Biography of C. H. Fortner, M. D.

C. H. Fortner, M. D., has long enjoyed a well-earned reputation and position in the medical profession at Coffeyville. He entered practice with a thorough and comprehensive training and his fine talent soon attracted to him a patronage that has grown steadily in volume and importance, while his participation in progressive movements has made him one of the community’s most valuable and valued citizens.

Doctor Fortner represents an old Indiana family. His ancestry goes back through several generations to some Fortners who came from Germany, and the family has lived in this country since colonial times. His grandfather, Aaron Fortner, was born in Indiana in 1831. His people located in Howard County of that state at an early date and he grew up there, followed the trade of wagon maker, and was also a farmer. Politically he was first a whig and later a republican. Aaron Fortner died in Howard County, Indiana, in 1911. His children were: E. L. Fortner, faher of Doctor Fortner; Emma, who lives in Howard County, Indiana, widow of James Roby, who was a farmer; Mattie, who died in Howard County, and her husband, William Myers, a farmer, is also deceased; Dora, lives in Los Angeles, California, the wife of Albert McReynolds; William R. is a mechanic living at Indianapolis; Lillie Washington lives at Alto, Indiana; Grant is also a resident of Indiana.

It was at Kokomo in Howard County, Indiana, that Doctor Fortner was born July 16, 1872. His father, E. L. Fortner, who now resides in Victoria, Texas, was born in Howard County, Indiana, in 1850, and was reared and married there. He grew up as a farmer, and subsequently became an active minister of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. In that capacity he came to Kansas in 1886, locating at Sterling in Rice County. As a minister his services took him from place to place over the state, and in 1898 the Foreign Missionary Board sent him to South America, where he spent two years in evangelical labors. Returning to Kansas he continued active in the ministry in that state and in Missouri, but finally resumed farming in Montgomery County for about two years, and in 1911, largely on account of his wife’s health, went to Texas and is now farming and stock raising near Victoria. Rev. Mr. Fortner is a republican. He married Nannie B. Edwards, who was born in Howard County, Indiana, in 1851. Their children are: Doctor Fortner; Otho, who is now living at Cape Town, South Africa, representing American manufacturers in their efforts to establish a market for their goods in South Africa; Bose is the wife of W. E. Dixon, a furniture dealer at Wichita, Kansas; Roy L. is a farmer and stock raiser at Victoria, Texas.

Doctor Fortner spent the first fourteen years of his life in Indiana, attending the public schools in the meanwhile, and after his parents moved to Kansas he was in the high school at Sterling. He gained a sturdy constitution during the twenty years he spent on his father’s farm and when the family moved to Kansas City he entered the Medico-Chirurgical School, an institution subsequently merged with the Kansas University. He attended medical college three years, graduating M. D. March 31, 1899. For the first two years Doctor Fortner practiced out in Western Kansas in Norton County, following which he was in practice at Kansas City, Missouri, two years. He then took post-graduate studies for a year in the University Medical College, during 1904, and at the end of his term moved to Coffeyville, where his ability soon won him rank as a skillful physician and surgeon. He now carries on a general practice with offices at 127½ West Ninth Street and home at 605 Elm Street. He is an active member of the County and State Medical Societies and the American Medical Association.

Doctor Fortner has been very successful as a business man and now owns and controls a large amount of property, principally farm lands. He owns a farm of 240 acres three miles northeast of Coffeyville, another place of 150 acres in Seward County, a farm of 100 acres in Nowata County, Oklahoma, and a farm of 260 acres in Victoria County, Texas. His holdings also include residence property at 215 West Seventh Street in Coffeyville, and two houses at the corner of First and Maple streets.

Though reared a republican, Doctor Fortner has always voted the democratic ticket. For a time he served as city physician at Coffeyville. In Masonry he is a member of Amsterdam Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Fort Scott Consistory No. 4 of the thirty-second degree Scottish Rite, and Abdallah Temple of the Mystlc Shrine at Leavenworth. He also belongs to Coffeyville Lodge No. 775, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and to the Commercial Club of that city.

In 1902 at Amsterdam, Missouri, Doctor Fortner married Miss Jessie Wintermute, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Wintermute, who live at Grand View, Missouri. Her father is a general merchant.


Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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