John Samuel McCormick

JOHN SAMUEL McCORMICK, president of the Sherwin-Mineral Local Telephone Company, of Cherokee County, and the owner of a farm of 105 acres in section 29, township 32, range 23, in Ross township, was born in Todd County, Kentucky, April 24, 1857. He is a son of Dr. Walter B. and Belle (Holcomb) McCormick.

Both parents of the subject of this sketch were born in Kentucky, the father, in Todd County, and the mother, in Logan County. Dr. McCormick was twice married, the children of the first union having been,—Theodore A., a farmer of Ross township; Christina J., Margaret and R. F., deceased; and Rebecca, of Ross township. The children of the second marriage were: John Samuel; Walter A., of Ross township; Esther F., of Vernon County, Missouri; and Mary E., Lulu and Martha, deceased.

In May, 1867, Dr. McCormick and his family left Kentucky, and, after six weeks of traveling, stopped near Galena, Kansas. A desirable location was sought on which to settle, and on July 28th they permanently located on the farm which the subject of this sketch now occupies. The family secured 240 acres of wild land, but few other pioneers having yet located there. Dr. McCormick had brought with him four yoke of oxen, two wagons, 17 cows and two Kentucky blooded mares. The family and stock needed immediate shelter, and as expeditiously as possible a house was built, the materials for which had to be brought by ox teams from Kansas City. This home was known far and wide as the "White House" as it was the first house to be painted white in the county, and probably one of the first which was painted at all. It became a landmark, and its hospitality was enjoyed by many a traveler of that day.

During the first year, about five acres of ground were broken, for the year was well advanced before they could begin work, and in the following spring a crop of oats was put in. In 1868, 40 acres were broken, which were devoted to wheat and sod corn, the former being sold for $2, and the latter, for $1 a bushel. Their cattle multiplied, and the family grew very prosperous. Dr. McCormick continued to practice his profession, and was known and esteemed all over the county. In politics, he was a Republican. In religious belief he was a Presbyterian, and an upright, Christian man. He died November 16, 1884, and his widow survived him until March 5, 1898.

The subject of this sketch enjoyed the best educational advantages which the schools of Ross township afforded, and he remained at home until he was 22 years of age. Then he started out for himself as a farm hand. He worked for $13 a month for about three years, and then bought 40 acres of land in Ross township, in section 8, township 32, range 23. After selling this, he bought 80 acres in section 29, township 32, range 23, which he also sold, and purchased 80 acres in section 31. On this he lived for five years, building a house, barn and other structures, fencing, etc., and then traded it for his brother's share in the old homestead, to which he removed in 1890. He has sold off a part of the home land, and since 1898 has devoted the larger part of his attention to dairying, keeping 30 head of milch cows, and selling Jersey milk at Mineral. He also raises horses, mules and Poland-China hogs.

Mr. McCormick was first married on November 8, 1893, in Vernon County, Missouri, to Minnie Dunn, and they had one ch ild, John S. The second marriage was in Caldwell County, Missouri, August 14, 1901, to Mrs. Sarah Belle Campbell. Like his father, Mr. McCormick has always enjoyed the sports of fishing and hunting. He is a well known citizen, who is very highly esteemed throughout the county.


History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by Carolyn Ward, instructor from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, 5/5/97.


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