Francis Riley Thompson was born 1854, in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, of parents, William and Mary Riley Thompson, who were originally from County Antrim, Ireland. They came to Shasta Co., in 1857, crossing the Isthmus of Panama and settled in the town of Old Shasta where Francis attended school and learned the trade of carpentry. Later William and Mary Thompson started the Stump Ranch Inn at Copper City. During the Modoc Indian War, Francis was a guard for six months. He owned the first eight mule team in northern California and drove freight through French Gulch where he first met carrie. She would sit on the fence with her brothers and sisters to watch the loaded teams pass by with supplies for the gold camps. He was also a stage coach driver. A historical plaque in the Shasta Museum bears his name. In 1872, he came to Redding and bought a town lot.

Carrie was born in 1857 in French Gulch of parents, Erastus and Lydia Shattuck Dickinson, who lived in Massachusetts and New York prior to their move to Shasta Co. They homesteaded Dickinson Point, now known as Francis Carr Powerhouse. The Dickinsons moved to Redding in 1872, building the first home in the new City of Redding. There, Francis and Carrie married
June 10, 1877. Nine children were born to Francis and Carrie:
Bert b. 1877 d. 1878
Carrie b. 1878 d. 1878
Jenny Pearl b. 1879 d. 1918
Lilly b. 1880 d. 1880
William Willard b. 1881 d. 1976
Charles Frances b. 1882 d. 1976
Harry Edgar b. 1884 d. 1950
Lottie Edith b. 1890 d. 1974
Russell Sidney b. 1893

After their marriage, Francis worked six years for the railroad, then built the Tremont Hotel, located in Redding where the present Payless Drug Store now stands. After the Tremont Hotel burned in 1890, they moved into the Dickinson home on Pine Street with Carrie's parents.

They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary there in 1927. At that time Francis was the oldest citizen of Redding counting years of residence.

Francis continued in construction, building the Stone Power Substation on Parkview Dr. He was active at his trade for over thirty years on up into his seventies.

Francis died July 4, 1936. Carrie died May 1934. Both are buried in the Redding Cemetery.

The Dickinson home has remained in the Thompson family four generations. Thompson's men's store is now located next door. Russell Thompson, ninth and last child, was born there and remains the current resident.

Source: Shasta Historical Society

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