Brown, Hallie Q.
MRS. LUCY SMITH THURMAN
Mrs. Lucy Thurman, the daughter of Nehemiah Henry and Catherine Smith, was born October 22, 1849 at Oshawa, Canada. Her educational alvantages were obtained in the schools of Canada. At the age of 17 she went to Maryland to teach school and was associated with Frederick Douglas and many of the leaders of that day. In 1875 she entered temperance work and was among the first of the band known as the "Blue Ribboners." When the Woman's Christian Temperance Union was formed she immediately joined. For years she was one of its most successful lecturers, her work being largely in Indiana, Illinois and Michigan and wholly among white people. In 1893 at the World's Fair during a convention of the W. C. T. U. she was elected Superintendent of Temperance Work among colored people, the first person to occupy such a position. In the performance of her duty she traveled in every Southern state and as far west as California. She made a specialty of the schools in the South. She attended the World's W. C. T. U. Convention which met in England in 1896, and was the guest in the home of Lady Henry Somerset while there. Was active in club life, having organized the first club among colored people in the state of Michigan. Organized the Michigan State Association of Colored Women's Clubs in 1900 and was its first president and served for several terms. Was elected President of the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs in 1907. When the body of Miss Francis Willard lay in state in the Temperance Temple at Chicago, Mrs. Thurman was called from the far South
177where she was lecturing to be one of the guards of honor. Mrs. Thurman was twice married, the first marriage taking place at Cleveland, Ohio, in 1847. Two boys were of this union, and are now living at Jackson, Mich. In 1883 she was married at Detroit, Mich., to Mr. Frank Thurman. Two children were the result of this union, one of whom survives, Dr. F. S. Thurman, St. Louis, Mo. Mrs. Thurman died at Jackson, Mich., March 29, 1918, and was laid to rest in the family lot in Evergreen Cemetery of that city.