One of the nation's leading livestock auctioneers and referred to by TIME magazine as the "Dean of US cattle auctioneers".
1886-1970 | Artist: Othmar J. Hoffler (1893-1954)
Impact & Accomplishments
One of the leading livestock auctioneers in the nation, Arthur W. Thompson, was born near Bradshaw, Nebraska. In 1906, he enrolled in Jones Auction School in Chicago and then apprenticed under T. W. Smith for thirteen years.
Hereford sales were his specialty. Thompson called more than 7,500 sales and established a world record by selling 316 carloads of feeder cattle in one day. On three occasions, he achieved sales that totaled more than $1 million in one day.
He was inducted into the Nebraska Hall of Fame in 1991 and was named the Block and Bridle Honoree of the Year 1947, after establishing the Arthur and Viola Thompson Scholarship Fund with the University of Nebraska Foundation.
Did You Know?
“You men are the backbone of America. Burn all the cities down – you farmers and ranchers will live. Tear up the farms and ranches – that’s the end for everybody…” Arthur Thompson September 1950 at the dispersal sale for the Switzer & Field Ranch, as reported by TIME magazine
A number of Thompson’s sales set world records, including the Dan Thornton (future governor of Colorado) dispersal and the Robert H. Hazlett Dispersal in Eldorado, Kansas in June 1937. He also cried three, $1 million sales, each world records at the time: the Denver National Western Stock Show, the Baca Grant Dispersal and the Honey Creek Dispersal. By the 1950s, only eight Hereford bulls had ever been sold for more than $50,000. Thompson had sold them all. Courtesy of Nebraska Education on Location.