John Courtright was a native of Pennsylvania, and emigrated with his family to Ohio in 1803 or 1804. They journeyed over the mountains and through the forests in a three horse wagon, bringing with them such articles of household necessity as they were able to convey. On their arrival he bought land near Royalton, Fairfield county, and began the labor of making a home in the wilderness. Progress was necessarily slow at first, but year by year the clearing was enlarged, and as prosperity followed, he added to his possessions, until he was the owner of two thousand hone hundred acres of land, the result of his own exertions, seconded by those of his sons, as they arrived at an age to assist in the smaller and larger duties of the farm.
His children were: Abraham, who died in 1851, leaving a family; John, who married, raised a family in Walnut township and died in October, 1878; Jacob, who married, and remained on a part of his father's estate, in Bloom township, Fairfield county, where he died in 1764; Jesse D. Courtright, who was born May 5, 1811, and in August, 1831, was married to Sally Stout, by whom he had nine children.
The children of Jesse D. are: Mary Jane, who married Thomas Cole, and lives in Amanda township, Fairfield county; Sarah, who married Emanuel Westenhaver, and lives in Walnut township; Elizabeth, who married Ezra F. Beery, and lives in Bloom township, Fairfield county; John, who was born January 28, 1838, married Minerva L. Borbst, at Marcy, Fairfield county, August 16, 1866, by whom he has three children--Alva B., Sally F., and John D.; George S. Courtright, who married Miss M. Cornelia Stevens, and is a physician at Lithopolis; Samuel W., who married Jennie R. Martin, and practiced law in Circleville; in 1875, was elected judge of common pleas, which office he holds at the present time; Alva P., who married Annie Vattier, of Cincinnati, where he practiced medicine several years, after which he removed to Circleville, where he ranks among the highest of the physicians in Pickaway county; Edson B. Olds Courtright, who died in April, 1867; Amanda C., who died in infancy.
Jesse D. Courtright moved into Walnut township in 1833, two years after his marriage, and here his children were born. He was a man of strong convictions, and firm in his adherence to the principles of the party to which he belonged--the Democratic party. His abilities were so well appreciated by the public, that in 1853 he was elected to the State legislature, where he served two years. He was many times elected to fill township offices, serving as justice of the peace during a period of twenty-five years, and holding the office of township trustee nearly the same length of time. He was also land appraiser of his township.
In his religion he was a consistent member of the presbyterian church for thirty-two years, as was also his wife.
He was for many years a member of the Masonic fraternity, receiving all the degrees up to and including that of Knight Templar, and was, in every respect, faithful and true to his obligations as a Mason. Four of his sons followed in his footsteps, and became worthy members of the order. John D. is a member of Lithopolis lodge, No. 169, in which he has served as master for fourteen years. He is also a member of Circleville Chapter, No. 20; Tyrian Council, no. 60; and Lancaster Commandary, No. 2. He was also instrumental in the organization of Nebraska Grange, No. 64, organized June 16, 1863, and has continued its mast from that time until the present. He has served as township trustee some eight years.
Portraits of John Courtright and his wife, with a representation of their home in Walnut township, appear in this connection.