MCCLURE, JOHN W. - Pawnee, Ill., has many citizens now living retired after long years spent in business activity, and one of the best known of these is John W. McClure, who for an extensive period was engaged in a mercantile business here. He is a native of White County, Ind., born November 20, 1837, a son of James and Nancy (Humes) McClure. His paternal grandfather was a native of Ohio who died in Indiana, and his grandfather on the maternal side came from Pennsylvania and also died in Indiana. James McClure was born in Scioto Bottoms, Ohio, July 24, 1805, and died February, 1887, in Pawnee, where he had come after the death of his wife, December 13, 1863, she having been born in 1816. They were the parents of nine children: John W., Elizabeth J., Isabelle, Sarah B., James, Drusilla, Eliza, David H. and George, the four last named being deceased.
John W. McClure worked in the harvest fields in order to secure the necessary money to obtain an education in the subscription schools of Delphi, Ind., and remained at home until twenty-four years of age, working on the farm and spending his spare time indulging in out-of-door sports, notably swimming, of which he has always been very fond. On August 22, 1862, he became a member of Company F, Ninety-ninth Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry, under Capt. George H. Gwin, enlisting at Brookston, Ind. He served throughout the war, being mustered out at Washington and receiving his final honorable discharge at Indianapolis, Ind. He rose to the rank of Sergeant, and belonged to the Fifteenth Army Corps, which saw some of the fiercest and bloodiest fighting engaged in by the Union Army. Always a faithful and hard-fighting soldier, Mr. McClure cheerfully accompanied his regiment in its many marches, encouraged his men in the skirmishes and vicious battles, and, all in all, made for himself a most creditable war record. His regiment marched 3,620 miles and was carried by railroads 716 miles, making the enormous total of 6.231 miles. He participated in the battles of Jackson, Vicksburg, Black River, Chattanooga, Rocky Face Ridge, Tunnel Hill, Mill Creek, Buzzard's Roost, Snake Creep Gap, Dalton, Resaca, Adairville, Rome, Cassville, Dallas, New Hope Church, Pumpkin Vine Creek, Kenesaw Mountain, Marietta, Big Shanty, Nickajack, Chattahoochee River, Peach Tree Creek, Ezra Chapel, Siege of Atlanta, Jonesboro, Fort McAllister and many other skirmishes. On the march from Kenesaw Mountain to Marietta Mr. McClure suffered a sun stroke and was left on the road for dead, but soon recovered and rejoined his regiment.
After the war Mr. McClure went to his parents' home in Lafayette, Ind., where he remained until 1870, working as a collector for a marble firm, but in that year went to Montgomery County, Ill., to operate a hay-press, and so continued until 1879. He then located in Pawnee and the next fourteen years of his life were spent in clerking, after which he engaged in a mercantile business of his own account and was thus occupied until his retirement from active life in 1895. Mr. McClure is a Republican in politics, and for six years was Postmaster of Pawnee, also serving as Justice of the Peace. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of American Camp No. 418 and A. J. Weber Post No. 421, Grand Army of the Republic. His religious connection is with the Methodist Church.
Mr. McClure was married July 26, 1871, at Hillsboro, Ill., to Mina P. Harper, who was born in Harpersfield, Ohio, October 4, 1846. Her father, Henry Harper, was born in Harpersfield, March 19, 1813, and her mother, who bore the maiden name of Candice P. Wright, was born in New York, July 19, 1813. They were married in Wisconsin, having formed an acquaintance on a boat while going to that State, and after marriage went back to Ohio, where they lived two years, then removed to Wisconsin. Twenty years later they came to Illinois, settling at Butler, Montgomery County, where Mrs. Harper died October 28, 1879, and Mr. Harper came to Pawnee, where his death occurred May 8, 1892. Mrs. McClure has a brother, Wright H. Harper, born in Wisconsin, May 26, 1848, who now lives in Pawnee, single.
Mr. and Mrs. McClure had seven children: Minnie B., born in Butler, Ill., October 16, 1872, married Harry Furry, a clerk of Lawton, Okla., and has three children, John K., Robert D., and Harry W.; Baja, born in Pawnee, Ill., November 5, 1874, married John J. Johnson, of Auburn, Ill., a farmer, and has two children, John A. and Walter R.; Walter T., born December 3, 1877, single and living near Douglas, Wyo.; James and Henry, twins, born June 11, 1881, the former of whom, now a resident of South Dakota, married Angeline Leightheiser and has two children, Otho and Beatrice T., while the latter married Nora L. Owens, has one child, Grace, and lives at Mill Springs, Mo.; and Roy and Ralph, twins, born December 19, 1886, the former living in Illinois, the latter having died in infancy.