A resident of Muscotah, Kansas, Mr. Cortelyou is there successfully engaged in dealing in grain, wood and coal. He is one of the later arrivals in the town, but since coming to Muscotah, in 1889, he has justly won a place among its leading business men. He was born December 23, 1851, in Somerset county, New Jersey, and is a son of James G. and Cornelia (Polhemus) Cortelyou. The family is of French Huguenot extraction, the original ancestor having fled from France to Holland during the persecution there by the Catholics. Subsequently Jaques Cortelyou came to America and a settlement was made on Long Island, and the old home is to-day an old landmark on the island. Jaques Cortelyou was the progenitor of the family in this country and the date of his settlement on Long Island was 1632. He was a prominent character. His son, Peter, was a governor of the borough in which is now located Brooklyn. James G. Cortelyou, the father of our subject, married Cornelia, daughter of C. Polhemus, a representative of an old Holland family, and they became the parents of three children: John G., Luther, of this review, and Peter J., of Corning, Nemaha county, Kansas.
The father died in Middlesex county, New Jersey. He as a supporter of the Democracy and both he and his wife were members of the German Reformed church.
Luther Cortelyou was educated in the public schools of his native state, in Rutger's College, New Brunswick, New Jersey, and in Eastman's Business College in Poughkeepsie, New York. He purchased an old southern plantation in Maryland, on which he resided for twelve years, selling that property on his removal to Kansas. He was married, in New Jersey, in 1876, to Miss Gertrude Stelle, of Middlesex county, New Jersey, a daughter of Peter and Sarah E. Stelle. Four children grace their union, all sons: Luther, Jr., who was graduated in the Atchison county high school and is now clerking in his father's office; Stelle is a student at the Atchison county high school; Peter J. and Frank M., the last two being at home.
Mr. Cortelyou exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the Democratic party and was its candidate for county treasurer in 1896. He is a member of the board of trustees for the Muscotah schools and has given active support to many measures for the public good. He was elected mayor of Muscotah in April, 1900. He was an organizer of the Kansas Grain Dealers' Association, organized in December, 1896, and has continuously been a member of its board of directors, and for the last two years has held the position of president of the association. Socially he is connected with the Masonic lodge and is past master of Muscotah Lodge, A. F. & A. M. In the affairs of life he has won creditable success by his well directed efforts. In manner he is modest and unassuming, but his genial disposition and estimable qualities have gained to him high regard.