The ancestors of this gentleman were among the first settlers of Worcester Co., Mass., his father, Abel Thompson, being of English, and his mother, Dorothy Woods, of Scotch lineage. They lived and died in the town of Hubbardston, Mass., where Sewall D. was born in the year of 1809. It would almost seem as though he was a born inn-keeper, with a genius for that line of business, for it has been the main occupation of his life, and carried on with great success. He embarked in this avocation at the early age of twenty-three (in 1832) by keeping a hotel at Athol, Mass., which he continued until 1837. He then, after a brief stay in New York City, came to Ithaca, in the spring of 1838, and leased the Ithaca Hotel, which he managed until the fall of the year 1846. During the next four years he was engaged in mercantile pursuits in New York City.
In 1850 he returned again to Ithaca, where he leased the Clinton House for the term of fifteen years, before the expiration of which, however, he purchased of Miss Beebe, daughter of J. S. Beebe, one of the three owners, a third interest in the hotel property. In 1864, Mr. Ezra Cornell purchased the remaining two-thirds interest, and thorough repairs were made, during which year the hotel was not open to the public. The following year its doors were thrown open, under the management of Mr. Thompson, who subsequently purchased Mr. Cornell's interest. Since that date he has been sole owner and host of this hotel, - a management that now counts up twenty-eight years. (1879)
Forty-one years of his life have been employed in hotel-keeping, all but five years of which were spent in Ithaca, of which place he has been so many years a resident. He is probably one of the oldest hotel-keepers in the State. Now in his sixty-ninth year, he is still hale and hearty, and more active than most men at fifty. His success is manifested by the extended and favorable repute of the Clinton House, and which it has enjoyed for many years.
In 1832, Mr. Thompson married Miss Elizabeth N. Warren, of Northborough, Worcester Co., Mass., who is still living (1879).
Their only child died in infancy. Feeling the want of the companionship of children, they adopted a son, S. D. Thompson, Jr., who assists his father in the management of the hotel, and a daughter, who is unmarried and living at home. (1879)
Information Source - Four County History - Tioga, Chemung, Tompkins and Schuyler Counties - 1879
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