Built in the 1930s by Frank R. Thompson, this building was the main street depot for the Anderson Petroleum Company and Dixie Distributors, Inc., both successful petroleum distributors in Anderson, Oconee, Pickens, Greenwood, Abbeville, and McCormick counties. Thompson's companies imported petroleum products from the adjacent P&N rail depot. This building's distinctive "stone and red mortar" facade was the architectural signature of Thompson's Dixie Petroleum Stations.
Major Frank R. Thompson (1903-1977)
Frank R. Thompson's lifelong career in the oil business began in 1915, in the office of Standard Oil of New Jersey, in his hometown of Concord, N.C. He moved his family to Anderson in the 1920s, when he became Standard Oil's North-Western South Carolina Sales Manager. His wife, Mary Francis Swittenberg, was a native Andersonian. In 1930, Thompson resigned from Standard Oil and formed the Anderson Petroleum Company to distribute Shell Petroleum products. In 1937, Thompson severed his connection with Shell and assumed presidency of Dixie Distributors, Inc. — a position he held until his retirement in 1975. An active business, political and military leader, with a love for all sports, Thompson was described as a "quiet philanthropist...who never turned down a charitable institution." Thompson was a proponent for the construction of Hartwell Dam. He was also benefactor to hundreds of charitable institutions , including the Anderson Kiwanis Club, the American Legion, Crippled Children of S.C., Inc., Veterans of Foreign Wars, Hiriam Masonic Lodge No. 68, Anderson TB Association, the Anderson Flying Club, and the Anderson Chamber of Commerce.
In 1945, Thompson also received the Bronze Star Medal for services in Africa and Europe and achieved the rank of Major in the United States Corps of Engineers. Thompson's close friends included President Lyndon B. Johnson, Sen. Strom Thurmond, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Gen. George Patton and boxer Jack Dempsey.