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A History of Kentucky and Kentuckians. The Leaders and Representative Men in Commerce, Industry and Modern Activities. By E. Polk Johnson, Volume III, Illustrated. The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago-New York, 1912.
JOSEPH SHERRELL LEECH, M. D.. – Holding high prestige among his professional brethren in Barren county is Dr. Joseph Sherrell Leech. Acute in his perceptions, widely read in his profession, and skillful in applying his acquirements to practical use, his value as a physician and surgeon is of the highest character. However, his value to the community has by no means been limited to the profession. He has been identified with the commercial life of the place ina prominent manner, having been for twenty-five years a drug merchant, and for three consecutive terms he served as Mayor of Glasgow, giving a notably excellent administration of the affairs of the city and during his incumbency of the office doing much towards its progress and development. In this prosperous period a telephone system was established; the roads were improved and concrete sidewalks laid; an ordinance prohibiting live stock upon the streets was enacted, and a tree planting campaign brought about. In truth, the administration of Dr. Leech may be characterized as a progressive and highly moral regime.
Dr. Leech is a native of Glasgow, his birth have occurred here August 2, 1858. He is a son of John and Charlotte Ann (Sherrell) Leech. The two generations preceding the subject were native Kentuckians, his father being a native of Hart county and his grandfather, Joseph Leech, being likewise indigenous to the soil. The great-grandfather, John Leech, came from South Carolina and located near Munfordville, Hart county, this State. He was a prominent and widely known figure in his day. He was an unusually large man physically and enjoyed great repute as a hunter. The mother of Dr. Leech, a worthy and venerable lady, whose years number eighty-one, still survives and makes her home with her daughter, Mrs. Sallie J.l Myers.
Dr. Leech was reared in Glasgow and here received his earlier education. His determination to become a member of the medical profession came into existence as early as the age of seventeen years, for in studying physiology in the home schools, he became so deeply interested in the subject that he decided to delve into it as deeply as possible, and, believing he could do the most good to mankind in a life work in which he was truly interested, he adopted it as his own. He read medicine for two years and when nineteen years of age he entered the University of Louisville; was graduated when he was twenty-one years of age, and began practice in the town whose associations were dearest to him. Dr. Leech is interested in a high degree in medical society work, believing that through this the unification and advancement of the profession will come. He is president of the Barren County Medical Society and a member of the Kentucky State Medical Association and the American Medical Association.
Dr. Leech is loyal to the tenets of the Democratic party. He was first elected Mayor in 1893, and, as previously mentioned, twice succeeded himself. In addition to his connection with the drug business in this city for a long period of time he is financially interested in two other leading stores, and has other interests of large scope and importance. He is president of the New Glasgow Planing Mills, and as vice-resident of the Commercial Club has done much to inspire progressive business methods.
Dr. Leech was married November 6, 1884, to Miss Elizabeth Eugenia Huggins, daughter of W. E. Huggins, a native of Glasgow. The children born to them are three in number – Brice Reynolds, Jennie Rowlett and Annie Laurie. Mrs. Eugenia Leech died October 9, 1808.
Dr. Leech is identified with the best life of Glasgow, and he has been a deacon of the Christian church for twenty years. Since he first inaugurated his practice of medicine here he has been president of the Barren county Board of Health. His is a commanding presence and personality and, like his forbear, he is a powerful man physically.