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Hon. Harold Clark Thurman. An able, impartial and learned jurist, Hon. Harold Clark Thurman, judge of the Superior Court of Muskogee County, has been a member of the bench and bar of Muskogee since 1904, and during this time has established an enviable reputation for probity, integrity and conscientious devotion to high ideals in his profession. When Judge Thurman’s substantial qualities were fittingly recognized by his election, in 1914, to his present office, it was but another verification of the statement regarding the important affairs of Oklahoma in all its varied life as a state, that there is no great commonwealth in the country in which more young men are guiding its policies and directing its administration.
Judge Harold Clark Thurman was born at Greenfield, Dade County, Missouri, July 29, 1881, and is a son of Hon. Berry G. and Lula (Clark) Thurman, both natives of Missouri. The Thurmans came west from Virginia, by way of Kentucky, and settled in Missouri, while the Clarks originated in Pennsylvania and came direct to Missouri. Berry G. Thurman was educated for the law, in which he was engaged in practice while in Dade County, and there served as the first democratic prosecuting attorney. During the early ’80s he removed with his family to Lamar, Barton County, Missouri, and there resided for thirty years. In 1888-89 he served ’with distinction in the Missouri State Senate, and in 1906 was elected circuit judge of his circuit court district, an office which he has retained to the present time. Judge Thurman is now a resident of Nevada, Missouri.
Harold Clark Thurman was reared at Lamar, Missouri, and there his early education was secured in the public schools. Following this, he entered the Missouri State University, from which he obtained the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1903 and that of Bachelor of Laws in 1904, and upon graduating in law was admitted to the Missouri bar. In August, 1904, he became a resident of Muskogee, and during the first year of his residence here served as a law clerk on the Dawes Commission. In 1905 he was admitted to practice in the United States District Court for Indian Territory, and just after Oklahoma was admitted to the Union, in 1907, was admitted to practice in the state by the Supreme Court of Oklahoma. When Judge Thurman left the Dawes Commission, he engaged in the general practice of law at Muskogee, continuing alone until 1907, when he became associated with Brook & Brook, under the firm name of Brook, Brook & Thurman. In 1908 he formed a partnership with Mr. N. A. Gibson, under the firm style of Gibson & Thurman, a combination which continued until 1914 as one of the strongest of the Muskogee bar. Mr. Thurman first became judge of the Superior Court by appointment, which he received to fill out an unexpired term, but in the fall of 1914 was elected for a full term of four years. He is a democrat in his political views and is fraternally connected with the Masons, having taken his master’s degree. Both he and Mrs. Thurman are consistent members of the First Congregational Church of Muskogee, and have given their helpful support to its various movements.
On September 23, 1903, Judge Thurman was united in marriage with Miss Freda Levy, who was born and reared at Columbia, Missouri, and educated in the Christian College at that place. Four children have been born to Judge and Mrs. Thurman, namely: Margaret, Harold C., Jr., Freda and Estelle.