Biography of David Crawford Thoroman

David Crawford Thoroman. The first of his name to come to Kansas, the late David Crawford Thoroman was for many years engaged in school teaching and farming in Coffey and Osage counties, and is still remembered by the older residents as a man of upright character, possessed of a high sense of justice. His experiences during the Civil war had placed upon him the handicap of being weak physically, but his energetic spirit and industry helped him to overcome this in large part, and throughout his career he was a useful member of whatever community he made his home.

David C. Thoroman was born in Adams County, Ohio, in 1824, of English descent, and when a young man went to Lewis County, in the northeastern part of Kentucky, where he was married to Katherine Murphy. Thus early he was a schoolteacher and agriculturist and was so engaged when the Civil war broke out. Mr. Thoroman enlisted in Company E, Twenty-second Regiment, Kentucky Volunteer Infantry, and had his baptism of fire in Cumberland Gap, where he took part in a severe engagement. Subsequently he was in the battles around Vicksburg, including Milliken’s Bend, Big Black River and the numerous encounters leading up to the surrender of the besieged city, and later took part in the engagement at Arkansas Post. Just prior to the Red River expedition under General Banks, in which his regiment took an active part, Mr. Thoroman was forced to resign, owing to the ill effects of a sunstroke. By that time he had been advanced to the rank of lieutenant, through bravery and faithful service, and had a decidedly commendable war record.

On his return to his home, Mr. Thoroman spent some months in recuperating and then again resumed farming in Kentucky. In 1871 he left that state and came to Kansas, first settling in Osage county and two years later coming to Coffey County. For almost twenty-eight years, Mr. Thoroman was a teacher in the public schools of these counties, practically all of this time in the winter months, while his summers were devoted to farming. The evil effects of his army life, in regards to his physical health, never left him, but he was able to make a place for himself among the men of comfortable circumstances in his community, while as a citizen he held the respect and confidence of all with whom he came into contact. Mr. Thoroman was a man of the highest integrity, and when he died, in 1909, his community lost a man who had ever been a friend of justice. His first wife died after bearing him three children, and he was again married, wedding Rebecca Murphy, a sister of his first wife. She bore him six children, five of whom are now living, including Albert M. Thoroman. She died at Waverly, Kansas, July 31, 1916.

Albert M. Thoroman was born on a farm in Osage County, Kansas, July 9, 1873, a son of David Crawford and Rebecca (Murphy) Thoroman. His early boyhood and youth were passed on farms in Osage and Coffey Counties, and he was given excellent educational advantages in the public schools of Kansas and in the State Normal School, from which he was graduated in 1899, in addition to which he received instruction from his father. His education was completed in the University of Kansas, from which he was graduated in 1909. In the meantime, Mr. Thoroman had taught school, and had served one year as superintendent of the schools of Williamsburg, seven years as superintendent of the schools of Council Grove. He served four years as principal of the Chase County High School at Cottonwood Falls, from 1909 to 1913. In the latter year he was elected secretary of the School Book Commission of the State of Kansas, a position which he still retains and the duties of which he is discharging in an entirely efficient, conscientious and expeditious manner. In this capacity, as co-editor with Prof. H. W. Davis, he has published two volumes now used in the public schools of Kansas: “Classics for the Kansas Schools, Eighth Grade,” and the same work for the seventh grade. He has also done editorial work on the Kansas Primer.

Mr. Thoroman is a member of the Congregational Church. He is a republican in politics, and a member of the Kansas Chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa. His fraternal connection is with the Masons, in which he has attained the Scottish Rite degree.


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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