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McCollough, Martin Luther


Posted By: Janelle Martin - volunteer (email)
Date: 4/6/2011 at 22:45:34

History of Hamilton County, Iowa, Vol. II, 1912, J.W. Lee, pp. 196-198.

Martin L. McCollough has been identified with business interests in Webster City since he left his father's farm when twenty-eight years of age. He is today the best known auctioneer in the city and his influence is powerful in various lines of municipal expansion. He was born in Monroe county, Ohio, October 27, 1851, his parents being William and Isabelle (Arnold) McCollough, both natives of Ohio. The father followed the trade of shoemaking and later engaged in agriculture in that state and was a prominent citizen of Ohio until he removed to Iowa in 1866. In that year he settled in Marshall county where he farmed until his death which occurred on December 22, 1896, in the seventy-fifth year of his age. His wife survived him until the 20th of May, 1900, dying at the age of sixty-six years. Mr. and Mrs. William McCollough were devout adherents of the Presbyterian church and were the parents of seven children: George, who married Miss Anna Pyle, and who died in 1886; Martin Luther, the subject of this sketch ; James, who resides in Marshall county, Iowa, with his wife who in her maidenhood was Miss Lena Lucas ; Laura Belle, who became the wife of Thomas Eaton of Pocahontas county, Iowa; William A., who married Bertha Ritchie, and who resides in Webster City ; Oscar, who married Miss Elizabeth Ritchie, and whose home is in Pocahontas county; and Bertram B., who maintains his residence in Webster City.

Martin L. McCollough was reared at home and received his education in the public schools of Marshall county. His father was a prominent farmer in that region and Mr. McCollough spent his early boyhood and youth as an agriculturist. He remained upon his father's property, actively assisting in the labors of tilling the soil until 1879, when he moved into Webster City and began a career which has made his name prominent in many different commercial capacities. His first business connection was with Ira W. Packard with whom he was associated in the buying and shipping of grain for three years. In 1883 he spent a year at Woolstock buying grain for N. G. Omstead. He returned to Webster City the same year and entered the employ of Frank Brothers as a salesman in their clothing store. This association continued for five years and gained for Mr. McCollough a reputation for keen business insight and true discrimination of values. In September, 1888, he established himself in business in partnership with F. S. Currie under the firm style of Currie & McCollough. They dealt in clothing and men's furnishings, and in the eight years of their business connection established a flourishing and prosperous concern which gradually grew to be one of the largest clothing enterprises in Webster City. In 1896 the partners disposed of their interests in this line of activity and opened a real estate, loan and insurance business which they conducted under the name of Currie & McCollough until 1903. In this year the partnership was definitely dissolved and Mr. McCollough gave his entire attention to his auctioneering business which he had started as a side line twenty years before. Up to this time he had given it very little attention, but when his real-estate business was disbanded he gave all his energies to the reorganization and development of his auctioneering. He subsequently had a sale and feed barn which he at present operates. In 1908 he extended his activities to include a grain business in connection with the two other departments of his enterprise but discontinued this in 1911. Mr. McCollough is a man whose influence is powerful in almost every phase of municipal life in Webster City. He is a director of the First National Bank and has held this office since 1904. He holds a large amount of stock in the Queen Manufacturing Company and is also prominent in political circles. His citizenship is of the high order which is becoming representative of the middle west and his life and activities have been a dominating factor in the civic growth of Webster City.

On November 25, 1875, Mr. McCollough was united in marriage to Miss Frances Shewalter, who was born in Clinton county, Ohio, on October 30, 1846. She is a daughter of John Wesley and Martha J. (Baker) Shewalter, who came to Marshall county in 1858, where the father engaged in agricultural pursuits until his death in 1871. He was survived by his wife until 1891, in which year her death occurred. Both were members of the Episcopal church. They had six children: Roberta, who married James Evans, of Oakland, California; John, who resides in Chase county, Nebraska; Mary, who became the wife of A. H. Hall, and who resides in Marshall county, Iowa; Clayton, who also makes his home in Marshall county ; Edward, who passed away when he was twenty-four years of age ; and Frances, the wife of our subject. To Mr. and Mrs. Martin McCollough has been born one daughter, Almeda, whose birth occurred on the 28th of March, 1886, and who married on December 31, 1908, Harry Ambrose, of Webster City, by whom she has one son, Robert, born March 29, 1911.

Mr. and Mrs. McCollough reside at 819 Second street, Webster City, and are well known and popular in social circles. Mr. McCollough gives his political support to the republican party. He has been a prominent factor in local political affairs and gained the recognition of his fellow citizens for ability and efficiency during his service on the city council in 1888. From 1890 to 1896 he acted as supervisor of the county, and in this line of activity was distinguished by the same shrewdness and ability which have marked all the departments of his active career. He has not concentrated upon one line of activity but has engaged in various enterprises, in all of which he has been successful and all of which have been forceful factors in the advancement of Webster City commercially, financially and politically.


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