WILLIAM P. COURTNEY, physician. New Grand Chain, was born October 30, 1821, in Christian County, Ky., and was the eldest child born to John T. and Malinda (Harrison) Courtney, he, a native of Culpepper County, Va., and she of Woodford County, Ky. The father was principally engaged as a merchant in Hopkinsville, Ky. He was a man who stood high in popular esteem, had filled many offices, and was known as a great collector, being uncommonly proficient in the latter capacity. He died about 1837. His wife, who was a relative of Gen. Harrison, survived him a long time. She departed from this life in 1876, being about eighty years of age. She was the mother of a large family of children. William P. Courtney, the subject of this sketch, first went to school in Trigg County, Ky., where his parents had removed when he was about seven years old. He supplemented his early schooling by an attendance at the Hopkinsville Academy, for a period of about nine years. He commenced the study of medicine at an early age, under the tutorship of Dr. Webber, of Hopkinsville. This he supplemented by a course of study under Thomas Lindley, M. D., and in 1859, he attended the Ohio Medical College at Cincinnati, since which time he has been constantly engaged in practice. Previous to the war, he had been engaged in the mercantile business in Kentucky and Missouri, which resulted disastrously. The war itself entailed upon him heavy losses in Southern property, and his only resources at command were his characteristic energy and perseverance, which, however proved equal to the emergency. In 1860, he had removed to Illinois, and locating in Metropolis, Massac Count)-, he was engaged in practice up to 1869, at which date he came to his present place, which consists of forty acres of land, and a fine residence. He has been married three times, his first wife being Bettie Kelley, who died in July, 1867, the mother of four children, three of whom are living — James C., Augusta and Irene. His second wife was Mary M. Houston, and his present wife Susan Renner. The Doctor is a member of the A., F & A. M., Grand Chain Lodge, No. 660. Politically, he is a Democrat.
Extracted 02 Nov 2014 by Norma Hass from 1883 History of Alexander, Union and Pulaski Counties, Illinois, Part V - Biographical Sketches, page 303.