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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesTennessee

William Wirt COURTNEY

(1889-1961)

COURTNEY, William Wirt, a Representative from Tennessee; born in Franklin, Williamson County, Tenn., September 7, 1889; was graduated from Battle Ground Academy, Franklin, Tenn., in 1907; attended Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn., and the Faculté de Droit of the Sorbonne, Paris, France; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1911 and commenced practice in Franklin, Tenn.; city judge 1915-1917; 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; resumed the practice of law in Franklin, Tenn.; adjutant general of Tennessee in 1932; member of the Tennessee National Guard in 1933 with rank of brigadier general; served as circuit judge and chancellor of the seventeenth judicial circuit of Tennessee 1933-1939; elected as a Democrat to the Seventy-sixth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Clarence W. Turner; reelected to the Seventy-seventh and to the three succeeding Congresses and served from May 11, 1939, to January 3, 1949; unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1948; resumed the practice of law; died in Franklin, Tenn., April 6, 1961; interment in Mount Hope Cemetery.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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