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Thurston, Josie, 1892-1991



  • Existence: 1892 - 1991


Journalist Josie Lucile Stout Thurston was born on April 1, 1892 in Canton, Minnesota, to John and Belle Stout. Both of Stout's parents were educators. John Stout was superintendent of schools in Forest City and president of Ellsworth College in Iowa Falls, Iowa, from 1901 to 1903. Belle Stout earned her undergraduate degree from Ellsworth during her husband's presidential term and taught arithmetic and grammar at the college from 1902 to 1925; she earned an MA at the State University of Iowa (now the University of Iowa) in 1928.

Josie Stout graduated from Iowa Falls High School in 1909, and received a teaching degree from Ellsworth College in 1913. She taught at Lake Mills High School for two years, and then married Abe Thurston, a Forest City pharmacist, in 1915. The couple's daughter, Margaret, was born in 1917. The family moved to South Dakota in 1924 after the pharmacy failed so that Josie Thurston could teach. By 1927, they had moved back to Iowa where Thurston wrote for the Cedar Falls newspaper. The Thurstons moved to Des Moines in 1943 where Thurston wrote for the Des Moines Register and her husband managed a drug store. The couple divorced a year later due to Abe Thurston's drug addiction.

Thurston became the travel editor for the Des Moines Register in 1947 and the society page editor in 1951. She traveled all over the United States and Europe. She was on the inaugural flight of Air France in 1953. After her retirement in 1957, Thurston wrote publicity materials for the Des Moines YMCA until the late 1960s when she moved to Charles City to be near her daughter, Margaret. Thurston continued freelance writing, and learned and taught the Norwegian painting technique of rosemaling. Thurston died in Charles City in 1991 at the age of ninety-nine.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Josie Thurston papers

Identifier: IWA0514

Journalist who worked for the Des Moines Register between 1947 and 1957 and was later a freelance writer.

Dates: 1893-1990