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Kathryn M. Silva

educator, minister, industrialist, physician, was born Thomas Wellington Thurston Jr. in Moorefield, West Virginia, to Betty (Jones) Thurston and Thomas W. Thurston Sr., both of West Virginia. Thurston grew up in Moorefield and attended Romney High School before leaving to receive his theological education in New Jersey. According to an article featuring Thurston in Who's Who of the Colored Race, after high school, Thurston studied theology under Reverend J. A. Gayley of Princeton University. Thurston married Julia Lacey of Washington, D.C., in 1890. The couple went on to raise eight children.

Thurston began his career as an educator He moved from West Virginia to Fort Barnwell North Carolina and served as the principal of the Barnwell Normal and Farm Life School for Colored Youth His work as an educator later intersected with his career in manufacturing with his pioneering work in the textile ...