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James McAfee

JAMES MCAFEE, one of the early settlers of Washington township, Mercer county, and a prominent man at the present day, was born in Richhill township, Muskingum county, Ohio, March 11, 1827. His education was obtained in the subscription schools, the only kind there was in the county at that early day. He is a son of John T. and Elizabeth (Magee) McAfee, the former of whom was born in Ireland, the latter in Pennsylvania. John T. came to America in early life and settled in Ohio, where he was married, remained in Ohio all his life, and died near Chandlersville, in Muskingum county. His wife afterward went to live with a son in Kansas, and died in that state. Both were members of the United Presbyterian church, and were the parents of ten children, viz: James, the subject of this sketch; John, a prominent farmer of Washington township; Robert and William, farmers of Kansas; Thomas, who died while in the service of his country in the war of the rebellion; Francis, a farmer of Kansas; Elizabeth, who married Samuel Edgar, of Kansas, and three that died in infancy.

James McAfee remained at home with his parents until he was of age, this being about the time of his father's death. He then took care of his mother and carried on the farm until he was twenty-three years of age, when he married, this being in 1849. Then he rented a farm and was engaged in farming on his own account six years, when, having saved up some money, he removed to Mercer county and bought the 160-acre tract of land on which he yet lives. It was covered over with heavy timber at the time of his purchase, but he soon began clearing it away, improving the cleared portions as rapidly as possible, and soon had a good farm. He now has 100 acres cleared, underdrained, and in a high state of cultivation. He has a commodious two-story frame house, a large barn and all other buildings necessary to the complete equipment of a modern farm conducted on modern principles. In his early farm life he was accustomed to deal somewhat in cattle, and ever since he began farming he has raised sufficient stock to keep up his farm. A few years since he bought a residence at Fort Recovery, thinking that sooner or later he would retire thereto from the farm, which, however, he has not yet done.

Mr. McAfee married Miss Eliza J. Clapper, who was born in Muskingum county April 11, 1829. She is a daughter of Jacob and Ermina Clapper, of Pennsylvania--he of German ancestry, she of Irish parentage. They settled near Chandlersville, and spent their lives in that vicinity, he dying in 1879, at the ripe age of ninety-one, she in January, 1867, aged seventy-one. They were the parents of the following children, one of whom died young, the others being: Alford, who now resides at Wooster, Ohio; William, who died at Bellefontaine, Ohio; John, who died in Wisconsin; James, who died in Indiana; Eliza J., who married the subject of this sketch; Melissa, who resides in Kansas, the widow of Jabez Hunt; Amanda, wife of John Gay, who resides near Chandlersville, and Almon, who lives near the old home.

James McAfee and his wife, Eliza J., are the parents of ten children, two of whom died young. The other eight are as follows: John, a prominent insurance man of Toledo, Ohio; Fulton, who met an accidental death when thirteen years of age; Alice, wife of Cornelius Isenhart; Albert, a hardware merchant of Cold Water, Ohio; Carrie Delroe, wife of J. N. Patton, a prominent farmer of Washington township; Elma, deceased wife of Samuel Young, and who, dying, left one child; Nettie, yet at home; and Jennie, who died when thirteen years old. Both parents and all their children are, or were, members of the United Presbyterian church. He was a republican from the beginning, and is at the present day. His first presidential vote was cast for Abraham Lincoln, and his last for Benjamin Harrison, in 1892. He has confined his efforts and his labors to his own private affairs, never aspiring to official position of any kind. He and his wife, having performed their life work to a great extent, are now enjoying the evening of their days in the society of their children and surrounded by many kind and admiring friends.

Pages 416-417

Source: A Portrait and Biographical Record of Mercer and Van Wert Counties Ohio, Chicago, A. W. Bowen & Company, 1896

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