And Now You Know: Dr. Louis Olney Thompson was one of Orange’s “Family Doctors”
Louis Olney Thompson was born in Harrisonburg, Louisiana, on November 26, 1896. He was delivered by his father’s brother, Dr. B.L. Thompson. When he was nine years old, his family moved to Biloxi, Mississippi. His mother died there in 1906 when he was only 10 years old.
He grew up in Biloxi, but attended the Columbia Military Academy in Columbia, Tennessee.
Thompson served in World War I in the Marines in the Air Corps. After his military service ended, he enrolled in medical school at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. After graduation from Vanderbilt, he served an internship at Colon Hospital in Colon, Panama.
In 1922, he began post graduate studies at Knickerbocker Hospital in New York then undertook further studies at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
His brother, E. Ray Thompson had served in the Army as a Lieutenant in the Infantry during the war. After the war ended, he earned a degree in pharmacy.
The brothers visited their uncle, Dr. B.L. Thompson, who lived in Jena, Louisiana and asked him about a good place to locate and start their careers. The uncle told them to go to Orange, Texas. His son-in-law, Hunter Huddle was a druggist there and owned the Orange Drug Company. The boys decided to settle in Orange.
On arriving in Orange, the young doctor Thompson set up his office as a general practitioner and surgeon. In those early years he was associated with Dr. Wilhite. When Dr. Wilhite left Orange Dr. Thompson took over the practice and continued the practice until he retired in 1955.
He maintained his office in Orange in the Green’s Building, with the entrance on Main Street. He made his home at 611 Park Street.
Dr. Thompson became a staff member at the Frances Ann Lutcher Hospital. After his retirement from active practice, he continued to serve as a vice president on the hospital board.
He was a past president of the Orange County Medical Association. In 1959, he was elected to Inactive Membership in the Texas Medical Association.
Mrs. Coke Tilley, who was a patient and close friend of Dr. Thompson said of him, “Dr. Thompson was very charitable person. During the Depression years on several occasions, he paid the hospital bills for patients who needed surgery and could not afford to pay their hospital expenses. There’s no telling how many patients he treated gratis.
He was very fond of children and was very disturbed when they became ill. His profession was his life, he was truly a dedicated person.”
After his retirement he left Orange and resided in New Braunfels, Texas and Little Rock, Arkansas. He then moved to Biloxi, where he had been raised. After a short while there he moved back to Southeast Texas, near Nederland.
He lost his life in a house fire on June 17, 1972. He was survived by a sister, Mrs. Hazel T. Elmer of Biloxi.
“And now you know.”