Miami County, Ohio Genealogical Researchers -- Sponsored by the Computerized Heritage Association

    J. A. KERR

    J. A. KERR, who is a leading member of the Miami County bar, senior member of the law firm, of Kerr & Kerr, is one of the representative citizens of Tippecanoe City. He was born at Chambersburg, Montgomery County, Ohio, July 7, 1853, son of Jonathan T. and Matilda (Westlake) Kerr.

    The Kerr family originated in Ireland, and the great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch was George Kerr, who was born in County Kerry, near the famous Lakes of Killarney. Prior to crossing the Atlantic Ocean he married Martha Newel and they reached the American colonies just before the Revolutionary War. He joined the patriot army, and after peace was declared moved to the Western Reserve, becoming one of the earliest settlers at Marietta. From there, in 1814 he moved to Lebanon, Ohio. Those were still dangerous times on the border for pioneers, and Mr. Kerr had to witness the cruel massacre of his aged father, who bad accompanied him from Ireland.

    Jonathan T. Kerr, father of J. A., was a son of James and a grandson of George Kerr. He was born in Miami County, Ohio, March 11, 1828, and in 1851 be married Matilda Westlake, who was a daughter of Colonel Westlake, one of the early settlers in this section. J. A. Kerr was the second born in their family of five sons and one daughter.

    Mr. Kerr's boyhood was passed on the home farm and he grew up with all the advantages accruing from plenty of physical exercise and strict parental discipline. When he was about sixteen years of age he entered the National Normal School. at Lebanon, Ohio, where he passed one winter during this period learning the science of surveying and the art of stenography, which he put to practical use later on.

    He first began the study of law in 1872 and in 1875 he was admitted to practice in the State of Ohio, and later to the United States courts. In that year also he established his residence at Tippecanoe City, were he has since remained. The other member of the firm of Kerr & Kerr is his son Floyd who was graduated from the United States University in 1904. Since its organization the firm has gained well deserved recognition, having successfully handled some important litigation. Mr. Kerr's achievements along professional lines are the more creditable as they are the result of hard work and perseverance. Although since early manhood he has been in close sympathy with the purposes and leading principles of the Democratic party, he has taken an active part in politics but his never sought office.

    In 1874 Mr. Kerr was married to Elizabeth Jane Coats, a daughter of Lemuel and Rosa (Pearson) Coats, of an old pioneer family. In 1881 and 1882 he was owner of the Troy Democrat, a daily paper of Miami County, and later was interested in the same and acted as editor for two years, with George Long, M. K. Gantz and C. M. Davis. He was also manager of the Piqua Daily Dispatch, and Weekly Journal, and at one time owned and edited the Troy Chronicle and Daily, at Troy, Ohio.

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