Wednesday, January 27, 2010

O. E. Thompson's death certificate

Dusty D is examining O. E. Thompson's death certificate. O. E. Thompson, the onetime owner of what was the sole remaining Civil War barracks in Michigan, died of gangrene of the right leg.

More information from the death certificate: He was 71 years, 6 months, and 18 days old. Male, White, died March 28 1910. Born September 10, 1838. Occupation: Manufacturer of farm machinery. Father Benjamin Thompson of Maine; mother Marcy S. Emmerson (?) also of Maine. His oldest son Benjamin was the witness to the death certificate, and his signature appears there. Buried in Highland Cemetery on March 30. Undertaker was William J. Clark.

His obit appears in the March 29, 1910 Ypsilanti Daily Press.

"The death of Oliver E. Thompson occurred Monday evening at quarter after eight at his late residence on East Cross Street. Mr. Thompson had been ill but for a brief time. About a week ago an attack of gangrene made the amputation of his right leg necessary. He rallied from the shock of the operation very well, but a few days ago he began to sink rapidly, and his condition seemed hopeless.

"Mr. Thompson was born in this city and always resided in the 4th Ward. He was a member of the First Methodist Church [illegible] and also on the board of education. When younger, Mr. Thompson was a member of the volunteer fire department [illegible] company No. 1, which won the interstate trophy. He was a member of the First Ward water board, and it is considered that the good water system in this city is largely attributable to Mr. Thompson's efforts. Since early manhood Mr. Thompson has been engaged in the manufacturing business. He invented the wheelbarrow grass feeder bearing his name, which is used very extensively.

"Mr. Thompson is survived by his wife, Eliabeth Cooper Thompson, and by three sons, Benjamin, Edward, and John, all of whom have [been working?} [illegible] a number of years.

"The funeral will be held at the residence, 113 East Cross Street at 2 o'clock on Wednesday."


cmadler said...

I just wanted to drop a quick note questioning the characterization of the Thompson building as "the sole remaining Civil War barracks in Michigan". The limestone barracks at Fort Wayne, in Detroit, were constructed in 1848 and used through about 1905 (at which point four new barracks came into use); they still stand, have been partially restored, and can be toured. Fort Gratiot, near Port Huron, was also in use throughout the Civil War, and parts of the fort still stand, though I've not been there and can't find information specifically mentioning barracks.

cmadler said...

I've noticed that same characterization from other people in Ypsilanti, but I don't know what the source of the claim is, or if there's a particular reason for not counting the Fort Wayne barracks.

Dusty D said...

cmadler: You could well be correct. I got that info from a cover letter written by a prominent Ypsi'an for a grant application we recently received at the Archives. I must confess I did not check it, as I should have; that is my error. I will check it when time permits and if that info is wrong, I'll definitely publish a retraction. Thank you for alerting me to that.

lhillebr said...

Very interesting article. I was curious as what ever became of him, never would have guessed gangrene! Thanks for posting this!!