Roma Durington, Distinguished Graduate, Inducted 2016
Mr. Durington was a strong supporter of Dallas County Schools and the Dallas County community. He was born in 1902 living most of his life on the family farm north of Buffalo. After completing his years of schooling in Dallas County Schools, he took the state teachers exam and taught for three years at Wood Hill School.
As a boy, Roma helped his family on the farm. He and some brothers drove a herd of 200 turkeys to Lebanon to the train. Another time, they drove a herd of hogs. He also helped round up a herd of horses and broke them to sell.
Mr. Durington left teaching to move to California for a few years to work in an aircraft plant during World War II. His heart was always in Dallas County and moved back to continue farming. He met and married his wife Edna in 1923 and raised four children. He farmed the land from sun up to sun down, acquiring land from neighbors and family to accumulate more than 1,000 acres. Sometimes he had over 200 head of cattle and 150 head of hogs on the farm. The county used gravel from his farm creek to pave 64 Highway from 73 to Lebanon. He enjoyed teaching his children and grandchild the values of farming and one granddaughter how to manage money and invest. He was a man of his word. A business deal was as firm as a contract with his hand shake.
Mr. Durington also served his community, serving over 25 years on the Dallas County Farmers Exchange board. He was one of the founding members. He was also appointed County Treasurer by the Governor in 1937 and again in the 1950’s. He could never get elected as a Democrat in a Republican county. He took the census several years. He knew everyone in the county as he bought and sold livestock. He even bought livestock for the government during the Depression.
Mr. Durington served on the school board for over 30 years, including the Mt. View school board. He was the Board President during the time that D.A. Mallory was Superintendent of Schools. During that time, he worked with Mr. Mallory and others for several years, including long nights and many hours trying to convince all of the rural schools to consolidate and become one Dallas County School District.
Mr. Durington died in 1982. His family established a scholarship foundation in his and his wife Edna’s memory benefiting Buffalo High School graduates for many years. The foundation provides three $1,000 scholarships each year. This year’s recipients are Rebecca Curtis, Elise Quisenberry, and Morgan Wall. Roma valued education which was demonstrated through his own education, teaching, and service to the community through the Board of Education, and honored through the memorial scholarship.
His family includes four children. Bill, deceased, and wife, Linna, Buffalo who have three children; Bob, deceased, and wife Jewell, Kansas City, who have four children; Melba and husband Wayne Miller, deceased, Springfield who have four children; and Jerry and wife Zadie, Buffalo, who have eight children between them. Mr. Durington also, has many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great, great-grandchildren.
Roma Durington loved Dallas County and the school system. He was proud of his community and school. He was a good, hard-working, honest man. His word was his bond.