Biography of John W. McClain, Sr.
Marion County, IA Biographies





John Wesley McClain, Sr., who died on the 7th of February, 1906, was for over six decades a resident of Iowa and for forty six years made his home in Marion county, where he was widely known and greatly respected. He was born on the 19th of July, 1834, in Hendricks county, Indiana, a son of Phillip and Rachel ( Jenkins) McClain, who removed to Wapello county, Iowa, when their son John Wesley was but eight years of age. Some years later the family came to this county, locating in Knoxville township, west of the city of Knoxville. Phillip McClain owned a farm and resided thereon until his death, which occurred on the 6th of. July, 1873, when he was about seventy two years of age. His wife died in Wapello county, leaving ten children, all of whom are deceased.

John W. McClain grew to manhood in this state and here acquired his education. A great deal of his training for the duties of life was of a practical nature and gained by work in the fields, as he early began to assist in the cultivation of the homestead. When he reached manhood he decided to follow the occupation to which he had been reared as it was both profitable and congenial, and in time he purchased the home farm, five miles west of Knoxville. He lived there in all for forty six years. At one time he owned a quarter section and as he was efficient in the management of his interests and energetic in the cultivation of his land he received a good income from his farm.

On the 18th of March, 1855, Mr. McClain was united in marriage to Miss Lucinda Saha, a native of Jackson county, Ohio, born on the 6th of August, 1837. Her parents, John and Hannah (Richabaugh) Saha, died in the Buckeye state when comparatively young. The father was a native of Ireland and the mother of Virginia. She was a Methodist in her religious faith. The maternal grandfather of Mrs. McClain, Reuben Richabaugh, served in the Revolutionary army. Mrs. McClain came to Knoxville in 1853 with her brothers, Jackson and James Saha, both of whom died when about eighty years of age, while a younger brother, Franklin, who enlisted from Ohio and served under Sherman in the Civil war, died at Nashville, Tennessee, of typhoid fever and was buried there.

Mr. and Mrs. McClain became the parents of seven children, four sons and three daughters. Richard T., born on the 2d of October, 1856, resides at Carlisle, Iowa. He married Miss Mary Courtney, by whom he has had four children, two sons and a daughter who are still living, and a daughter, deceased. William J., born April 9, 1860, owns and operates a farm in Polk county, Iowa. He married Miss Fannie Chaffey and they have a daughter and two sons. Flora E., who was born on the 3d of December, 1862, is the widow of Edward Derrickson and resides at Swan, this county. She has four daughters and two sons. Lydia Ann, born July 29, 1868, is the wife of William Hyer, a farmer living in Minnesota, and they have five sons and two daughters. A sketch of John Wesley, Jr., the next in order of birth, appears elsewhere in this work. Charles P., born February 7, 1874, resides in Omaha, Nebraska, and is successfully engaged in the grain business. He married Miss Dora Murphy and they have one son. Mettie A., who was born December to, 1876, resides with her widowed mother at No. 803 Robinson street, Knoxville. Both are members of the Methodist Episcopal church.

Mr. McClain exercised his right of franchise in support of the democratic party and manifests a citizen's interest in public affairs. His boyhood was passed amid pioneer conditions in Iowa but at the time of his death the state had become one of the most prosperous of the Union and villages and cities existed where in the early days there was nothing but the prairie covered with wild grass. He was not only an interested witness of the many and swift changes which have wrought this transformation but did his share to bring it about, aiding in the agricultural development of his county and seeking always to advance those phases of civilization represented by the schools, church and state.

From:
History of Marion County, Iowa
And its People
John W. Wright, Supervising Editor
W. A. Young, Associate
Vol II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1915


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