Gravestone Tales of Stark County

Thompson Mausoleum in Toulon Cemetery

By Don Schmidt

Bradford F. Thompson (1839-1912)

The Thompson mausoleum in Toulon Cemetery is built of rough-hewn gray granite. Brass doors and polished granite columns mark the entrance. A stained-glass window in the back brightens the interior. Inside, two above-ground vaults preserve the remains of Bradford F. Thompson (1837-1912) and Elizabeth (Bevier) Thompson (1840-1913). Three urns hold the ashes of this couple’s son, daughter-in-law and grandson.

Bradford Thompson’s obituary states the reason that the family built the mausoleum. “His son, out of due regard for the feelings and wishes not only of his departed father, but his mother and his entire family, all of whom possess an antipathy to ground burial and who now find comfort in the thought that all that was mortal of their loved one is in a light and cheerful room.”

Thompson Mausoleum in Toulon Cemetery.

Bradford F. Thompson was born in Maine. In 1856 he moved with his parents and three brothers to Bradford, Illinois. In 1862, he enlisted in Co. B, 112th Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He rose to the rank of captain during his three years of service. After the war he wrote a history of the 112th Illinois Infantry, which The Stark County News published in 1885. He penned hundreds of letters to learn the fate of each soldier in the regiment during the war or their current address after the war—nearly a thousand soldiers in all.

Thompson practiced law in Bradford, then Toulon. He was elected Stark County States’ Attorney from 1876 to 1888 and County Judge from 1902 until his death in 1912.

His son, Erle W. Thompson, also became an attorney. In 1897, father and son built an office building with two front doors. They made one side their office; they rented out the other side. Toulon American Legion now occupies this building on West Court St., Toulon.

Erle Thompson built the fine residence at 209 S. Miller St., Toulon, now the home of Tom and Diane Pearson.

Erle Thompson gravitated from law to real estate, initially in Toulon, then in Florida. In 1925 his Florida real estate firm entertained a host of potential customers on Melbourne Bay. The yacht sank in rough water and 14 people drowned. The dead included the wife of Erle’s business partner and one of Erle’s brothers-in-law.

Erle Thompson died in Florida in 1948. His ashes, as well as the ashes of his widow and their son Charles, were inurned in the Thompson Mausoleum in 1956.

One thought on “Gravestone Tales of Stark County

  • September 26, 2017 at 1:32 am

    Thanks for posting this. I am married to Bradford Thompson’s great great grandson. His grandmother Elizabeth was the daughter of Erle and May Mary Thompson. I’ve heard a lot of family stories but this is the first I’ve read of the boating accident. I know the rest of the family will find it interesting as well.


    Paula Loughlin.


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