Joseph McCreary, a representative citizen of the county of Montgomery and at present the efficient and obliging postmaster at Coffeyville, Kan., was born in Ireland, March 2, 1842. He came to America in 1845, when but three years old, with his parents, who located at Xenia, Ohio, and there his boyhood days were passed, his education being received in the public schools. In 1861 he enlisted in the Twelfth Ohio infantry for service in the Civil war. Under the call of the President for 75,000 troops for three months, the several companies composing this regiment were enrolled in the Ohio counties of Brown, Butler, Clinton, Clermont, Greene, Highland and Warren, from April 19 to 25, 1861. It was mustered into the United States service at Camp Jackson, Columbus, from April 22 to May 4. The regiment went to Camp Dennison on May 6 and remained in camp until orders were received to reorganize for three years' service. As reorganized it left for the Kanawha valley on July 6, arrived at Point Pleasant on the 9th, and on the 17th fought the battle of Scarey Creek, W. Va., the enemy being strongly posted beyond a ravine. The regiment fought for three hours, and after exhausting its ammunition fell back in good order to its camp at the mouth of the Pocotaligo. The regiment entered Charleston, W. Va., and a few days later reached Gauley bridge, where it captured a large quantity of arms and ammunition. Marching south through Weston, Sutton and Summerville it arrived at Carnifix Ferry on September 10 and engaged in the battle at that place. The regiment was ordered to the Army of the Potomac on Aug. 15, 1862; met the enemy at Bull Run bridge on the 27th, here it was severely engaged for six hours against a greatly superior force and was compelled to fall back to Fairfax Station. On September 7 it advanced into Maryland, and after a sharp skirmish at Monocacy Bridge entered Frederick City. It engaged in the battle of South Mountain, participating in three bayonet charges and capturing three battleflags, a large number of small arms, and over 200 prisoners. Three days later it was engaged at Antietam, and after wintering in West Virginia it assisted in the repulse of the enemy's attack on Fayette Court House. The regiment was next engaged at Cloyd's Mountain. It also participated in an engagement at Lynchburg, Va., and then was ordered to Columbus, Ohio, where it was mustered out on July 11, 1864. Mr. McCreary then reënlisted as a member of Company K, One Hundred and Eighty-fourth Ohio infantry. This regiment was organized at Camp Chase in February, 1805, to serve for one year. Immediately after muster-in it was ordered to Nashville, Tenn., where it remained for a short time doing garrison duty. From Nashville it proceeded to Chattanooga, thence to Bridgeport, Ala., which place it reached about March 21, and was engaged in protecting an important railroad bridge over the Tennessee river. It also guarded the track of the railroad between Bridgeport and Chattanooga, a distance of about thirty miles. On July 25 the regiment was ordered to Edgefield for garrison duty, and remained at the place until it was mustered out of service, Sept. 20, 1865, at Nashville, Tenn. In the last mentioned service Mr. McCreary was promoted to the grade of first lieutenant of his company, which position he held at the time he was mustered out of the service. In all he served about forty-six months as a soldier and perticipated in all the service of his commands with the exception of about four months, during which period he was a prisoner of war, confined first at Belle Isle, Salisbury, and then at Libby Prison. In October, 1865, he came to Kansas and located at Lawrence, where he worked at the carpenter trade about one year. He then removed to Junction City, where he continued to work at his trade about two years, and then removed to Labette county, where he engaged in the sawmill business. He was thus engaged until July, 1869, when he removed Montgomery county and located east of Coffeyville, where he continued the sawmill business about three years. He then farmed about three years in Labette county, after which he spent one year, 1876 to 1877, in New Mexico. Then returning to Coffeyville he engaged in the real estate business, in which he gained unequivocal success and prestige, and he has since maintained his residence and business headquarters in Coffeyville, being popular in business and social circles. He was elected sheriff of Montgomery county in 1883 and again in 1885, serving four years in that position, after which he resumed his real estate business. He also served as police judge and as justice of the peace, and in 1891 was appointed postmaster at Coffeyville by President Benjamin Harrison, serving four years. Upon retiring from that position, in 1895, he again devoted his attention to the real estate business until December, 1910, when he was again appointed postmaster, of which office he is at the present incumbent. He also served as city clerk for some time. Mr. McCreary is a stanch adherent of the Republican party, and he is affiliated with the lodge, chapter and commandery of the Masonic fraternity; and is a charter member of the Grand Army of the Republic at Coffeyville.
On Nov. 20, 1859, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. McCreary to Miss Theresa Burns, a native of Ireland but reared in Canada, to which country she removed when a child with her parents. Of this union there were born three sons and two daughters: Ida, who is the assistant to her father in the postoffice at Coffeyville, which positon she has held since April 1, 1891, under the different postmasters; Irene, wife of A. P. Irvin, of Coffevville; Ira, who resides in Spokane, Wash.; Joseph S., a resident of Coffeyville; and Frank, who is also a resident of the same place. Mr. McCreary is one of the prominent citizens of this part of the state and has been identified with its history for many years.Pages 243-245 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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