A History of the State of Oklahoma 1908

THOMAS J. HURST, manager of the Temple Hardware Company, its founder and one of its owners, established the business in October, 1902, at the time of the founding of the town. He has since managed the institution, ably and profitably, the development of the enterprise being illustrated by the facts that the original stock of shelf hardware, located in a temporary building only twenty by thirty feet, has increased so that the goods of the company, embracing general hardware, supplies and implements, cover a ground space of 18,664 feet, represent an annual investment of $25,000 and are housed in a substantial structure. Mr. Hurst gained his experience in the hardware house of the Baker Hardware Company, at Granbury, Texas. In 1890 he entered it as a clerk, and for nine years and a half performed his duties with credit and such faithfulness that he never lost a day from work. When the company decided to establish a business at Temple, he was selected for the task, then entering the firm as a partner. The result showed the wisdom of the selection. The personnel of the firm is now as follows: J. C. Tandy, A. D. Warren and T. J. Hurst, of Temple, and D. O. and Jesse Baker, of Granbury, Texas. The new home of the business, erected in 1904, comprises a main building 50 by 182 feet and a warehouse 62 by 182 feet. In addition to ably managing the mercantile interests entrusted to him, Mr. Hurst is a vice-president and director of the First National Bank of Temple, and is president and treasurer of the Temple Water Works Company. Both as a merchant and a man of affairs he is rightly classed as one of the builders of the town; and this, although he began life at about eighteen years of age with no other educational equipment that could be obtained by an attendance of about six months in country schools. His first work was as a common laborer in a saw mill. He then learned to run the engine and was making other progress, but finally engaged in farming operations in Hood and Parker counties, Texas. His next move was to ally himself with the Baker Hardware Company, and from that time his affairs have been steadily upward.

Thomas J. Hurst was born near Cedar Hill, Dallas county, Texas, on the 6th of September, 1855. His father, Bradford Hurst, had settled in this locality during the previous year, and, although an Indiana farmer, when the Civil war broke out joined the Confederate army. He was killed in action, being about forty-eight years of age. His wife was Emily Ming, daughter of Thomas Ming, who also brought his family from Indiana about the time of Mr. Hunt’s migration, and finally died in Lampasas county as, a Texas farmer. Mrs. Hurst passed away in Hood county, that state, July 24, 1905, the mother of the following: Thomas J., of this sketch; Mollie, wife William Rader, of Temple, Oklahoma; Frank P., a resident of Parker county, Texas; Lizzie, who married James Belland died near Daugherty, Indian Territory, leaving a family of four children, and Bradford L., formerly of Titus county, Texas, who went to the Klondike region about fifteen years ago, leaving a family at home, and has not since been located. In October, 1876, Thomas J. Hurst married, in Road [Hood] county, Texas, Rhoda A. Martin, daughter of William Martin; an Indiana farmer, and the children of their union are: Minnie, wife of James Yaunt, of Temple and Sallie and Edgar, still single and living at home. The Hurst family is staunchly Democratic in politics, although its members have never been politicians. Thomas J. is a Master Mason, having passed all the chairs in the Temple lodge and served as a delegate to the grand lodge of the state (in 1907 and 1908). He has served with like prominence in the local and grand lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.