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Prather and Thomas

Formed in 1959 by John W. Prather, Jr., and James L. Thomas, the Prather and Thomas architectural firm was headquartered in Spartanburg. Shortly after its formation, Prather and Thomas added Hal Pridgeon and Richard E. Campbell as associates, followed by Martin E. Meek in 1972, immediately prior to which the firm was known as Prather, Thomas, Campbell, and Associates. During the 1980s, their name changed to Thomas Campbell Pridgeon, Inc. The firm remains in business today as Campbell, Meek, and Associates, Architects, Inc. The firm is known to have designed the SCARNG armories at Greenwood, Pacolet Mills, and Spartanburg.

John W. Prather, Jr., served as the firm’s Professional Engineer for many years. Following his retirement, he moved to the Hendersonville, North Carolina, area and authored a number of highly regarded genealogical publications.

James Lee Thomas was born March 9, 1929, in Charlotte, North Carolina. He later earned his degree in Architectural Engineering at Clemson, then served with the US Army Armor Division during the Korean war, earning a Korean Service Medal, a Bronze Service Star, and a United Nations Service Medal. He found employment as an architect in 1953 in the Spartanburg vicinity, working for Lockwood Greene and Manchester Hudson before establishing his own firm. He also served at various times in his career as the Regional Director of the AIA South Atlantic Region and President of the South Carolina Chapter of the AIA. Because he and the firm did not respond to questionnaires for the AIA directories, little is known about which buildings he designed for the firm. Thomas died on January 25, 2004.

Richard Ernest Campbell, born May 31, 1931, became an associate with Prather and Thomas beginning in 1959. Campbell earned his Bachelor of Science degree at Clemson in 1954 and worked for Lockwood Greene from 1956 to 1959, where he likely met Thomas. His principal works before 1970 include the Duke Power Company office building in Blacksburg, SC, and the 1968 additions to the Ben Avon Baptist Church in Spartanburg.