Butler Center for Arkansas Studies 100 Rock Street Little Rock, Arkansas, 72201 (501) 320-5700
September 11, 1012
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Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
Charles L. Thompson collection
1.25 Linear feet
This collection consists of documents and photographs relating to the family history of the architect Charles L. Thompson of Little Rock, Arkansas. Also included is a photograph album belonging to Helen Wing, whose family lived near the Thompsons, as well as two photographs of Helen and her brothers.
This collection contains one box of documents and two boxes of photographs. A larger box contains a photograph album, a copy of the history of Thompson's work in Arkansas, and large photographs.
Scope and Contents
This collection consists of documents and photographs relating to the family history of the architect Charles L. Thompson of Little Rock, Arkansas. The photographs span five generations, from Thompson's grandparents to his grandchildren. Also included is a photograph album belonging to Helen Wing, as well as two photographs of Helen and her brothers. Helen, whose family lived near the Thompsons, was a lifelong friend of Thompson's daughter, Myra Thompson Thibault.
In the finding aid, the initials CLT are frequently used to refer to Charles Louis Thompson.
Charles Louis Thompson was born November 16, 1868, in Danville, Illinois, to James C. and Henrietta Lightner Thompson. He was the third of six surviving children when his parents died, James in 1879 and Henrietta in 1882. After James' death the family moved to Kokomo, Indiana, to live with Henrietta's sister. When Henrietta died, the younger children were placed with relatives in the area, while Charles quit school and went to work in a mill to help support his siblings.
In addition to his work at the mill, Charles worked for an architect, who trained him as a draftsman. At the same time he studied architecture through correspondence courses. With his skills in the field established, Charles advertised for work in a national magazine. In 1886 he moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, to accept a draftsman position with architect Benjamin Bartlett.
In 1888, Thompson because a full partner in Bartlett and Thompson. When Bartlett moved to Mississippi in 1890, the firm continued as Charles L. Thompson, Superintendent and Architect. Over the next 38 years, Thompson had partnerships with several other architects. By the time he retired in 1938, his work could be seen in more than 2000 buildings throughout the state.
Thompson married Lillian McGann in 1889, and the couple had two daughters and a son. Four years after Lillian's death in 1904, Thompson married Mary Watkins. This marriage also produced two daughters and son, and lasted for over 51 years. Thompson died December 30, 1959.
This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Architecture -- Arkansas -- Little Rock.
Charles L. Thompson and Associates.
Little Rock (Ark.)
Little Rock Senior High School. (Little Rock, Ark.)
Quapaw Quarter (Little Rock, Ark.)
Thompson, Charles L., 1868-1959
Thompson, Henrietta Lightner, 1840-1882
Thompson, James Columbus, 1837-1879
Restrictions on Access
Restrictions on Use
Non-circulating, in-house use only.
Charles L. Thompson collection, MSS.10.18, Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, Arkansas Studies Institute
Donated by Pam Dunaway, Judy Dunaway and Jacque Dunaway, April 2010