Harry Henderson Koontz

Photo courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project
Photo courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project

(May 25, 1884 - June 12, 1959)

Johnny & Margaret Thon Files
June, 1959

Harry Koontz Dies In Lusk

Thon Book No. 1

Harry H. Koontz, 75, of Lusk died Friday at the Spencer Hospital. He had been almost an invalid for the past three years. Funeral services were held Monday at 2:00 p.m. from Peet Chapel with Rev. Theodore Foster officiating. Burial was in the Lusk Cemetery.

Mrs. J. P. Watson was organist. Active pallbearers were Melvin Nelson, Clifford Parmely, Herbert Sabin, William Nuttall, James Barrett and William Miller. Honorary pallbearers were C. W. Erwin, T. A. Godfrey, L. C. Stoddard, L. J. Bass, John Agnew and Marion Rasmussen.

Harry Henderson Koontz was born May 25, 1884 in Nevada, Mo., where he grew up with his parents and five brothers and one sister.

He attended prep school in Neosho, Mo., where he was a classmate of Will Rogers. He later attended Drew Seminary in New York and was graduated from Vanderbilt University with a degree in theology.

He served as minister in various churches in Iowa, California and Nebraska before coming to Lusk in 1925 as minister of the Congregational Community Church. He served as a chaplain in the U.S. Army during World War I.

He and Edna Willson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Willson, pioneers of Niobrara County, were married in 1927. He then retired from the ministry and engaged in ranching north of Manville. They moved to Lusk when poor health forced him to retire.

Throughout his life he did a great deal of traveling to all parts of the United States, Alaska and Hawaii. He was an avid sportsman and interested in the development of the golf course in Niobrara County. He taught school for two years in Manville High School during World War II when there was a shortage of teachers.

He is survived by his wife, Edna and a niece, Mrs. Ortha Latham.

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