Nebraska Authors

Dorothy Thomas

AKA: Dorothy Swain Thomas, Mrs. J.W. Buickerood, Dorothy Thomas Buickerood

Born 1898-08-13 Barnes, KS (USA)

Died 1990-09-22
San Angelo, TX (USA)

Buried
Bronte, TX (USA)
Fairview Cemetery

Dorothy was the sixth of ten children to Willard and Augusta Dodge Thomas. When Dorothy was seven, the family moved to Alberta, Canada, where they homesteaded near a logging company, often providing food and shelter to the loggers. The family moved back to Kansas when Dorothy was 12, and she attended school for the first time. A bright child, Dorothy showed immediate aptitude in writing stories and creating artwork, but always struggled with her other schoolwork. Other members of the Thomas family, especially Dorothy’s sister Kennetha, share Dorothy’s artistic strengths. Dorothy's mother Augusta moved her family to Bethany, Nebraska in 1914. Dorothy recieved her teaching certificate in 1918 and taught school throughout Nebraska for the next nine years. Her literary start came in Nebraska with the publication of one of her first stories in Prairie Schooner. Dorothy’s first publication was a poem entitled “The Beast Room,” which appeared in a 1927 issue. Selling her story “The Blue Doves” to Scribners in 1928 gave Dorothy the confidence to return her 1929 teaching contract unsigned: “sink or swim, I would risk everything, work at whatever jobs I could get, and write for my life and my living.”

The Heritage Room is the repository for Dorothy Thomas's literary estate. Complete description at Heritage Room Archives.

Places Lived

Barnes, KS
Alberta, CANADA
Lincoln, NE (1914-1935)
Santa Fe, NM
New York, NY
Virgin Islands
Bronte, TX

Author Of

  • Fiction
  • Poetry

Keywords

Fiction; Novels; Novellas, Short Stories; Poetry

Education

Bethany High School, Bethany, NE
Cotner College, Bethany, NE
University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE

Occupation

Teacher
Novelist
Tutor

Places Worked

Taught at schools throughout Nebraska, including Elliot Elementary School, Lincoln, NE

Honors

Nebraska 150 Books honor for Ma Jeeter's Girls, 2017
Her first story won the Omaha Press Club prize in 1926
'Joybell', published in American Mercury was in O'Brien's Best Short Stories, 1933
'The Consecrated Coal Scuttle' from Harper's won O. Henry's Prize Stories, 1933

Associations

Acquainted with Loren and Mabel Eiseley, Mari Sandoz, Mabel Dodge Luhan, John and Flavia Champe

Bibliography

Ma Jeeter's Girls. 1931.
The Hippo.
Hobble, The Adventurous Penguin.
The Home Place. 1936.
Elephants' Dilemma.
The Getaway and Other Stories. with introduction by Christine Pappas, 2002.

We appreciate corrections and additions to our information about authors, but please read the following guidelines and caveats carefully.

  • The Nebraska Authors database is based on publicly available sources. Unless you are the author contacting us in person, it helps us if you cite the source or sources of your information. We cannot include unsourced information in the database.
  • We may be appreciative of information we choose not to include in the publicly available database.
  • To include an image on an author profile, please send jpg attachment to nebraskaauthors@lincolnlibraries.org. A photo-release agreement is required before the image will be published on this site.
  • Because of the way we are staffed, expect corrections or additions to take time, sometimes up to three months.
  • While we initially included some actual links to external URLs in the database, we will in the future no longer provide functioning links. We will instead record the presence of specific external materials in language that we hope will help intelligent users find it themselves. Web rot, in which actual materials remain online but undergo changes in their URLs, is too demanding in terms of staff time for us to hope to keep external links current.

Do you have corrections for the above information or other information to add?