Hon. Thomas W. Leahy. Not a few of those who have won distinction and success at the bar and on the bench of Oklahoma have been natives of the Badger state, and among them few are better or more favorably known than Thomas W. Leahy, county judge of Muskogee County, who has been an incumbent of that bench since his first election in 1910. During the past fifteen years he has been a resident of Muskogee, and in this time has been almost constantly before the public in a favorable light, either as public official or private practitioner. His record in either capacity is one which will bear the closest scrutiny, and his services have been of a nature to commend him to his fellow-citizens.
Judge Thomas W. Leahy was born at Mineral Point. Wisconsin, May 16, 1875, a son of Patrick E. and Rosa A. (Smith) Leahy. His father was born in New Hampshire, a son of Thomas and Mary (Kendrick) Leahy, who were born, reared and married in Ireland, from which country they came to the United States about the year 1840 and finally settled at Darlington, Wisconsin, where the remaining years of their lives were passed, the father losing his life rather early in a railroad accident. There were eight children in the family.
Patrick E. Leahy was a young man when he went with his parents to Wisconsin, and there entered upon his career as a railroad conductor, having a passenger run on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad for more than forty years. He is now deceased. During his railroad service he resided in Wisconsin, Iowa and Missouri, and in those states Judge Leahy was reared. The widow of Patrick E. Leahy survives him and now resides in Chicago, Illinois. She is a daughter of Thomas Smith, who was born and married in Ireland, and who as a young married man brought his wife to the United States and settled at Mineral Point, Wisconsin, where they made their home during the remainder of their lives. Thomas Smith was a soldier during the Mexican war, and in a successful effort to save the life of General Scott, he himself received a serious wound from which he sustained permanent injury, this disqualifying him from active service in the business world, as well as from service during the Civil war, in which four of his sons were Union soldiers. He was eighty-five years of age when he died, while his wife passed away when she as eighty-three, and as the paternal grandmother of Judge Leahy was eighty-one years old at the time of her demise, it will be seen that he comes of a long-lived family.
As already observed, Judge Leahy was reared in Wisconsin. Iowa and Missouri, and having laid his educational foundation in the public schools of these states, in 1895 graduated from the Marion (Iowa) High School. From the law department of the Wisconsin University he was graduated in 1901, and at the same time was admitted to the bar in Wisconsin. Immediately thereafter, he came to Muskogee, then a city of about 3,000 people, and for the first five years was assistant chief law clerk in the Department of the
Interior for the Federal Government at Muskogee. For three years thereafter, Judge Leahy was engaged in the general practice of law, and in 1910 was elected as the democratic candidate to the office of county judge of Muskogee County. His record during that term was so unimpeachable from every standpoint of professional conduct and absolute justice, his decisions and general dispatch of business were so prompt and yet courteous, that he was re-elected in 1912 and again in 1914. Capable, diligent and absolutely fair, he has retained in full measure the popularity which was his during the beginning of his judicial career, and has steadily added to his wide circle of friends, as well as to his reputation. Although he votes with the democratic party, it has never been intimated that his judicial proceedings have been in any way affected by his party preferences. Judge Leahy was reared a Catholic and has continued to remain a member of that faith. He is widely known in fraternal circles, and holds membership in the Knights of Columbus, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Modern Woodmen of America, the Woodmen of the World and the Ancient Order of United Workmen, as well as the Phi Delta Theta college fraternity, the Phi Delta Phi law fraternity, and the University Club of Muskogee.
In 1911 Judge Leahy was united in marriage with Miss Martha Fears, of Muskogee.