F. E. Thurman, engaged in the general insurance, surety bond and loan business at Bartlesville, Oklahoma, under the firm style of F. E. Thurman Company, was born at West Union, Ohio, March 9, 1872, a son of J. M. and Mary Elizabeth (McCormick) Thurman, both natives of that state. J. M. Thurman, during the greater part of his active life, was engaged in the banking business at West Union, Ohio, and for a long period served as treasurer of Adams county, that state. The father passed away October 4, 1915, in West Union, while the mother died when her son, F. E. Thurman, was but eight years of age, leaving also another son, William, who died at the age of thirty-eight years.
F. E. Thurman obtained a substantial public school education, completing a high school course in the schools of Adams county, Ohio, during the seventeen years that he lived at home. He then went to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he initiated his practical business experience as an employee of Dun’s Mercantile Agency, working in a branch office. Soon afterward he was made a traveling representative of the house, spending seven years with the firm. At this time he volunteered for service in the Spanish-American war and participated in an engagement at Guayama. He returned from the war at the beginning of the oil excitement, locating at Neodesha, Kansas, where for two years he was connected with the Prairie Oil & Gas Company, working in the producing department. The following five years he was connected with the Barnsdall Oil Company, after which he established business on his own account, handling general insurance, surety bonds and loans, this being his principal activity since December, 1912. This business was first conducted under the firm style of McIlheny & Thurman, but some time later was changed to F. E. Thurman Company and in this connection he has become one of the most prominent men in insurance circles of Oklahoma, being officially identified with several organizations covering activities of that character. Mr. Thurman is secretary of the People’s Savings & Loan Association, holding the office of secretary since its organization. He is past president of the State Association of Local Fire Insurance Agents and past president of the Local Fire Prevention Association.
His military record covers service in the Spanish-American war, he having joined the Fourth Ohio Infantry as corporal. He saw some active campaigning in Porto Rico, also participating in an engagement at Guayama. During this period he acted as correspondent for the Portsmouth Daily Blade.
On the 31st of October, 1904, Mr. Thurman was united in marriage to Miss Lucile Elizabeth Calvert, a native of Kentucky and a daughter of Isaac Calvert. Mrs. Thurman served as county food administrator during the World war. She showed marked ability as an organizer and as an executive head had many under her supervision. Mr. Thurman is very proud of his wife’s record.
While a resident of Adams county, Ohio, Mr. Thurman was especially active in the political field but has not been since then. He has served as clerk of the board of education at Bartlesville since statehood, having been appointed in May, 1909, thus proving a valuable factor among those working for the betterment of city and state. His Masonic connections include Bartlesville Lodge, No. 284, A. F. & A. M., of which he is a past master. He has taken both the York and Scottish Rite degrees, being a thirty-second degree Consistory Mason and a Knight Templar. He is also a member of the Mystic Shrine and the Eastern Star, and belongs to the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks.