JAMES CALDWELL McKESSON. In the construction of the Mad River Railroad, the first railroad in Ohio, to which
considerable attention is paid in the chapter on railroads elsewhere in this work, one of the local men prominently
engaged was James Caldwell McKesson, then quite a young man. He had come to Ohio with his parents, Isaac and Elizabeth
(Caldwell) McKesson, in 1827 from Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, locating at Venice in what is now Erie County.
Later on Mr. McKesson engaged in farming quite extensively and took a special interest in the Agricultural Society
of Erie County and in the good of the community in general. Owing to his generosity and philanthropic principles
no one was ever turned from his door hungry or in need. He took a great interest in public affairs at the time
of the Civil war, giving his eldest son to the service. Although not a regular attendant at religious services
he was a very liberal donor to all church interests, especially at Sand Hill, where he spent the greater part of
his life, and where he aided very materially in the building of the Methodist Episcopal Church at that place His
brother, Mr. Isaac McKesson, donated the land for the church.
On the paternal side he came of Scotch lineage, his grandfather, John McKesson, being a Presbyterian minister who
finished the course in literature and theology at the University of Edinburgh and came to America in 1761, locating
in Pennsylvania. He was a typical Scotch Presbyterian and proved a power for good in the community in which he
resided during the early colonial period.
His son, Isaac McKesson, Sr., father of James C., was also educated for the ministry, but his natural tastes for
mechanics led him to abandon that calling and he later learned the trade of millwright and civil engineering, and
was naturally attracted to the favorable location for mills at Venice, Ohio. He moved to that place in 1827.
James C. McKesson was married December 3, 1840, in Bloomingville, Ohio, to Maryetta Proust. She came to that place
with her parents, Daniel and Sarah (Holt) Proust from Oneida County, New York, when but a small child. Four children
were born to this union: Andrew D., Sarah Elizabeth, Celina Ramsdell and Elmer Ellsworth. Mrs. McKesson's grandfathers
were officers in the American Revolution, and she always prized very highly several articles that had been bought
with Revolutionary money.
A Standard History of Erie County, Ohio
By: Hewson L. Peeke
Assisted by a Board of Advisory Editors
The Lewis Publishing Company
Chicago and New York 1916
Erie County, Ohio
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