J. S. McCHESNEY.
It is doubtful whether any citizen of Wapello stands higher in the respect of the people than J. S. McChesney.
For thirty years he has been identified with the coal business in this city and he ranks as one of its most reliable
and successful business men. He was born in Mercer county, Illinois, May II, 1856, a son of J. T. S. and Rebecca
(Clark) McChesney, the former of whom was born in Pennslyvania and the latter in Ireland. The father learned the
cooper's trade but changed his vocation after arriving in Illinois and engaged for several years in farming in
that state. In 186o he came with his family to Louisa county, Iowa, and purchased a farm of one thousand acres,
upon which he established his homestead. He died December 12, 1869, but the mother lived almost forty years longer,
being called away in January, 1908. There were five children in their family, namely: John T., who now makes his
home in Wapello; Nathan C., who resides in the state of Washington; Ruth, who is the wife of David Stephens, of
Louisa county; Margaret J., who married Dr. W. W. Nye, of Hiawatha, Kansas; and J. S.
Mr. McChesney of this review attended the district schools and as he grew to manhood assisted in work upon the
home farm, thus becoming thoroughly familiar with the details of agriculture and stock raising. At the age of twenty
one he began farming upon one hundred and forty acres which he owned, but four years later he sold his place and
engaged in the grocery business in Wayne county, Iowa. After another period of four years he purchased one hundred
and eighty acres of land in Louisa county, but later disposed of it and settled at Wapello, engaging in the coal
business with which he has since been identidied. He has for years been known as the principal coal dealer of the
state. He keeps in close touch with the markets and as he knows where to purchase and understands the needs of
his patrons he rarely fails to give satisfaction.
On the 15th of October, 1877, Mr. McChesney was married to Miss Emily Mallory, a daughter of Willard and Jane (Hook)
Mallory. There were eight children in the family of Mr. and Mrs. Mallory, of whom the following are now living,
namely: John B., who makes his home at Los Angeles, California; Mary, who became the wife of Edwin Joy, of San
Francisco; Edward, of Lakeside, California; Charles, also of San Francisco; Frank G., of Los Angeles; Emily, who
is now Mrs. J. S. McChesney; and William, also of Los Angeles. Two children came to bless the union of Mr, and
Mrs. McChesney: Mary, who married J. B. Cecil, of Wapello; and Gladys, who is living at home.
Mr. McChesney has been a supporter of the democratic party ever since he cast his first ballot and has taken an
active part in local politics. He served as mayor of Wapello for four years, his last term expiring in the fall
of 1910. In religious faith he adheres to the Presbyterian church. He has been prominent in fraternal circles for
a number of years and is a valued member of the Masonic order, the Odd Fellows, the Woodmen and the Rebekahs. As
a public officer he discharged his duties fairly and impartially and as a private citizen he has ever attempted
to merit the good will of his associates and the entire community.
History of Louisa County, Iowa
From Its Earliest Settlement to 1912
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Decatur County, IA
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