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Thompson Orphanage and Training Institute was founded on this spot in 1886. Edwin Augustus Osborne, a descendant of original settlers of Mecklenburg County, became the first superintendent of the orphanage. After serving as a soldier in the Civil war, Osborne worked as a lawyer and County Clerk before becoming an Episcopal Missionary and then the superintendent of Thompson, a position he held until 1898. The orphanage was named for Lewis Thompson whose wife Margaret was a financial contributor and donated most of the land for its campus.