Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]
Mr. McCormick, the subject of this sketch, was the eldest in a family of eleven children. A Canadian by birth,
he was born Feb. 7, 1806. His father, Nathaniel McCormick, a native of Belfast, Ireland, emigrated to the hospitable
shores of America at an early day, and settled in the State of Pennsylvania. He subsequently removed to Canada,
where he married Miss Elinor Campbell, a lady of Scottish descent, as the name implies. When James was a small
boy his parents removed to the town of Porter, Niagara Co., in the State of New York, where he spent his early
life under the shadow of the paternal roof. After he came to manhood’s estate he divided his time for two years
between Ulster and Dutchess Counties, after which he went to Canada and was employed at carpenters’ work, building
locks on the Welland Canal. Returning to the scenes of his former home, he purchased a farm, and at the age of
twenty-six years chose for a wife Miss Maria Billings. She was born March 25, 1816, near Albany, N.Y., as were
also her parents. They subsequently removed to Monroe County, where is located the family burial-place. In 1833
Mr. McCormick disposed of his Eastern home, and, with his family, emigrated to the then far West, locating in Michigan,
where, after several changes of location, he settled upon the splendid farm he now occupies. It was then a dense
forest, unbroken by the woodman’s axe, and the tall hemlocks marked the spot where now stands his beautiful residence.
Mr. McCormick possessed, however, the requisite energy to carve a home out of the wilderness; this, combined with
his indomitable will, has worked the transformation.
He has given much attention to the raising of fine fruits, especially peaches, having, during the past year, shipped
(to Chicago) fourteen thousand baskets, produced from his own orchards, of this delicious fruit. This land is also
well adapted to the raising of the various grains, of which very bountiful harvests are reaped.
Mr. McCormick has few political aspirations; he formerly voted the Whig ticket, and is generally known as a Republican,
though not a partisan; his vote is a matter of right rather than that of party. He has held several minor township
offices, but is not ambitious for political preferment. Mr. and Mrs. McCormick have been cheered by the presence
of thirteen children, eight of whom are now living; these are married and settled near the paternal borne, with
the exception of the youngest son, who resides upon the old homestead. Though not a man of strong religious fervor,
Mr. McCormick is inclined to the belief of the Spiritualists.
History of Allegan and Berry Counties, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of Their Men and Pioneers.
D. W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia 1880
Press of J. B. Lippincoff & Co., Philadelphia.