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Our Lady of Grace, Dearborn Heights, Michigan

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Building Name: First Presbyterian Church

Studio Name: Tiffany Studios

City: Ypsilanti

Window Shape: 3 (arched)

Date of Window: 1899

Subject/Title of Window: Thompson Memorial

Brief Description of Subject: The middle section in this memorial window was designed to let light through. Doric columns are pictured as if holding up the canopy and divide this middle section into two lights. These columns are in harmony with the façade which is in the Grecian Doric style.

From the booklet, "Our Memorial Windows: A Brief Description of the Memorial Windows in the Sanctuary of The First Presbyterian Church, Ypsilanti, Michigan," by Doris Milliman, City Historian, page20-21.

The Thompson Window
Charles Thompson
January 18, 1807 - February 24, 1889
Sarah A. Thompson
August 6, 1822 - May 29, 1897

Charles Thompson was born in New Jersey and his wife, Sarah Adelain Van Fossen, was born in Livonia, New York. Charles came to Ypsilanti in 1826 as a young man of 19; just three years after Benjamin Woodruff first settled here. He holds the distinction of being the first of all those honored on our windows to arrive in Ypsilanti. Charles and Sarah were married on December 18, 1842.

Charles and Sarah Thompson moved to Shiawassee County in 1842, the year of their marriage, but they moved back to Ypsilanti in 1848. Charles joined our Church on April 4, 1851, and was elected an elder in 1853, and actively held this office until his death in 1889. In 1875, he was a commissioner to the Presbytery in Detroit.

Sarah Thompson was the daughter of John Van Fossen and Eliza Lester who also were prominent citizens of Ypsilanti. Her father received his commission in the Army of 1814, and was a friend of Sam Houston. He was chosen to be a Presidential Elector for Michigan and was appointed by the Governor to be a Commissioner of Public Improvements. In 1844 along with J. M. Edmunds, he started the "Ypsilanti Sentinel" and was manager of that newspaper. He was an officer of the Phoenix Lodge which was founded in 1846. The book, "The Van Fossen Family In America," is in the Ypsilanti Historical Museum.

Charles and Sarah Thompson became the parents of eight children. Theodore Lester was born on October 2, 1843, and died on February 22, 1865 at Bull Run. Charles was born in 1844 and died on December 26, 1863 in the Army. Margaret Elizabeth was born in 1846 and married Daniel Benedict. Caroline was born in 1851, and married Charles Stevens. Frederick L., who was born in 1854, married Alice Edwards. Lydia died in infancy in 1859.

John Justin Thompson was born in 1861 and married Ida Fullington. Their son, Charles Fullington Thompson, became a general in charge of all reserve officers and men in the U. S. Army.

Henry Drake Thompson was born in 1868, and married Stella Gardner. He taught biology in Muskegon High School and made the first study of the flora and fauna of the sand dunes of western Michigan.

The Thompson Family contributed much, not only to our Church and community, but also to our state and nation. Charles and Sarah Thompson represent those hearty pioneers who established Ypsilanti, and transformed it from a frontier outpost to a settled, progressive community.

Inscriptions: In Honored Memory Of
Charles Thompson
A Ruling Elder
From 1853 to 1889 And
Sarah A. Thompson

Condition of Window: Very good

Height: 15'8"

Width: 4'2"

Type of Glass and Technique: Opalescent Glass, Lead Came

Thompson Memorial
Thompson Memorial
Thompson Memorial top
Thompson Memorial top
Thompson Memorial inscription
Thompson Memorial inscription
Thompson Memorial outside
Thompson Memorial outside

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