Biography of Gen. John R. McQuigg
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

BRIGADIER GENERAL JOHN R. McQUIGG is not only a representative member of the bar of the City of Cleveland but has also honored his native State of Ohio through his distinguished military service, especially as an officer of engineers in active service overseas in the World War. He now holds the rank of brigadier general in the Ohio National Guard.

General McQuigg was born on a farm at Dalton, near Wooster, Wayne County, Ohio, on the 5th of December, 1865, and is a son of the late Samuel and Jane (McKinney) McQuigg. Samuel McQuigg was born in Ireland and was six years old at the time of the family immigration to the United States. His active career was one of close and successful identification with the farming industry in Wayne County, Ohio. At the time of his death, in 1903, he owned one of the best farms in that agricultural region.

The invigorating influences of the home farm environed the childhood and early youth of young McQuigg. He attended the district school during the winter months and helped with the work of the farm during the summer seasons. Finally he profited by the advantages of the high school at Wooster, and thereafter completed the regular four years' course at Wooster University, from which he graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in the class of 1888.

He passed a part of that year and also of the following year as a student in the law department of Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, and then entered the National Law School in the City of Washington, District of Columbia. where he completed the work of the senior year, besides doing post graduate work, and stood third in his class at the time of his graduation in 1890. Immediately thereafter he returned to Ohio, and on the 5th of June, 1890, was admitted to the bar of his native state. On the 3rd of February, 1903, he was admitted to practice in the United States Circuit Court for the Northern district of Ohio, and later he gained similar recognition in the United States Circuit Court of Appeals. On the 4th of October, 1890, Mr. McQuigg formed a partnership with George B. Riley for the general practice of law and this association has continued to the present time; the firm of Riley & McQuigg having built up a large, important and representative law business and having from the beginning maintained its offices in the City of Cleveland.

On February 16, 1892, Mr. McQuigg was married to Miss Gertrude W. Imgard, daughter of August Imgard of Wooster, Ohio. They have two children, Pauline and Donald C.

While still active in the work of his profession, General McQuigg gives the major part of his time to directing the affairs of the Windermere Savings and Loan Company, which he organized in 1914 and of which he is now president. He has other important business and financial interests in his home city.

General McQuigg is a salwart republican and has been active and influential in political and general civic affairs. In 1907 he was elected mayor of East Cleveland, and in this municipal office he served three consecutive terms, retiring December 31, 1913.

Though prominent and successful in his profession and in connection with business affairs, it is as a soldier that General McQuigg has won his greatest distinction and incidentally brought honor to his city and native state. In 1890, the year of his admission to the bar, he became a member of the Ohio National Guard and was commissioned a first lieutenant in the Fifth Ohio Infantry. in 1892 he became a member of the Cleveland Grays and in this command he served seven years as private, corporal, sergeant and first sergeant. At the outbreak of the Spanish-American war, in 1898, he assisted in organizing the Ohio Battalion of Engineers. This command was mustered into the nation's service as part of the Tenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. The future general was commissioned captain and as such served from July 7, 1898, until March 23d of the following year, when he was mustered out with his regiment. After the close of the Spanish war, McQuigg reorganized the Battalion of Engineers of the Ohio National Guard and for fourteen years, with the rank of major, served as commander of that splendid battalion. In 1912 he was promoted to lieutenant colonel.

During the winter of 1916-17 Colonel McQuigg served on the Mexican border as lieutenant colonel of a provisional regiment of engineers, and when the nation became actively involved in the World War in April, 1917. Colonel McQuigg promptly turned over his law business to his partner and recruited his engineer battalion to a regiment of engineers subsequently known as the One Hundred and Twelfth Engineers, of which he was commissioned colonel. The command was mobilized at Camp Sheridan, Alabama, as the One Hundred and Twelfth United States Engineers, Thirty seventh Division. On the 23rd of June, 1918, the regiment sailed from Newport News, Virginia, for overseas service. It arrived at Brest, France, on the 5th of the following month. With his command Colonel McQuigg was at Bourmont, Haute-Marne on the 10th of that month. July 24th to September 18th he was with his regiment in the Baccarat Sector. On the night of September 25th the regiment was in position south of Avocourt and on the morning of September 26, 1918, participated in the general advance that marked the beginning of the great Meuse-Argonne Offensive. From the Argonne, Colonel McQuigg was sent to the hospital. After his recovery he rejoined his command which was then in Belgium. The Colonel made a record of loyal and efficient service with the American Expeditionary Forces, remained in France until after the close of the war and received his honorable discharge at Washington, District of Columbia, January 17, 1919.

On the 28th of April, 1920, Colonel McQuigg was recommissioned Colonel of Engineers in the Ohio National Guard and on the 10th of May, 1921, was promoted to brigadier general in the National Guard and assigned to command the Seventy third Infantry Brigade. In this office he still continues his service. In 1919-20 General McQuigg served as commander of the Ohio Commandery of the Military Order of Foreign Wars of the United States and in 1920-21 he was department commander of the American Legion of Ohio. For the past six years he has been successively chosen as a delegate to the national conventions of the American Legion. For the past four years he has been the Ohio member of the National Executive Committee of the Legion and is also a member of the National Finance Committee and the National Legislative Committee of the same organization.

In addition to his affiliation with these military and patriotic organizations, General McQuigg holds membership also in the Spanish-American War Veterans. In the Masonic fraternity his basic affiliation is with Tyrian Lodge, No. 370, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and in the Scottish Rite his affiliation is with Scioto Consistory. He and his family are members of the First United Presbyterian Church of Cleveland. For the past thirty years General McQuigg has been a member of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

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