Biography of James M. McCellan
Kings County, CA Biographies





JAMES MELVIN McCLELLAN.
A gentleman who really merits the honorable title of Old Timer, and who through a long life has witnessed and taken an active part in the wonderful transformation which has taken place in this state in the last three quarters of a century, is James Melvin McClellan, justice of the peace in Hanford. He is a native of the Golden state, born in Santa Clara county, California, February 26, 1854, the son of and Evaline (Dickey) McClellan, the former a native of Tennessee and the latter of Virginia. The father also bore the distinction of having been a "Forty niner", having crossed the plains with an ox team, which required six months to make the trip, and arriving here in the eventful year of 1849. He settled in the Santa Clara valley, where he became a successful grain farmer. To this honored old pioneer couple were born the following children: Levina, Wallace, Anna, Theodore C., Joseph, James M., Frank and Grace. Of these Wallace, Anna and Joseph are deceased.

When a young man of twenty years James Melvin McClellan came to Tulare county and for a time worked for wages on ranches and in sawmills in the mountain lumber district. Later he rented land on the old Robbins ranch in Guernsey, which he devoted to the raising of hogs, sheep and cattle. Subsequently he located west of Delano, Kern county, and there also engaged in stock raising. About thirteen years ago he located on the Dewey ranch, on the Corcoran road about five miles south of Hanford, which his father in law had located in an early day. This place comprises one hundred and fifty seven acres of splendid land, which is devoted to dairying, hogs and alfalfa.

Judge McClellan has long been active in democratic political circles. In 1897, during the administration of Governor James Budd, he served one term as a member of the state legislature, and one term as chairman of the board of supervisors of Kings county. Later he was elected justice of the peace in Hanford and is now serving his second term in that position. The Judge's decisions have been characterized by a high sense of justice and his conduct of the office has reflected to his great credit and prestige. Having witnessed the evolution of this region from the primitive conditions of the pioneer days to the splendid development of the present, Judge McClellan's mind is a rich storehouse of historic events, and he is a very interesting talker on subjects pertaining to those early days. He is a genial and companionable gentleman and none in the community enjoys a greater meed of popular confidence and regard.

Judge McClellan was married to Miss Kate Dewey, who has passed away. She was born in Michigan, but came with her father to California in an early day. To Judge and Mrs. McClellan were born the following children: Ray B., who is engaged in farming in Kings county; Mrs. Mary Burr; Mrs. Lois Kern; Mrs. Eunice Chord; Mildred, who is a clerk in the Bank of Italy in Hanford; and Donald, who is in charge of the home ranch.

From:
History of Tulare County, California
By: Kathleen Edwards Small
and
Kings County, California
By: J. Larry Smith
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Chicago 1926


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