Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918


Andy Curry

ANDY CURRY has been a resident of Montgomery County for thirty-four years. To an older generation of the people of this county he is well remembered as a successful teacher. For nearly a quarter of a century he has been in the insurance business at Coffeyville and has built up one of the largest local agencies in the state for general insurance.

His ancestors were Irish people who came to America and settled in Kentucky in the very early days. From Kentucky the family moved to Southern Indiana, locating in the Wabash valley, and it was in Sullivan County, Indiana, that Andy Curry was born December 2, 1855. His grandfather, Samuel Curry, was born in Mercer County, Kentucky, in 1789, the year that George Washington was inaugurated as the first president of the United States, and a date which attests the very early settlement of the Curry family in the blue grass region. Samuel Curry crossed the Ohio River and settled in Sullivan County, Indiana, along with the first movement of population into that region, was a farmer there, and died in 1869. He was a strong democrat, and a consistent member and elder of the Presbyterian Church. Grandfather Curry married Sallie Thompson, who was born in Virginia and died in Sullivan County, Indiana, at the age of ninety years. None of their children are now living.

John S. Curry, father of Andy, was born in Kentucky in 1817, and was a small child when his parents moved to Sullivan County, Indiana. He grew up there, married in that county, and became a carpenter and builder. In that trade he assisted in constructing a great many houses and other buildings throughout the district south of Terre Haute. He died in Sullivan County in 1871. He was a democrat and a member of the Presbyterian Church. John S. Curry married Nancy C. Wilson, who represented another pioneer family of Sullivan County, where she was born in 1826. She died at Terre Haute, Indiana, in 1891. Their children were: Samuel, who became a farmer, later retiring to Terre Haute, where he died in 1908; Sarah, who died at Shelburn, Indiana, married John Siner, a farmer, also deceased; Margaret, who died in Sullivan county, married Anderson Mitchell, a retired farmer in Vigo County, Indiana; Martha, who lives with her brother Andy at Coffeyville, has lost three husbands, John Adams, a farmer, Jeptha Baldridge, a merchant, and James McKee, a farmer; H. W. Curry is a teacher living at Terre Haute; John F. died at Shelburn, Indiana, in 1874, at the age of twenty-two; the seventh in age is Andy; Robert B. died at the age of fourteen; Arpa is the wife of William T. Bolinger, a retired farmer at Caney, Kansas; Nancy, who died at Terre Haute, was the wife of Spencer McGrew, a hardware merchant, now deceased.

Reared in the country districts of Sullivan County, Andy Curry acquired a common school education, and availed himself of such opportunities as were presented to him not only to secure an education, but also to qualify as a teacher of others. For several terms he attended the Indiana State Normal School at Terre Haute. In the meantime he had begun teaching in the country districts and followed that vocation in Indiana for six years. In March, 1882, Mr. Curry arrived in Coffeyville, Kansas, and during the next eight years was a teacher in the country schools of Montgomery County, and during part of that time also followed farming.

Since the spring of 1890 he has lived in Coffeyville. In that city for seven years he was clerk in a clothing store, was in the wholesale cigar business for two years, and has since been an insurance man and has built up a large business in the city and also operates as a broker. His offices are in the Terminal Building. His home is at 708 Willow Street.

While living in Parker Township, as a teacher and farmer, he served two terms as township trustee. At Coffeyville he has been honored again and again with a place on the school board and also as a member of the city council. The citizens of Coffeyville remember to his special credit his work as mayor, an office to which he was elected in 1913 for two years. One feature of his administration was the construction of a large dam at the waterworks and the introduction of such improvements as to make the city water plant one of greatly increased efficiency. While mayor he insisted upon a strict enforcement of the laws and ordinances and the city was so well governed that there was no occasion for state officials to intervene in local affairs.

Mr. Curry is a democrat, is a member of the Coffeyville Commercial Club, and is affiliated with Lodge No. 117, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Camp No. 665, Modern Woodmen of America, and Lodge No. 775, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, all of Coffeyville.

In October, 1879, in Vigo County, Indiana, Mr. Curry married Miss Ella E. Seldomridge, daughter of John M. and Alice Seldomridge, both now deceased. Her father was a miller and afterwards a farmer. Mr. and Mrs. Curry have one daughter, Bonnie, who is a graduate of the Coffeyville High School, and is now the wife of R. K. Long, an oil producer and operator living at Coffeyville.


Transcribed from volume 4, pages 1974-1975 of A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; originally transcribed by Tyler Whipkey, student at Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, March, 1998, modified 2003 by Carolyn Ward.

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