Biography of Thomas Walter Butcher

Thomas Walter Butcher. Among Kansas men who have performed services of far reaching benefit to the state there is a distinctive place for Thomas Walter Butcher, now president of the Kansas State Normal School at Emporia. Mr. Butcher began his career as an educator in Kansas, and most of his work had been done within the state.

He was born at Macomb, Illinois, July 3, 1867, a son of Boman Rilea Butcher and Adaline (Vail) Butcher. His father was a Union soldier during the Civil war. Mr. Butcher was reared in Illinois and Kansas and attended the public schools of both states. He graduated Bachelor of Arts from the University of Kansas in 1894, and had since accepted opportunities to study both at home and abroad. He had the degree Master of Arts conferred by Harvard University, and spent the year 1908-09 in graduate study in the University of Berlin, Germany.

Mr. Butcher had been a teacher all his active life and had dignified the calling as a profession and not as a mere occupation. He began as a teacher in rural schools, afterward was ward principal, high school principal, superintendent of city schools, and through his individual experience had come into the closest touch with educational conditions in the Middle West. He served as principal of the high school at Wellington, Kansas, from 1894 to 1897; of the Sumner County High School from 1897 to 1906; and then became president of the Central State Normal School at Edmond, Oklahoma. He left the Oklahoma Normal School in 1908. In 1909 he became superintendent of the city schools of Enid in that state, where he continued his service until 1913. Since July 1, 1913, he had been president of the Kansas State Normal School at Emporia.

In 1911 Mr. Butcher was president of the Oklahoma State Teachers’ Association, and had previously, in 1905, served as president of the Kansas State Teachers’ Association. He was a member of the Board of Regents of the University of Kansas from 1903 to 1907, and since 1913 had been a member of the Kansas State Board of Education and the Kansas State School Book Commission. He was member and secretary of the jury of awards on social and industrial betterment at the St. Louis Exposition in 1904. He is now member and president of the Kansas School Masters’ Club, is a republican in politics, and a member of the Congregational Church.

Mr. Butcher was married at Wellington, Kansas, July 3, 1900, to Mary W. Peck, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. M. V. B. Holmes. They have three children: Thomas Peck Butcher, aged twelve; Walter Peck Butcher, aged five; and Mary Louise Butcher, aged one year.


Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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