There are few clergymen better beloved by their congregations and by the people of all classes in a community, than Reverend B.F. McMillan, the pastor of the Presbyterian church of Glasco. He wields an influence that is far reaching in its strength. He is a forceful speaker, but is guarded in his utterances and does not assume the aggressive, nor antagonize his religious assemblies, but rather lives his religion that others may accept of their own volition. He is a close and constant student by both instinct and habit, and a devoted pastor that has developed an interest in Christian work far above the average minister.
Reverend McMillan was born in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, in 1844, and when a lad of about eleven years of age removed with his parents to Polo, Illinois, where he was reared, and enlisted in Company E, Ninety-second Illinois, while a mere youth. He was in a company of mounted infantry, under Colonel Smith D. Atkins, who was afterward promoted to brigadier-general. Mr. McMillan served three years and one month; acted as orderly for Major-General David Cruft, and also served as sergeant and corporal. He was in the battle of Chickamagua on the 19th and 20th of September, 1863; battles of Ringgold, Dalton, Resaca, and Jonesboro, Georgia (where they lost one-half of their regiment); Lovejoy Station, Trenton and skirmished all through Georgia. They were in the battle of Waynesboro, under Kilpatrick, and the battles of Savannah, Averyboro, Aiken, South Carolina, Bentonville and Lookout Mountain. His regiment was in the front at all times, having been first in line at Lookout Mountain, and also when Chattanooga was taken.
Reverend McMillan received a common school education before entering the United States service and directly after his return he entered the Northwestern College at Naperville, Illinois, where he remained until taking a theological course at home and afterward under the direction of all uncle, Reverend J.H. Pratt, D.D., who was a minister at Allentown, New Jersey. He had turned his attention in the direction of educaton[sic] before entering the army and while in the service, as time permitted. For a brief time he engaged in the study of medicine, but again resumed his ministerial studies, taking the Princeton course. He began his labors as a pastor in Mitchell county, Kansas, in the year 1874, continuing until the year 1883, and then removed to New Jersey, where he engaged further in theological studies. He came to Kansas with his father's family and homesteaded land near Beloit in 1872; his father, brothers and one sister all secured claims. His parents both died on the homestead eight miles south of Beloit. His father died in 1898 at the age of ninety-two years, and his mother in 1899 at the age of eighty-six. By a previous marriage there were three children; by the second there were nine, all of whom are living excepting one sister. A brother in Philadelphia is a civil engineer; the other members of the family all live in Mitchell county, Kansas.
Reverend McMillan's paternal ancestors were of Scotch Covenanters and Dutch Reformed sects, while his maternal ancestors were German Lutherans. His maternal grandfather was educated in the University of Berlin, and was by profession a teacher, attorney and surveyor. His paternal grandfather was a captain in the war of 1812. It was in 1883, 1884 and 1885 that Reverend McMillan took a two years' theological course under Doctor J.H. Pratt, of Allentown, New Jersey. While in the east he visited in 1901 the old cemetery containing the ashes of his ancestry and found graves that were marked 1735. Many others were unmarked and moss-grown. His maternal grandfather was the sexton of the Lutheran church built early in the seventeenth century, which was later merged into the present German Reformed Church. Reverend McMillan has in his possession the key to this primitive old house of worship. After preaching several years in Mitchell county, Reverend McMillan became pastor at Lincoln, Kansas, in the meantime laboring at Vesper, Lucas and other neighboring towns. He assumed charge of the Glasco congregation in 1896, and ministers to the congregations at Simpson and Fisher Creek.
Reverend McMillan was married in April, 1877, to Julia S. Pratt, of Saltville, Mitchell county. Her father, Doctor R.W. Pratt, graduated in medicine at Athens College, Ohio. Her ancestors were of English origin and early settlers in Ohio, while it was included in the northwestern territory. Her paternal grandfather was Colonel Pratt. Her maternal grandfather, General John Brown, was treasurer of the State University of Athens, Ohio. They were prominent and well known pioneers. Mrs. MeMilian's parents located in Green county, Illinois, in 1852, where she was born. After living in Kansas twenty-five years they removed to Los Angeles, California, where her mother still lives and where her father died in 1888. Mrs. McMillan is the second eldest of ten children, all of whom are living. One brother is a Presbyterian minister in Portland, Oregon, and one brother is a physician in Alaska. All of her ancestors were professional men, ministers and educators. Mrs. Julia P. Ballard, the well known author, was her father's sister. Mr. Ballard is still a professor of the University of New York and has almost reached the mark of four score years.
Mr. and Mrs. McMillan are the parents of two sons and one daughter. Robert W., aged twenty-three, is a graduate of Brown's Commercial College, Kansas City, is a bookkeeper and stenographer by profession and taught school successfully three seasons. He was given a position in the First National Bank, Beloit, Kansas, but on account of falling health was forced to give it up and seek outdoor employment. He now occupies a good position in the Bank of California, Los Angeles, California. The second son, John P., aged eighteen, is a student In the second year of a high school course in Glasco. Jennie, a little daughter, aged fifteen years, attends the Glasco school.
Politically, Mr. McMillan is a Republican and served one term as collector in Ogle county, Illinois. The McMillans own their home, a neat little cottage in Glasco, and in the two acres which surround it they are cultivating choice fruits and have given considerable attention to poultry and have some fine blooded varieties. Mrs. McMillan retains the homestead she filed on in Mitchell county. twenty-eight years ago. Reverend McMillan is a worthy Christian gentleman, universally esteemed, not by the few, but by all classes of society.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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