Thurman was a carpenter and he had to travel to find work. He was out of work many months of the year, usually during winter. He worked at various sites in Webster, Choctaw, Oktibehha Counties and worked on construction of hotels and dormitories at Miss. State University.
During the war, he was employed by a contractor to build at the Oak Ridge Plant where they built the atomic bomb. This job required a high level of secrecy. He was only given plans for the one room or even a wall that he was working on. They were bused to work from Knoxville.
After a fall, he went on disability. Only then did he begin construction of a 9-bedroom home for his family. It was a simple house with not much frills but it was very well built. He finished it just before his last child of 7 left home for college. This house on the hill in Mathiston was sold for use as a small retirement center.