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James A. McKinlay


Posted By: Roseanna Zehner (email)
Date: 11/7/2003 at 21:12:18

James A. McKinlay, whose pleasant farm home is on section 31, Midland Township, Lyon County, is known as the oldest settler of that township. He was born September 15, 1848, and was the third member of a family of nine children born to Henry and Barbara (Clark) McKinlay, both of whom are now dead. They were both natives of Fifeshire, Scotland, where also our subject opened his eyes to the light of day. In March, 1849, the family arrived in America, and in the following February settled upon a tract of land pre-empted by the father in Clayton County, Iowa, near the little town of Millville. Here the young McKinlay was reared to the rough life of a pioneer boy, and when he had grown old enough, farmed in Fayette County for five years. In the fall of 1883 he came to Lyon County, and bought the quarter section on which he paid about twelve dollars an acre. On March 23, 1884, his family arrived in the county, and made their settlement in what has proved a happy and prosperous home. A team of horses and a few household effects were all he brought to the home, and he threw himself into the work of making a profitable farm out of the wild prairie with characteristic energy. The affairs of the township afforded him much pleasure, and he occasionally dipped into county politics with satisfaction.

Mr. McKinlay is now a prohibitionist, though formerly he affiliated with the Republican Party. In religion he is associated with the Christian church, and his life in no way belies his profession. In 1876 occurred his marriage to Miss Mary Jeffries, daughter of Elias C. and Rebecca (Lynn) Jeffries. The father lives in Rock Rapids, but the mother died in 1859. To this union were born: Milo C., a graduate of the Rock Rapids high school; Verena J., a music teacher, from Drake University, Des Moines; Hugh E., deceased; Gertrude J.; and Philip W.

In 1885 it was only by the utmost exertion that the house was saved from a great prairie fire that swept up at the rate of a third of a mile a minute.

source: Compendium of History Reminiscence and Biography of Lyon County, Iowa. Published under the Auspices of the Pioneer Association of Lyon County. Geo. Monlun, Pres.; Hon. E. C. Roach Sec’y; and Col. F. M. Thompson, Historian. Geo. A. Ogle & CO., Published, Engravers and Book Manufacturers. Chicago, 1904-1905

submitted by Roseanna Zehner, Lyon co. coordinator

Lyon co. IAGenWeb

Clayton Biographies maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen


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