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Coltautos.com Gun of the Month - September 2012
Colt Model 1903 Pocket Hammerless .32 ACP
Serial Number 515358
Factory Inscribed with Deluxe Factory Inscribed Medallion Ivory Stocks

Colt Model 1903 Pocket Hammerless .32 ACP serial number 515358 - This is a special order single gun shipment factory inscribed with factory inscribed stocks with the Elk in blue enamel.  The inscription reads:

Presented to Floyd E. Thompson, GER, Feb. 22, 1933
By Hartford Lodge BPO Elks No. 19 Hartford, Conn

Placement of the inscription is located where the serial number for this model is typically stamped.  The inscription was so long that the factory relocated the serial number to right side of the frame, above the trigger area.  This pistol was shipped to Hartford, CT Lodge of Elks Number 19 on February 22, 1933 (the day of presentation.)

Colt Model 1903 Pocket Hammerless .32 ACP serial number 515358 - Right side showing relocated serial number.  Pictured with this pistol is a period BPO Elks sterling silver stamp case with BPOE letters inside the case used to retain the stamps.  Also pictured is a period BPOE Hartford, Connecticut Lodge No. 19 Membership Card from 1933-1934 for John J. McMahon, who was also a Colt employee.

Documented Presentation and Configuration of Colt 1903 Pocket Hammerless .32 ACP serial number 515358 - Article from the Hartford Courant (Hartford, Connecticut), Thursday, February 23, 1933 p.12 documenting and describing the configuration and presentation of the Colt .32 automatic pistol by Roy Powers, president of the Connecticut State Elks Association to Floyd E. Thompson, grand exalted ruler of the order.  The occasion was to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Hartford Lodge, No. 19, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.

The Hartford Elks were founded in 1883 and this building, designed by John J. Dwyer, was built the same year as the nearby Hartford Club. It is a fine example of the Renaissance Revival style, while the Hartford Club is Georgian Revival. The Elks Lodge has a brownstone foundation, glazed buff brick walls, and a limestone trim that form a series of receding planes in the front elevation. Bands of raised brick at the first floor, recessed arch openings at the second floor, and the projecting roof-line cornice under the parapet contribute to the rich texture of the design. The tall stained-glass windows of the second floor mark the location of the ceremonial lodge hall. On the interior, the dark mahogany paneled first floor contrasts sharply with the brilliantly decorated and gilded lodge room above.

Floyd E. Thompson was born in Roodhouse, Illinois, December 25, 1887, the son of Alonzo and Sarah (Edwards) Thompson. He is descended from Colonial stock. His earliest known paternal ancestor was John Thompson of Virginia, a soldier in the Revolutionary War. All his ancestors were farmers and he followed that occupation until his graduation from high school. After leaving the public schools he taught school for three years and also prepared himself for the bar by private study. He was admitted to practice in Tennessee and Illinois in 1911. He located in East Moline, where he practiced law and edited and published the East Moline Herald until his election as State’s Attorney of Rock Island County in November 1912. In December 1915, he was elected president of the Illinois State’s Attorney’s Association. He was re-elected State’s Attorney in 1916 and served in that office until April 1919, when he was elected a member of the Supreme Court to fill a vacancy. He was re-elected for the full term beginning in June 1921. From 1921 to 1923 he was chairman of the Section of Criminal Law of the American Bar Association, and he has been vice-president of the American Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology. He was a charter member of the American Law Institute and was active in its work. He was also a member of the Illinois State and Rock Island County Bar Associations, the Rock Island Chamber of Commerce, the Moline After Dinner Club, the Black Hawk Hills and the Short Hills county clubs, the Sons of the American Revolution, the Sons of Union Veterans, and was an Elk, an Odd Fellow, a Knight of Pythias, a Moose, an Eagle, a Modern Woodman, and a Mystic Worker.

With no formal education after high school, Floyd E. Thompson was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1916. In 1919, at age 32, he was elected to the Supreme Court of Illinois and later served as Chief Justice of that court. After resigning in 1928 to become the Democratic candidate for governor of Illinois and being defeated in the Hoover landslide, he became a partner with the Firm.

Judge Thompson was an extremely talented trial lawyer who attracted many prominent clients to the firm. Chicago utility czar Samuel Insull retained the firm to represent him in 1934 when the federal government charged him with fraud and violations of the Bankruptcy Act. Judge Thompson successfully defended Mr. Insull in three federal and state court trials.

The practice of the Firm changed as a result of the Great Depression. Many of the Firm’s clients suffered financial reversals, causing the Firm’s business and litigation practice to concentrate on the financial crisis of the time. The Firm handled many reorganizations and recapitalizations and represented creditors, bondholder committees and the like.

[Source: http://www.state.il.us/court/supremecourt/JusticeArchive/Bio_FThompson.asp]

Colt Model 1903 Pocket Hammerless .32 ACP serial number 515358 - Left side.

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