Francis L. McCoy, one of the leading real estate and insurance men of Eskridge, who for years has been one of the best known business and stock men of Wabaunsee county, is descended from the old McCoy family of Ireland, which has played such a conspicuous part in the wars of that country, but is himself a native Kansan, born in Wabaunsee county, in 1864, the son of Joseph and Ruth (Bartels) McCoy. His grandfather was a farmer in Ireland, and there Joseph, the father, was born in 1830. He was educated and reared to manhood in his native country, but heard of the golden opportunities offered in the New World and emigrated from the old country in 1854. After reaching this country he located in Illinois, where he remained until 1860, when so many settlers poured into Kansas from the North and East, and with a party from that state he came to Kansas and took up a homestead of 160 acres in Wabaunsee county. The land was wild, unbroken prairie, but Mr. McCoy was not afraid of work. He cleared the trees, broke the sod, planted corn and other grains, built a comfortable home and soon had one of the finest farms in the county. Having the adaptable qualities of the Irishman, he soon fitted into life in the new western country, made money during the good years and saved during the poor ones, so that in time he had money enough to buy a section of land near the first homestead, which made about 800 acres in all. This he also improved, and a few years ago the place was valued at some $28,000. Mr. McCoy was a self-made man, for when he came to Kansas the only capital he had consisted in two willing hands and a sturdy constitution, and from this he won his way to wealth and prominence. The family lived on the old homestead until about 1904, when they moved to Eskridge, Kan., where Mrs. McCoy died on Sept. 2, 1906. After living to see the wild country of Kansas blossom like the rose and become one of the finest agricultural districts in the world, Mr. McCoy passed away, July 31, 1907. Seven children were born and reared on the old home farm: Margaret, now living at Hepner, Ore.; James L., who farms a part of the home place; Francis L.; Belinda, in Eskridge; Orril, also in Eskridge; Manola, in Topeka; and Stanley, a farmer of Burley, Idaho, who has a farm which brings sure crops, due to the unfailing supply of water by irrigation.
Francis L. McCoy was born and reared on his father's farm; attended the common schools, and upon finishing his education became associated with his father in the stock business, buying, selling and raising cattle. He bought a half section of land in western Kansas, known as the "short grass country," when land was cheap there and held it long enough to realize a good profit when he disposed of it. Some twenty years ago Mr. McCoy began to handle insurance while still living in the country, but his interests increased to such an extent that in 1902 he moved to Eskridge and opened a real estate and insurance office, where he has since been actively engaged in handling land, farm loans, etc. The family are all proprietors of land, as Mr. McCoy's brother owns 800 acres of land in Wabaunsee county and Mr. McCoy himself owns about 1,017 acres, all but a half section, in the same locality. They are both modern, practical farmers and are making money. Politically, Mr. McCoy is a progressive Republican and takes an active interest in all local affairs. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen of America, and in church matters is a Methodist. In 1902 he married Mary Berry, of Wabaunsee county, and two children have been born to them: Clyde H. and Dessie May.Pages 141-142 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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