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The IAGenWeb Project

History of Benton County, Iowa
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, 1910; Luther B. Hill, Ed.

Pages 470-473

PROFESSOR THOMAS F. McCUNE, whose death at his home in Vinton, November 6, 1907, removed one of the most honored and useful citizens of the county, was for nearly thirty years identified, as teacher and superintendent, with the College for the Blind at Vinton. He gave the best of his life's efforts to that institution, and his career, though passed quietly and without vain glory, was as fruitful and as deserving of permanent honor as those spent in the more conspicuous affairs of the world. He had entered the college in 1877 as a teacher, while the Rev. Robert E. Carrothers was superintendent, and six years later was advanced to the position of principal and superintendent, which he held until his retirement on July 1, 1906.

The late Professor McCune was born in Jefferson county, Ohio, October 1, 1850. He was the oldest of the ten children of Joseph and Mary J. (Medill) McCune, and after his father's death assumed a large share of responsibility in the care of the family. He received his higher education in Washington and Jefferson College, at Washington, Pennsylvania, where he was graduated in June, 1876. He opened an academy at Frankfort Springs and conducted it until accepting a place in the faculty at the Vinton institution, to which he was strongly recommended by President Hays of Washington and Jefferson College.

Professor McCune was a Republican though he had been reared to Democratic doctrines. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity, and he and his wife were members of the Presbyterian church. He married, March 28, 1883, Miss Etta Walker Wilson. She was born in Washington, Pennsylvania, but at the time of her marriage her home was at Le Loup, Kansas. She was a daughter of Dr. John R. and Charlotte (Walker) Wilson, the father a native of Washington county, and the mother of Berlin, Pennsylvania. Dr. Wilson was one of the prominent old physicians of Washington. Mr. and Mrs. McCune had two children: The daughter, Jessie Wilson, married A. B. Opfer. John Joseph, the son, was educated at Vinton and in a business college at Cedar Rapids, became connected with the Carmody Iron works at the latter place, later was with a similar line of industry at Pittsburg, and is now an employe in the war department at Washington, D. C., having entered the civil service by examination. Mrs. McCune still lives in Vinton, her residence being on East Jefferson street.

Picture of Thomas McCune

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