Transcribed from History of Labette County, Kansas and its Representative Citizens, ed. & comp. by Hon. Nelson Case. Pub. by Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill. 1901

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Mrs. S. E. Thurber

MRS. S. E. THURBER,* a highly respected lady of Parsons, Kansas, is the widow of the late Samuel L. Thurber, for many years a prominent railroad engineer on the "Katy" road, and whose death took place, as the result of an accident, in 1894.

Samuel L. Thurber was born in Lower Ireland, Province of Quebec, Canada. He was a son of Samuel J., Sr., and Margaret (Lee) Thurber, the latter being a relative of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Mr. Thurber had several brothers and sisters, all Canadians by birth, some of whom are still living, and reside in Castle Bar, Lower Ireland, and at various places in the Dominion of Canada.

Mr. Thurber was reared and schooled in Canada, where he remained until he attained his majority. He then started out to make his own way in life, and engaged in agricultural pursuits in both Vermont and Massachusetts, until some time in the "'sixties." He then conceived the idea of going west and growing up with the country. He came to Kansas, and assisted in the construction of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway. He visited the present site of Parsons before such a city was even thought of.

About 1869 or 1870, he returned east as far as Quincy, Illinois, where he remained until 1871. Returning at that date to Sedalia, Missouri, he reentered the service of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway Company, where the remainder of his life was spent. In the early morning of January 20, 1893, while serving in the capacity of passenger engineer, the accident occurred which ultimately caused his death, which took place October 1, 1894. He was traveling engineer for the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway a number of years. He was highly respected and esteemed by all who know him, and his unfortunate demise was generally mourned. Fraternally, he was a Mason and Knight Templar; a member of the I. 0. 0. F.; Knights of Pythias; and B. of L. E. In politics, he was a Republican. He was reared in the Episcopal faith, but later in life both he and Mrs. Thurber united with the Presbyterian church.

Mrs. S. E. Thurber, the subject of this brief biography, was born near Fairfield, Iowa, in 1856. She is a daughter of Alexander and Susan Cox. Her mother died when the subject hereof was quite young, and she was reared by her father and step-mother, until she reached the age of fourteen or fifteen years. She then moved to Parsons, Kansas, and made her home with J. J. Pierson, a relative, and a wholesale grocer of that city. Mr. Pierson still resides on Stevens avenue, and Mrs. Thurber has resided on that street since 1873.

In 1879, the subject of this sketch was united in marriage with Samuel J. Thurber. Two children were born to them, Clyde J. and Mabel. The former, who is nineteen years old, is shipping clerk for J. J. Pierson, and is boarding at home. Mabel is sixteen years of age, and is attending the high school. Mrs. Thurber resides in a comfortable residence at No. 1703 Stevens avenue. She is a prominent club woman of Parsons, being a member of the Atheneum Women's Club. For the past six years, she has also been a member of the Parsons Reading Circle. She is a general favorite in society, and is esteemed for her many good qualities.