Persey Leroy Courtright, lawyer, one of the men of Independence, Kan., whose actions speak louder than words and to whom the city owes a debt for enforcing the prohibition laws, is a native Kansan, born on a farm about two miles west of Independence in Montgomery county, March 12, 1873. He is the son of William C. and Nettie (Hess) Courtright. The father was born in Ohio and the mother in West Virginia. They met and were married in Missouri, moved to Kansas in 1872 and located in Montgomery county, but two years later, returned to Missouri where they resided about the same length of time before returning to the homestead in Montgomery county. Mr. Courtright was a good practical farmer, improved his land and remained on the farm until the spring of 1911, when he retired from active life and established a home in independence, where he and his wife are enjoying the sunset years after a life of toil. During the Civil war, Mr. Courtright offered his services to the government and was commissioned first lieutenant in a company of troops which was detached for scouting purposes, and was in active service over three years before being mustered out of the army at the close of the war. He is a member of that organization of loyal old men whose ranks grow thinner each year, the Grand Army of the Republic. In politics, he has ever been a Republican, and has served several terms as trustee of his township. Both he and his wife are members of the Christian church. They had two children: Persey Leroy and John E., to both of whom they gave excellent educations, believing that such equipment is the best for the battle of modern life. Persey L. Courtright grew up sturdy and strong in the country, attended the district school and had the active mind of the boy who sees nature develop and open in the country. After completing his elementary education, he entered the Independence High School and graduated there in 1894. Still a mere lad, he appreciated the advantages of a broad education, and as he had decided to devote his life to the study and practice of law, took an additional year of study in the high school. He then matriculated in the University of Kansas and graduated from the law department of that institution in 1899 with the degree of LL. B. The same year, he was admitted to the Kansas bar and opened a law office at Independence. Within a short time, he was recognized as a most able lawyer, was appointed justice of the peace by Gov. Stubbs and is now serving his fourth year in that office. In 1904, Mr. Courtright was associated with S. S. Orwig and they were the attorneys employed in the famous case of Anna Fruits vs. John Hebrauk et al., in which an ordinary injunction was secured against the defendants and their buildings, enjoining them from selling intoxicating liquors. The defendants failed to obey the injunction, as is usually the case, and before the temporary injunction was argued, they were cited for contempt of court, and not being entitled to a jury were adjudged guilty of contempt and fined. The permanent injunction against the twenty defendants was allowed to run, the case was carried to the Supreme Court, which sustained the issue and the sale of intoxicating liquors in Independence ceased. The skill with which the case was handled is largely due to Mr. Courtright, who has made a name for himself as a prosecuting attorney, and the city of Independence owes him a debt of gratitude for this cleaning up of the city and for the enforcement of the prohibition laws. Fraternally, he is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. His political affiliations have ever been with the Republican party and in religious faith, he is a Methodist. In 1904, he married Roda A. Swan, who was a student at the University of Kansas, where he met her. They have two children: Henrietta and Veda. Mrs. Courtright is a member of the Christian church. She is a lady of broad education and a leader in the social life of Independence.Pages 61-62 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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