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Posted By: Volunteer (email)
Date: 7/19/2008 at 10:01:07

Joseph W. McPherson was born in Warren county, Ohio, on the 30th of May, 1815, and is the son of George D. McPherson and Charity H. Locke, daughter of Captain John Locke, of Roanoke, Virginia, who served through the revolutionary war as captain. Mr. McPherson resided in Warren county a few months, when he removed with his parents to Cincinnati, where they remained until the spring of 1816, when they removed to Lawrence county, Indiana, where they remained nine years. In 1825 they removed to Wayne county, Indiana. He roamed about through Eastern Indiana, and Western Ohio, teaching school and working at the carpenter trade, until 1853, when he went into the mercantile business in the town of Economy, Wayne county, Indiana, where he remained until the fall of 1856, when he went to Keokuk county, Iowa. He remained there until the spring of 1857, when he came to Guthrie county and settled on section 35, township 78, range 30, in Penn township. The Macksville post-office was established at his house, between Greenfield and Redfield, while he carried the mail between these points. The post-office was subsequently removed to Stuart and the name of the office changed from Macksville to Stuart. In the fall of 1869 he sold his farm and bought another in section 33, to which he removed in the spring of 1870, where he followed farming and stock-raising. In early life he joined the M. E. church and commenced reading for the ministry; was licensed to exhort in 1846, and sustained that relation until about 1860, when he was licensed to preach, and held religious meetings at many school-houses in Guthrie and Adair counties. In 1873 he was ordained and appointed to Richland mission, which comprised a part of Guthrie, Carroll and Greene counties. He founded two small methodist societies, one in Highland township at center school-house, and one at Moffitt's Grove. He established four others--one in Richland township, at Savis school-house, one in Dodge township, at a school-house, one at Tuttle's Grove, and one at Leeta school-house, all in Guthrie county.

He held protracted meetings through the winter with good success. The membership increased over fifty percent during the year. The next year he was appointed agent for the American Bible society, and traveled through Adair county, distributing bibles and preaching on Sundays, taking up collections and receiving donations to the American Bible Society and subsequently traveled the Greenfield and Redfield ciecuits. Commenced in 1869 preaching in Stuart as soon as a place could be found in which to hold divine service. He preached the first sermon that was ever preached in Stuart, and that in the old depot, and subsequently held divine service in the barroom of the hotel known as the Dunham house, which was subsequently used by Pearson and Rodakes as a carriage manufactory. And while used as such, it was burned down. He held the first class meeting that was ever held in Stuart, in the upper chamber of a house on Division Street, opposite the M. E. Church, now occupied by Mr. Smull. In the fall, of 1869, Rev Winning, P. C., of the Greenfield circuit, formed a class of six members: Rev. J. W. McPherson and wife, George W. Clark (C. L.) and wife, and John Birchard and wife. Mr. McPherson took great interest in politics, and was elected justice of the peace in April, 1859, and was re-elected to said office seven successive terms. Thereafter he was also a member of the board of county supervisors, and also held other township offices, and was at the same time a member of the board of county supervisors, justice of the peace and township clerk. He was placed in nomination by the republican party for the office of county clerk in 1862, without his knowledge or consent. The ticket was sent to the army to get the soldier vote, with his name printed thereon for the office of county surveyor by mistake. At the suggestion of his friends he announced, through the county paper, that he declined the nomination (seeing he would lose the soldier vote and be likely to cause defeat), and was a tie at two succeeding county conventions for the same office, to wit--in the years 1864 and 1868. Since his work in the ministry he has not taken much interest in politics. He was married on the 24th of December, 1834, to Miss Sarah Lenington, daughter of Abraham Lenington, formerly of Pennsylvania. Some of Mrs. McPherson's ancesters came over in the Mayflower in 1620. They have ten living children, whose names are as follows: George B., Abraham L., John B., Augustus W., Mary Jane (married to W. C. Wollen), James M., Rufus K., Emma C. (married to Edward L. Pugh), Exa S. (married to George Burgan), and Myrta E. (married to J. Fowler). All married and gone by themselves, the two old people living alone, except when some of their children visit them. They have thirty living grandchildren.
The old people enjoy good health for persons of their age.

From “A History of Guthrie and Adair Counties” Published in 1884 ; Springfield IL.; Continental History Co. - Penn Township Transcribed by Bobbi Pohl

Submitted by: Jeff Zoellner


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