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McClary, William F. 1842-1902


Posted By: Pat Ryan White (email)
Date: 7/1/2011 at 08:18:49

William F. McClary, deceased, who was interested in various industrial and commercial pursuits in Mount Pleasant for many years and thus an active factor in the substantial progress and development of the city, was born at Canterbury, New Hampshire, June 25, 1842. There he spent his boyhood and youth, while the public schools afforded him his educational privileges. Before leaving the east he was married March 27, 1862, to Miss Celestia A. Dicy, a native of Northfield.

William F. McClary was a son of Benjamin and Lydia C. [Huntoon] McClary. Benjamin was born in Sanbornton, New Hampshire, and as a young man went to Canterbury, being both a carpenter and farmer. He there married Lydia E. Huntoon and then resided on and operated her father's farm until they came west with his son in 1862. Here he worked at the carpenter's trade. Here both he and his wife died. They were in the east members of the Free Will Baptist church. Celestia A. Dicy was born at Northfield; her parents being Samuel and Lydia [Gale] Dicy. She was there educated and later in Canterbury at the same school with Mr. McClary, and later both attended Gilmanton Academy. She taught school for a short time before her marriage. Samuel Dicy was born at Laconia, a son of Samuel Dicy. He grew up as a farmer and at Gilmanton he married Miss Gale, and settled in Northfield, where he owned a farm. He continued to live there until his death. They were also members of the Free Will Baptist church.

Believing that he might have better business opportunities in the new but growing west, Mr. McClary soon after his marriage came to Mount Pleasant, where he opened a hardware store which he conducted successfully for many years, securing a good trade which made his business a profitable one. He was also employed by the company that installed the water works system and was superintendent of the plant during the time it was under private ownership. He also acted as superintendent several years after the city purchased the plant. At different times he was interested in various manufacturing enterprises that were established in Mount Pleasant, holding stock in a number and thus contributing to the substantial upbuilding of the city. As his financial resources increased, he made judicious investments in property, becoming the owner of business buildings in Mount Pleasant ana also farm lands in Henry county, besides always having his home on North White street, where Mrs. McClary still lives.

On coming to Mount Pleasant, Mr. McClary worked as a tinner in the stores of Joseph Howe, James Shaw and Baron Evans for a number of years, and then embarked in the hardware business, the firm name being first Griffith, Burket & McClary. Later the firm sold out and he bought out the McGregor hardware store, which he conducted alone.

Mr. McClary took a very deep and helpful interest in the work of public progress and gave active co-operation to movements that have been of material and far-reaching benefit here. He served as a member of the city council for the second ward and exercised his official prerogatives in behalf of movements of reform and progress. He always voted with the republican party and never faltered in his allegiance to its principles, for he believed that it contained the best elements of good government. Although he had extensive and important business interests he never concentrated his energies upon his private concerns to the exclusion of all outside affairs, but recognized his duties and obligations to others and of citizenship and fully met them.

Mr. McClary was an honored representative of Henry Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which he served as noble grand and he was also a representative to the grand lodge and one of its officers. He likewise held membership in the grand encampment and served in various official positions in the local encampment. As deputy grand he had charge of the installation of officers in this vicinity at different times, and was captain of the staff for many years. He was also a member of the Knights of Pythias many years. It was on the 27th of September, 1902, that Mr. McClary was called to his final rest, leaving his widow and only son, Frank E. McClary, who is represented elsewhere in this work. He made an untarnished record and unspotted reputation as a business man. In all places and under all circumstances he was loyal to truth, honor and right, justly valuing his own self-respect as infinitely more to be preferred than wealth, fame and position.
["Biographical Review of Henry County", Hobart Publishing Company, Chicago, 1906]


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