Bullitt County History

Franklin Pierce Straus

In 1892, Zachariah Frederick Smith wrote The History of Kentucky and had it privately published by the Courier-Journal Printing Company. It has been digitized on Google Books. The following excerpt about Frank Pierce Straus may be found on page 848.

Frank P. Straus

Frank Pierce Straus was born May 8, 1854, at Waterford, Spencer county, Kentucky. He is the son of Simon Straus, a German Jew, and his wife, Marana Collings, of Spencer county. He was educated first in the country schools, then two years at Wesleyan University, Millersburg, Kentucky, and graduated in the law school of the University of Louisville, in 1874, with the honors of his class. He began the practice of law immediately after, at Shepherdsville, Bullitt county. He served twice as County Attorney, School Commissioner three times, and was elected to represent Bullitt and Spencer counties in the Legislature during the session 1885-86. In 1890-91 he was a delegate from the same counties in the Constitutional Convention, and took an active and prominent part in the proceedings which gave to the State the recently adopted Constitution. He is at present a member of the law firm of Fairleigh & Straus, Louisville, and president of the banking firm of E. W. Hall & Co., Shepherdsville, Kentucky, at which place he yet holds his residence. In 1879 he was happily married to Miss Katie Crist, daughter of Dr. H. C. Crist, of Bullitt county. Two children, a boy and a girl, are the issues of this marriage. Mr. Straus is of medium stature and compact build, with blue eyes, dart hair and complexion, denoting a physique capable of great energy and endurance. This, with a strong and vigorous mind, incisive and alert, and an indomitable will, gives that power and force of character which rarely fails to make the man of successful life. In his personality are admirably blended two of the best types of manhood of any age - the American and the Jewish.

E. Polk Johnson, in his History of Kentucky and Kentuckians (Volume II, page 1046) wrote the following.

Frank P. Straus.

In the matter of definite accomplishment and high personal integrity Kentucky has every reason to be proud of her native sons who are lending their powers to the upholding of the high prestige enjoyed by the bar of this commonwealth, and among this number is to be classified Frank P. Straus, who is recognized as one of the representative members of the legal profession in the city of Louisville, where he controls a large and substantial practice of notable order.

Frank P. Straus was born at Waterford, Spencer county, Kentucky, on the 8th of May, 1854, and is a son of Simon and Marana (Collins) Straus, the former of whom was born in Germany and the latter in Kentucky. The lineage on the paternal side is traced back to staunch Jewish origin and the material ancestry is of English extraction. The father devoted the major part of his active career to merchandising, and was a resident of Spencer county, Kentucky, at the time of his death, which occurred in 1867; the mother was summoned to the life eternal in 1897, and of the children three sons and one daughter are now living.

To the public schools of his native county Frank P. Straus is indebted for his early educational discipline, and in preparation for the work of his chosen profession he was matriculated in the law department of the University of Louisville, in which he completed the prescribed course and was graduated as a member of the class of 1874, with the degree of Bachelor of Laws. His predilection for the science of jurisprudence, as well as his assiduity in study, is indicated in the fact that he was graduated with the highest honors of his class. He was forthwith admitted to the bar of his native state, and he initiated the practice of his profession by opening an office at Shepherdsville, Bullitt county, where his novitiate was of short duration, as he soon proved his powers as an able trial lawyer and well fortified counselor. He was twice elected prosecuting attorney of the county, and in 1885-6 he represented the district comprising Spencer and Bullitt counties in the state legislature. In 1890-91 he also represented these counties as delegate to the state constitutional convention. He proved a valued working member of the legislature, where he was active in the deliberations of the lower house and the committee room, and he was influential in public affairs in Spencer and Bullitt counties for the entire period of his residence in the latter, where he was a recognized leader in the ranks of the Democratic party.

Secure in well earned success in the work of his profession, in 1892 Mr. Straus removed to Louisville, in order to find a wider field for his efforts. Here he engaged in practice as a member of the firm of Fairleigh & Straus, in which his coadjutor from the beginning was David W. Fairleigh, of whom specific mention is made on other pages of this publication. In 1904, James F. Fairleigh, son of the senior member of the original firm, was admitted to partnership, and since that time the association has been continued under the title of Fairleigh, Straus & Fairleigh. This is recognized as one of the strongest law firms in the Kentucky metropolis, and its clientage is of very important order, showing marked popular appreciation of the technical ability and personal rectitude of the interested principals. Mr. Straus has been identified with many important litigated cases in both the state and federal courts and is known as one of the alert, resourceful and versatile advocates at the Louisville bar, as well as a counselor whose conservative strength is that begotten of through knowledge of the minutiae of the science of jurisprudence. As already intimated, Mr. Straus is an uncompromising advocate of the principles and policies for which the Democratic party stands sponsor, and he continues active in the promotion of its cause. However, in local politics he maintains an independent attitude. He is identified with various social and fraternal organizations and his religious faith is that of the Baptist church.

In the year 1879 was recorded the marriage of Mr. Straus to Miss Katherine Crist, daughter of Dr. H. C. Crist, a representative physician and surgeon of Bullitt county. Mrs. Straus was summoned to the life eternal on the 3d of January, 1910, and is survived by three children, namely: Harry, Ben Louie and Ruth.

Various Related Newspaper Clippings

The Courier-Journal, Tuesday, 1 Apr 1884

The Courier-Journal, Tuesday, 30 Jun 1885

The Courier-Journal, Saturday, 13 Sep 1902

The Courier-Journal, Sunday, 29 Mar 1903

The Courier-Journal, Thursday, 7 May 1903

The Courier-Journal, Tuesday, 4 Jan 1910

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The Bullitt County History Museum, a service of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, is located in the county courthouse at 300 South Buckman Street (Highway 61) in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. The museum, along with its research room, is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday. Admission is free. The museum, as part of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization and is classified as a 509(a)2 public charity. Contributions and bequests are deductible under section 2055, 2106, or 2522 of the Internal Revenue Code. Page last modified: 19 Feb 2016 . Page URL: bullittcountyhistory.org/bchistory/frank_straus.html