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William W. Thompson's Le Conte Nursery documents

Identifier: ahc.MSS940f

Scope and Content

This collection contains correspondence on company letterhead and an envelope from William W. Thompson of Le Conte Nursery. The correspondence includes an order for 300 Spanish chestnut trees, sent to William H. Moon of Moon Nurseries in Morrisville, Pennsylvania. Of interest is a description of awards and details of the Le Conte Nursery orchards included in the letterhead.


  • 1888


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Administrative/Biographical History

William Way Thompson (1831-1908) owned and operated Le Conte Nursery of Smithville, Lee County, Georgia. Thompson was one of eleven children born to William Thompson (1800-1877) and Maria Arabella (1818-1890) in Sumter County, Georgia. Thompson married Sarah Graves (1839-1900) in 1858 and they had five children: Erwin William (1859-1935); Orrie Lee (1864-?); Ashley Spence (1867-1961); Anna Laurie (1868-1953); and Ivenius P. (1872-1890). Thompson served as a colonel with the Confederate Army during the American Civil War and was stationed at the Confederate arsenal in Macon. He worked as a lumber dealer in Smithville and opened Le Conte Nursery in the 1870s. Thompson owned fruit orchards in Smithville and Thomasville, Georgia, and Orange County, Florida, and combined held over 6,000 trees. He mainly sold Le Conte (also known as LeConte) and Kieffer varieties of pears, but also oranges, Japanese persimmons, peaches, grapes, plums, figs, and apples. Thompson advertised his nursery in newspapers and publications across the Southeast and his fruit was the subject of The Nurseryman's Specimen Book of American Horticulture and Floriculture: Fruits, Flowers, Ornamental Trees, Shrubs, Roses, Etc. Grown at the Le Conte Nursery, Smithville, Georgia, W. W. Thompson, Prop'r (188?) by D. M. Dewey. He joined the Georgia State Horticultural Society in 1877 and served as president of the Farmers' Alliance for Lee County from 1888-1890. Thompson displayed his award-winning fruit at the annual Georgia State Agricultural Fair and the American Pomology Society awarded him the Wilder Bronze Medal for his fruit exhibit at the 1885 World Cotton Centennial held in New Orleans.


1.0 folder(s)



Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, 2019

Description Control

This collection was processed in 2020.
William W. Thompson's Le Conte Nursery documents ahc.MSS940f
Finding aid prepared by Jennie Oldfield
April 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305