JOHN A. McCAW, an old settler of Richland township, Labette county, Kansas, living in the northwest quarter of section 29, township 34, range 21, was born October 10, 1856, in Laporte county, Indiana. He is a son of John and Annie (Smith) McCaw.
John McCaw was born in Ireland, and was reared in England. His father was a very successful physician, who died in South America. Dr. J. C. Ayer, a well known physician of Lowell, Massachusetts, was an uncle of John McCaw. The father of the subject hereof located in Labette county in the spring of 1868. He was accompanied by his son, Bruce, and they settled on Deer Creek, where they built a house. They sold this house and land for $300 to a stranger, who, odd to relate, was never seen after paying for the place, and the land was taken up by another party. Mr. McCaw then purchased the southeast quarter of section 16, township 34, range 21, - the 120 acres lying just north of the present Labette Creek bridge, on the Chetopa-Oswego wagon road, and 40 acres of railroad land. This home place is owned jointly by the seven sons, of whom John A. McCaw is one. There Mr. McCaw remained until his death, which occurred in 1895, at the age of sixty-nine years. He married Annie Smith, who was born in Canada, and when young accompanied her mother to Providence, Rhode Island, where she married Mr. McCaw. She died in Labette county, aged thirty-eight years. They reared seven sons, namely: John A.; Bruce, who is in partnership with his brother, William, the owner of a stock ranch in Colorado; Wallace, a farmer in Colorado; Thomas, who is on the home farm in Richland township; William; Edwin, a farmer and stock dealer, who is at present in the Indian Territory; and Walter, who lives in Hackberry township, Labette county.
John A. McCaw lived in Indiana until he was thirteen years old, when he moved to Labette county. He was a classmate of Miss M. Nellie McGinley, who is superintendent of the Chetopa city schools. His first teacher was Jesse Morgan. In 1877 Mr. McCaw left home and worked about for some time, and in 1880 went to Colorado, where he spent three years, mainly employed in running a pack train. In 1883 he returned to Labette county, and in the summer of that year went to the Indian Territory, where he worked in a sawmill near Coody's Bluff, on Big Creek. After six or eight months' employment there he returned to Labette county, where he purchased in Richland township 120 acres of land in section 15, township 34, range 21. He broke and improved this land, and in the later "'eighties" sold this farm, and bought his present one, which is the northwest quarter of section 29, township 34, range 21, which was first claimed by Mr. Williams. Mr. McCaw has made extensive improvements on the land, and has 11 acres of orchard. He follows general farming and stock raising, breeding a high grade of Shorthorn cattle and Berkshire hogs, among which he has several thoroughbreds. The water supply on his farm is fine, the wells being shallow. Mr. McCaw is very well pleased with the success which has attended his farming career in Labette county.
In 1882 the subject of this sketch was united in marriage with Harriet L. Gordon, who was born in Indiana in 1864. They have seven children, as follows: Clyde; Ethel; Carroll; Lottie and Louis, twins; Elsie; and Myrtle. In politics, Mr. McCaw is a Populist. He has served as a member of the school board in District No. 5. He is a member of the new order - the Home Builder's Union, - of which J. S. Hileman, of Edna, is supreme master builder. In religious views Mr. McCaw is liberal, giving his support to all churches.
Transcribed from History of Labette County, Kansas and its Representative Citizens, ed. & comp. by Hon. Nelson Case. Pub. by Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill. 1901
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