UCO Home Library Home Archives & Special Collections
Home Image Galleries Special Collections Digital Collections Exhibits Artworks UCO History Oral History Obituary Index Tools About Us

Introduction University Names University Presidents University Buildings University Timeline University Archives University Relations Press Releases

History of University of Central Oklahoma
Portrait of Richard Thatcher

Richard Thatcher

President of Territorial Normal School of Oklahoma


Biographical Information
  1846  Born March 23, 1846, Alton, Illinois to Rev. John Wesley Thacher and Virginia Bolls-Thatcher 
  1869  In September, he married Melissa D. DeFord of Ashley, Illinois. Their 35-year marriage produced five children: a son who died in infancy and four daughters, Edna, Mae, Blanche, and Ethel. 
  1909  Died November 28, 1909, Edmond, Oklahoma of tuberculosis 

  1866- 1878  He earned a B.S. and Masters in Mathematics from McKendree College, Illinois, graduating with honors. He left school to teach, then returned to finish his degree in 1878. 

  1861  At age 16, during the Civil War, he enlisted in the 111th Regiment of Illinois Volunteers of the Union Army as a drummer boy under General Sherman's command. 
  1864  July 22, 1864: Thatcher was taken prisoner and confined to Andersonville Prison. He developed a lung and throat condition while in prison and never fully recovered. 
  1868 ca  Superintendent of City Schools in Severy, Kansas. 
  1887 ca - 1890  Superintendent of Neodesha Schools, Kansas. 
  1890  Moved to Edmond and purchased Central Hotel
Received appointment to work in Census Bureau in Washington, D.C. 
  1891  Returned to Edmond in the autumn.
October 15, he was appointed "Principal/President" of the Territorial Normal School by the Board of Education. 
  1893  He resigned at the end of the 1892-1893 school year, but continued on the faculty as Head of the Mathematics Department of the Territorial Normal School until his death. 
  1894  In May, he became Principal of the Edmond Schools for the 1894-1895 school year while continuing to teach at the Territorial Normal School. 

Awards and Affiliations
  1861 - 1864   Veteran of the Civil War 
    33rd degree Mason, Second Master of Edmond Masonic Lodge 

Archives & Special Collections | Chambers Library | University of Central Oklahoma | Edmond, Oklahoma | (405) 974-2888
Providing information resources and services to support academic success
Send comment or question