R. Ward Harrison, Editor, Charlton County Herald

January 20, 1950

A native Georgian, Dr. William D. Thompson, Graduate Pharmacist, was born in 1890 at Nicholls in Coffee County. He is the son of the late William M. and Ester Ann [Meeks] Thompson, his parents being members of two of the most prominent and widely-connected pioneer families of that section of the state. A brother, E.M. Thompson, is the present County School Superintendent of Coffee County and an uncle, the late Dr. Meeks, was one of the leading early physicians of that area.

Dr. Thompson grew up at the family homestead near Nicholls and attended the public schools of that community. Upon graduation from the Nicholls high school in 1912, he entered the Southern College of Pharmacy in Atlanta, from which institution he was graduated in 1914 with a degree of Ph. G. An interesting sidelight in this connection is the fact that his daughter, Miss Mary Jean Thompson, was graduated from the same institution exactly thirty-four years later, in 1948.

Immediately after completing his professional education Dr. Thompson returned to Nicholls where he established a drug business which he operated for a number of years. From there he went to Sparks for one year and afterwards was connected with one of the leading drug stores in Brunswick for some time. It was while he was in that city that the famous Phillips wholesale killings took place in which at least eight men were shot down on the street. Dr. Thompson was a witness to this wholesale slaughtering and it stands out as one of the most exciting experiences of his life.

As a member of a Brunswick National Guard company Dr. Thompson was called into federal service for the Mexican Border Campaign just prior to World War One where he was in active service for several months. At the outbreak of the war his company was inducted into the armed forces and he is also a veteran of World War One having served until discharged due to a serious foot injury. As a member of the American Legion, Dr. Thompson aided many veterans in establishing their pension and other benefits to which they were entitled.

He has been actively engaged in his profession as a pharmacist since his graduation in 1914 being a licensed druggist in both the states of Georgia and Florida. He was connected with the drug business in Alma and other points prior to coming here.

On November 1, 1926, Dr. Thompson moved his family to Folkston from Orlando where he was located at that time. On coming here he formed a partnership with the late H.J. Davis, operating a retail drug store in the building now occupied by Raynor’s Store. The partnership continued for only six months when he bought out Mr. Davis, since which time the business has been carried on under the name of Folkston Pharmacy with Dr. Thompson as the sole owner and manager. For several years the business was

successfully operated in the original location. In 1942 Dr. Thompson acquired the Rodgers Building on the corner which he made extensive repairs and improvements installing the latest and most modern fixtures and equipment. The building is now one of the city’s most attractive business structures with interior arrangements and fittings that would be a credit to any city retail drug store and soda fountain.

This modernly equipped and successful drug store is the fruit of many years of prompt courteous service to its customers and the public. In carrying on his well patronized business Dr. Thompson is ably assisted in the prescription department by his daughter, Miss Mary Jean Thompson, who is a licensed druggist and by Mrs. Thompson, his wife in the sales department, with Mrs. Richard Mays in charge of the soda fountain dispensary. Commenting on the recent busy holiday season, Dr. Thompson said that during the week preceding Christmas he had the best single week’s business since the establishment of his store.

Since coming to Folkston Dr. Thompson has not only been successful in business but is one of the city’s most active, public spirited citizens. He has served for two terms over a period of five years as Mayor of Folkston. It was during his administration that the city’s water system was installed and other valuable improvements made. He also served as a member of the Nicholls city council before coming here. Among other contributions to the public service he has served as a member of the County Welfare Board since its establishment in 1938, most of the time as chairman of the board. He has been sincerely interested in the work of this organization and given much of his time and business experience in the successful operation of needy persons.

He is a member of the Masonic Lodge and he and his family are members of the Methodist Church. In the year 1919 Dr. Thompson was married to Miss Vera Lynn of Ware County. They have three daughters, Mrs. Kathryn Wildes and Miss Mary Jean Thompson of this city and Mrs. J.W. Maddox of Port St. Joe, Fla. Dr. and Mrs. Thompson and daughters have many warm friends throughout the county and they are widely regarded as being among the city’s most highly esteemed families.

Charlton  County Archives