Return to Headlines

Thelma Kurtz Inducted Into the Dallas County Schools Hall of Fame

Mrs. Thelma Kurtz is a distinguished graduate. Her love for Dallas County rural schools began when her family moved to Dallas County when she was about 9 years old. She attended several rural schools including Engle, Macedonia, Crescent, Cowden, and Buffalo Elementary. Some of her favorite memories are from attending the rural schools. She also attended Buffalo High School, graduating in 1948. 

Thelma Kurtz was married in 1955 to James Kurtz. They lived and worked in the Kansas City area and Pennsylvania while raising their family of six children before moving back to Buffalo.

Thelma Kurtz is greatly distinguished for her preservation of the history of her family and Dallas County communities. Her efforts to preserve history began before her father passed away. After he died, she became concerned that he and many others would not be remembered. She began writing family history books, five of which are books of her and James’ families. 

When the small rural schools began consolidating into the Dallas County School District, she feared their history would disappear. She has written four books on the Dallas County Schools history and one book on the teachers of Dallas County. She has also written community history books for Louisburg, Windyville, Long Lane, Thorpe, and is currently working on the community of Olive. 

Thelma Kurtz is a lifetime member of the Dallas County Historical Society, serving as president for 11 years. She was also recognized as the Land Owner of the Year by the Forest Keepers of Missouri in 2008.

Her decades long research is very important to her, as well as the opportunity to preserve it. This passion has distinguished her for her contributions to the community and school district.

Thelma Kurtz’s is also a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Her children include Glen Harold of Iowa; J. Edward of Bolivar, Missouri; Michael D. of Holt, Missouri; John P. of Jay, Indiana; Ida Marie of Willard, Missouri; Jennifer Lea of St. Louis, Missouri; and bonus daughter Judy Wright. She also has 15 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren, with more on the way.

Learn more about Thelma Kurtz and other inductees in the Hall of Fame section of our website.