Catherine Threlkeld


Mrs. Catherine Threlkeld, M. D. The distinction of being the only woman physician in Oklahoma, and probably in the entire Southwest, to be appointed county commissioner of health, is held by Dr. Catherine Threlkeld, who holds this preferment in Pontotoc County and who is engaged in the successful practice of her profession at Ada, the county seat. Her appointment to this important office was made in the spring of 1915, by Dr. John W. Duke, of Guthrie, state commissioner of health under the administration of Governor Robert L. Williams. The appointment was of further interest in view of the fact that Dr. Threlkeld had been engaged in the practice of her profession little more than one year and had not taken up the profession of medicine until she had reared two daughters to adult age and had otherwise removed all other domestic restrictions to her ambitious and noble purpose. Being the wife of an able physician to whom she had given most effective assistance during a period of ten years prior to her preparing specifically for the same exacting profession, she experienced a constantly increasing ambition and desire to prepare herself thoroughly for the profession in which she has already gained marked success and prestige. When her younger daughter was three years of age Dr. Threlkeld yielded to her ambition to the extent of packing her trunk and making ready to depart for a medical school, but the instincts of motherhood prevailed and she sacrificed ambition to maternal devotion until her children had attained to adult years, when she found clear her way to the goal which she had long desired to gain. On the 2d of June, 1913, she was graduated in the American Medical College, in the City of St. Louis, Missouri, this being the medical department of the National University of Arts and Sciences, from which splendid institution she thus received her coveted degree of Doctor of Medicine, her active practice as a physician and surgeon having been initiated at Ada in January, 1914.
Dr. Threlkeld was born in Pike County, Arkansas, September 19, 1875, and is a daughter of Jackson H. and Mary T. (Reese) Farrar, the former a native of Arkansas and the latter of Tennessee, the father having been for many years a prosperous farmer and honored citizen of Pike County. In addition to receiving the advantages of the public schools of her native state the doctor was afforded also those of Nazareth University, at Corinth, Arkansas, long before she began her technical education in her profession.
At Corinth, Arkansas, in 1893, was solemnized the marriage of Miss Catherine Farrar to Dr. Waller C. Threlkeld, who was born in Monroe County, Missouri, and who was graduated in Barnes Medical College, at St. Louis, that state, as a member of the class of 1901. His medical education and also a part of his literary education were obtained after his marriage, and for two years he was a student in Nazareth University, his wife’s alma mater at Corinth, Arkansas. In 1901 Dr. Waller C. Threlkeld engaged in the practice of his profession at Allen, Pontotoc County, Oklahoma, and his wife proved his able and faithful coadjutor in his practice while giving most solicitous attention to the rearing of their two daughters, Hope, who celebrated her twentieth birthday anniversary in 1915, and who until recently was a student in the East Central State Normal School of Oklahoma, at Ada, and Grace, aged eighteen, who was graduated in that institution as a member of the class of 1915.
Dr. Catherine Threlkeld is one of the active and valued members of the Pontotoc County Medical Society, of which she is secretary and treasurer in 1915, and is identified also with the Oklahoma State Medical Society. Her parents now reside in the City of Fresno, California, and she is the eldest of their children, brief record concerning the others being here entered: John Farrar is engaged in the real-estate business at Fresno, California; Mrs. C. C. Threlkeld is the wife of the president of the First National Bank of Dinuba, that state; Charles I. Farrar is a prosperous agriculturist and stock-grower near Dinuba; Mrs. Walter Bolen is the wife of a real-estate dealer at Dinuba; Mrs. William R. Pigg is the wife of the cashier of the Citrus Bank at Exeter, California; Houston Farrar is the promoter of an interurbau railway proposition at Fresno, that state; Mrs. Ray Hingley is the wife of a railroad man at Fresno; and Oklsi, Roy, Lillian and Forrest remain at the parental home.