W. Wirt Courtney

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
William Wirt Courtney
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 7th district
In office
January 3, 1943 – January 3, 1949
Preceded by Herron C. Pearson
Succeeded by James P. Sutton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 6th district
In office
May 11, 1939 – January 3, 1943
Preceded by Clarence W. Turner
Succeeded by J. Percy Priest
Personal details
Born September 7, 1889 (1889-09-07)
Franklin, Tennessee
Died April 6, 1961 (1961-04-07) (aged 71)
Franklin, Tennessee
Citizenship  United States
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Currey L. Taylor Courtney
Alma mater Sorbonne, Paris, France

Attorney politician

Military service
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Rank First lieutenant
Unit 117th Infantry, 13th Division
Battles/wars World War I

William Wirt Courtney (September 7, 1889 – April 6, 1961) was an American politician and a U.S. Representative from Tennessee.


Born in Franklin, Tennessee, Courtney was the son of Wirt Courtney and Anne (Neely) Courtney. He graduated from Battle Ground Academy, Franklin, Tennessee, in 1907. He attended Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, and the Faculté de Droit of the Sorbonne, Paris, France. He studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1911. He commenced practice in Franklin, Tennessee.


After serving as City Judge from 1915 to 1917, Courtney enlisted in the United States Army as a private in the One Hundred and Seventeenth Infantry, Thirtieth Division, in September 1917, and was honorably discharged as a first lieutenant in June 1919. He resumed the practice of law in Franklin, Tennessee. He married Currey L. Taylor on December 31, 1919, and they had four children.[1]

Courtney served as adjutant general of Tennessee in 1932, and as a member of the Tennessee National Guard in 1933 with rank of brigadier general. From 1933 to 1939, he served as circuit judge and chancellor of the Seventeenth judicial circuit of Tennessee.[2]

Elected as a Democrat to the Seventy-sixth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Clarence W. Turner, Courtney was reelected to the Seventy-seventh and to the three succeeding Congresses. He served from May 11, 1939, to January 3, 1949.[3] A confidential 1943 analysis of the House Foreign Affairs Committee by Isaiah Berlin for the British Foreign Office described Eaton as "Typical of the southern Democratic vote of complete support for the Administration's foreign policies."[4] He was an unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1948, and resumed the practice of law.


Courtney died in Franklin, Tennessee, on April 6, 1961, (age 71 years, 211 days). He is interred at Mount Hope Cemetery.[5]


  1. ^ "W. Wirt Courtney". Ancestry.com. Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "W. Wirt Courtney". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  3. ^ "W. Wirt Courtney". Govtrack US Congress. Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  4. ^ Hachey, Thomas E. (Winter 1973–1974). "American Profiles on Capitol Hill: A Confidential Study for the British Foreign Office in 1943" (PDF). Wisconsin Magazine of History. 57 (2): 141–153. JSTOR 4634869. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-10-21. 
  5. ^ "W. Wirt Courtney". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 9 May 2013. 

External links[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Clarence W. Turner
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 6th congressional district

Succeeded by
Percy Priest
Preceded by
Herron C. Pearson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 7th congressional district

Succeeded by
James P. Sutton