born on May 20, 1865, in Emet, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory. He was born to Thomas Jefferson Thompson and Millenium “Lena” Bynum.
As the last elected treasurer of the Chickasaw Nation, he is best known for working with former Chickasaw Nation Governor Douglas H. Johnston to protect the Chickasaw people during the years immediately before and after Oklahoma statehood. As an original enrollee, Mr. Thompson spent endless hours helping fellow Chickasaws register with the Dawes Commission.
As a child he was known as Loksi Iskunosi, or Little Terrapin. After a brief stay with his maternal grandmother at the age of 10, he attended Burney Institute in present day Lebanon, Oklahoma. As a teenager, he left Burney Institute to live with his aunt Nellie Bynum Johnston and her husband, future Governor of the Chickasaw Nation, Douglas H. Johnston.
Mr. Thompson began his service with the Chickasaw Nation in 1888. As a clerk of the Chickasaw Supreme Court, he worked closely with his uncle, Judge Overton “Sobe” Love, also a Chickasaw Hall of Fame Inductee. His personal and professional career put him in contact with many fellow inductees.
During the years following his service to the Chickasaw Nation, Mr. Thompson continued a close relationship with Governor Johnston. They engaged in several business partnerships, including successful general stores.
One of Mr. Thompson’s greatest legacies to the Chickasaw people has been his descendants. He encouraged his children and grandchildren to be proud of their Chickasaw heritage and to never forget the traditions of the tribe. He stressed the need for them to give back to the tribe and always work for the betterment of the Chickasaw people. His heirs include Chickasaw Hall of Fame Inductees Te Ata Fisher, daughter; Helen Cole, granddaughter; Eugene Thompson, grandson and U.S. Congressmen Tom Cole, great-grandson.