Arthur Burke Koontz

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Chris & Kerry
December 4, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.
Chicago and New York, Volume II
pg.69 & 70

ARTHUR BURKE KOONTZ was born at Kessler’s Cross Lanes, Nicholas County, West
Virginia, January 29, 1885, son of John and Alice Groves Koontz. John Koontz
was of German extraction, having descended from the German settlement in
Pennsylvania. He was born, reared and spent his entire life as a farmer and
stock raiser in Nicholas County, West Virginia. For many years he was one of
the leaders in local democratic politics, and served one term as sheriff of his
county. He died at the age of seventy-six, July 4, 1911. Alice Groves Koontz,
who is seventy-six years old, is living at the old homestead.

Mr. Koontz’s grandfather, James Koontz, married Rebecca Longaneeker. They moved
from the German settlement of Pennsylvania to Virginia, and from there to that
part of Greenbrier County, West Virginia, which afterward was formed into
Nicholas County, West Virginia.

Mr. Koontz’s grandfather on his mother’s side was John Groves, who married
Catharine fluffy. John Groves was of Scotch descent, and Catharine fluffy, of
Irish descent, having been born in Ireland, a daughter of Hugh and Judith
McMahon fluffy, but came to America when she was sixteen years old.

Arthur Burke Koontz has been one of the able members of the Charleston bar for
more than ten years. His reputation as a lawyer has been spread widely over the
state, but he is perhaps best known in popular opinion throughout West Virginia
in general because of his candidacy in 1920 for governor of the state.

In the present generation the name Koontz is widely and favorably known in the
professions, in educational affairs, banking and politics. Arthur Burke Koontz
received his early instruction in the public schools of Nicholas County. He
attended the Summersville School, graduated from Marshall College at Huntington,
and subsequently entered Yale University Law School, where he was graduated with
an LL. B. degree in 1910. Mr. Koontz began to practice law at Charleston in
1911, and has appeared in connection with important litigation in practically
all the state courts. Aside from his law practice he is interested in a number
of business enterprises and is vice president of the Union Trust Company of
Charleston, which he was instrumental in organizing in 1918.

Nominated by the democratic party as candidate for governor in 1920, he made a
most creditable campaign and won a flattering vote in the general republican
landslide of that year. Mr. Koontz is a member of the Phi Alpha Delta law
fraternity, a thirty-second degree Mason and a Shriner. He married Miss Mary
Watson Sipe, of Fairmont. Her father, the late Conrad Albert Sipe, is well
remembered as former president of the Fairmont State Normal School. The two
children of Mr. and Mrs. Koontz are Mary Watson and Arthur Burke, Jr.

Associated with Mr. Koontz in his law practice is his younger brother, Patrick
Duffy Koontz, who was educated in Marshall College, in the University of
Michigan, and in Harvard University Law School. During the World war he saw
service in France, and attained the rank of captain.

Another brother, Luther Vaughan Koontz, lives at Clendenin, where he is
president of the First National Bank and extensively interested in the
enterprises of that town. He brought about the incorporation of Clendenin and
was its first mayor.

Another brother, Louis K. Koontz, lives in Goldfleld, Nevada, where he is
interested in mining, and the two living sisters, Mrs. W. T. Burdette and Mrs.
J. D. Peck, live on farms in Nicholas County.

An older brother, James William Koontz, who died in 1917, was a well known
physician in Western Kentucky, having practiced his profession in Muhlenberg and
surrounding counties for twenty years. Two older sisters, Rouena Catharine, who
married Dr. A. L. Morris, and Lola Gertrude, who married L. S. Tully, are now
deceased. Two other children, Cora Belle and Hubert, died in infancy.

Arthur Burke Koontz is therefore a member of a family of eleven, nine of whom
grew to maturity. He happens to be the only