September 25, 2008

Robert "Bob" Miller Thomson

Robert Miller Thomson is next up in our direct family lineage.  He was born on September 20, 1897 in Greensburg.  He entered World War I at the age of eighteen.  After a short time in Camp Shelby, Mississippi, he was sent to France just before the armistace was signed.  He served with the 38th and 28th Infantry Divisions, played a cornet in the 151st US Infantry Band and was Sergeant Bugler of the regiment.  He came home as the band leader of the 103rd Engineers of the Keystone Division.  He attended Purdue University, and then transfered to Indiana Law School.  After practicing law in Indianapolis a short time, he moved to Miami, Florida and was the third attorney to set up shop on Miami Beach with an office at Washington and 5th Street.  About a year later, he sent a letter to a woman he had met on a blind date back in Indianapolis asking her to join him in Florida.  Lucy Mae Barnes (b. January 9, 1905 in Greensburg; d. June 7, 1974 in Coral Gables, Fl.) arrived on a train with the understanding that his letter was a proposal for marriage.  So, he married her that day and they went on to a marriage lasting forty-six years until his death.  Robert's dad helped him get a job with the First National Bank of Chicago, which along with a couple of other midwestern banks, was financing much of the South Florida building boom of those days.  When financing dried up following a disastrous hurricane in the mid-1930's, the bank relocated Robert to a branch in Arlington, Illinois, but he moved back to Miami in 1937 with the help of a financial partner and acquired more then 28,000 acres of land mostly in the Everglades north of Tamiami Trail and west of Krome Avenue to the county line.  This turned into a three-million dollar investment years later, which Robert "Bob" and Lucy used for travel money later in life to explore the world.  

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