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UCO Presidents

UCO Presidents

University Presidents

Richard ThatcherRichard Thatcher

President of Territorial Normal School of Oklahoma (1891-1893)

 

Biographical Information

  • Born March 23, 1846 in Alton, Illinois to Rev. John Wesley Thatcher and Virginia Bolls-Thatcher Some sources list his birth date as on or around March 10, 1846
  • Married Melissa D. DeFord of Ashley, Illinois in September 1869. Their 35 year marriage produced five children - a son who died in infancy and four daughters: Edna, Mae, Blanche, and Ethel.
  • Died November 28, 1909 in Edmond, Oklahoma of tuberculosis

Education

  • 1866- 1878 B.S. and Master's in Mathematics, Doctor of Divinity from McKendree College, Illinois, graduating with honors. He would leave school to teach and return to finish his degree in 1878 

Employment

  • 1861 At age 15 he enlisted in the 111th Regiment of Illinois Volunteers of the Union Army as a drummer boy under General Sherman's command
  • 1864 Thatcher was taken prisoner on July 22, 1864 and confined to Andersonville Prison He developed a lung and throat condition while in prison and never fully recovered
  • 1865 Discharged from the Union Army on June 6
  • 1868, c. Superintendent of City Schools in Severy, Kansas. Prior to holding this position, he taught school for a few years in Illinois
  • 1887, c. - 1890 Superintendent of Neodesha Schools, Kansas
  • 1890 Moved to Edmond, Oklahoma and purchased the Central Hotel Received appointment to work at the Census Bureau in Washington, D.C.
  • 1891 Returned to Edmond in the Autumn Appointed "Principal/President" of then Territorial Normal School of Oklahoma by the Board of Education on October 15 1893 Resigned his position as principal at the end of the 1892-1893 school year. Continued on the faculty as Head of the Mathematics Department of Territorial Normal School
  • 1894 Principal of the Edmond Schools for the 1894-1895 school year while continuing to teach at the Territorial Normal School
  • 1908 - 1909 Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at then Central State Normal School

Awards and Affiliations

  • Member of the Grand Army of the Republic
  • 33rd Degree Mason, Second Master of Edmond Masonic Lodge
  • 1861 - 1864 Veteran of the Civil War