Biography of George W. Curtis, Sr.
Posey County, Indiana Biographies

George William Curtis, Sr., former clerk of the Eleventh judicial circuit, popular citizen and breeder of pedigreed horses of National reputation, was born on the old Curtis farm in Black township, Posey county, Indiana, the son of William Boyd and Nancy Lucy (Harshman) Curtis. The family is of English descent, and was founded in the Virginia colony previous to the War of the Revolution, in which members of the family served with the Colonial troops. The first of the family to settle in Indiana was William Curtis, a native of Virginia, who came to Posey county previous to 1814, and located on land in what is now Black township. He was accompanied by a son, Thomas Cottrell Curtis, who also located in Black township, and reached the advanced age of ninety two years, and who resided on the same farm until his death. Both were farmers, acquired valuable properties, and were men of influence in the formative period of the county. William Curtis was the grandfather of the subject of this review. His son, William Boyd Curtis, was reared on the home farm, attended the schools of the period, and became one of the successful farmers of the county, and the owner of valuable lands. He was a Democrat, took an active part in the work of his party, and was one of the influential men of his time. He married Nancy Lucy Harshman, the daughter of George and Dorcas Harshman, residents of the township, and pioneer settlers in the county. George William Curtis. Sr., acquired his education in the district schools of Black township, and the academy in Mt. Vernon. Until 1862, he was employed on the home farm. From the year mentioned until 1867, he was a teacher in the schools, of Indiana and Illinois. In the last named year he rented from his father a tract of land and began farming. On April 7, 1869, he married Miss Ruth Greathouse, the daughter of Lorenzo D. Greathouse, born in Posey county in 1818, the son of David Greathouse, a native of Pennsylvania, and founder of the family in Indiana. From that year until 1900, with the exception of eight years, in which he occupied the office of clerk of the Posey County Circuit Court, he was engaged in farming and the breeding and racing of pedigreed horses. His initial purchase of breeding stock was from the famous Belle Meade farm of Tennessee in 1883. The most notable of the performers which were bred on his farm were, Egmont, the sensation of the season of 1887, entered for the season of 1888, in stakes totaling over $8o,ooo, and sold by him in the spring of the last named year for $10,500; Topmast, who won the greatest number of races of any horse in America during the season of 1889; Gold Band, Red Cap and Silver Set. His animals were raced on the tracks at Louisville, Chicago. St. Louis, Lexington, New Orleans, Covington, Memphis and elsewhere. Mr. Curtis became one of the prominent and popular breeders of the country and his stable was a profitable one. Previous to his engaging in the breeding of racing stock, he was an active and influential factor in the political life of his county. He has been a lifelong Democrat. He was elected clerk of the Posey County Circuit Court in 1874, and reelected in 1878. His administration of the affairs of this office was such as to procure the highest commendation. In 1900, he became a resident of the city of Mt. Vernon, where he has since resided. He was appointed deputy circuit clerk of the Eleventh judicial circuit in 1904, and is still serving in that capacity. Mr. and Mrs. Curtis are the parents of the following children, viz.: Stella, born January 26, 1870, the widow of Silas O. Thomas, a farmer of Black township; Olive Branch Curtis, born in 1874, and who died aged nine; George William Curtis, Jr., personal mention of whom follows this article, and Ben Wilkes Curtis. born October 6, 1880, an employee of the Cumberland Telephone Company at New Harmony, Ind.

History of Posey County, Indiana
John C. Leffel, Editor
Standard Publishing Company
Chicago 1913.

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