Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. II, p. 844
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902
The farming and stock-raising interests of Wilson township, Rice county, are well represented by Wesley McCabe, who now resides on section 4, where he has a fine home, indicative of the careful supervision and capable management of the owner. He was born in Crosswicks, New Jersey, October 8, 1829, and comes of a family whose salient characteristics were industry, morality and integrity. His father, George McCabe, was also a native of New Jersey. The grandfather of our subject died when George McCabe was an infant and the latter was thus deprived of a fatherís care. He was reared upon the home farm in New Jersey and pursued his education in the common schools. He married Miss Sarah Bennett, who was born in the same township in which his birth occurred and was a daughter of James and Sarah (Scott) Bennett, both natives of New Jersey. Her parents, however, spent their last days in Miami county, Ohio.
In the year 1830 George and Sarah McCabe left the Atlantic coast to seek a home in the Buckeye state and located upon a farm in Miami county, where Mr McCabe devoted his remaining days to the tilling of the soil and the cultivation of crops. His political support was given to the Whig party until its dissolution, when he joined the ranks of the Republican party. An earnest and consistent Christian, he held membership with the Methodist Episcopal church and did all in his power to promote the cause of the Master. For thirty years he served as class leader, and died at the age of sixty-eight years, while his wife, long surviving him, departed this life at the age of eighty-four. She, too, belonged to the Methodist Episcopal church, and her kindly and generous disposition and many sterling traits of character won her the friendship of all with whom she came in contact. This worthy couple became the parents of eight children, namely: Wesley, of this review; James, John and Mary Ann, who are now deceased; George, who is living upon the home farm in Miami county, Ohio, and in the house which was erected by his father in 1837; William and Ann, who have passed away; and John, deceased, who was the second of that name and who served as a surgeon in an Ohio regiment during the Civil war.
Wesley McCabe was reared upon the home farm in Miami county, Ohio, assisting in the usual work that falls to the lot of farmer boys. He had the advantage of the refining influences of a good Christian home and the care of parents who made it their duty to look well to the training of their children. The public schools of Ohio afforded him his educational privileges in youth, and his knowledge has been largely supplemented by extensive reading in later life. He was married at the age of twenty-seven years to Miss Mary Jane Badgely, who was born in Hamilton county, Ohio, near Cincinnati, and is a daughter of James and Eliza (Belles) Badgely. Her paternal grandfather was John Badgely, who died in Hamilton county, Ohio. James Badgely was born in that county, as was his wife. By their marriage they became the parents of five sons and five daughters: William, who died at the age of nineteen years; Mrs Mary J McCabe; Leah Ann; John, Angeline Lovina, Eliza, James, George and Charles, all deceased. The father of this family made farming his life work and thereby provided a comfortable living for his wife and children. In politics he was a Democrat. He died in Ohio, at the age of sixty-five years, and his wife passed away in 1897. The latter was a member of the Baptist church.
Mr and Mrs McCabe began their domestic life in Miami county, Ohio, where they remained until 1867, when they removed to Henderson county, Illinois, locating near Oquawka. In that locality Mr McCabe followed farming until 1871, when he took up his abode in Madison county, Iowa, becoming one of the early settlers in that district. The railroad had just been built to the county and the work of improvement and progress was in its primitive stage. There he made his home for seven years, but in 1878 sold his property in Iowa and came to Rice county, Kansas, taking up his abode upon the farm where he now makes his home. Only twenty acres of the land had been broken and the dwelling was a mere shanty, twelve by fourteen feet. The place was a homestead claim, containing one hundred and sixty acres and Mr McCabe in addition to this purchased eighty acres of railroad land. He has prospered in his labors, and having faith in the future of Kansas, he has made investments in realty until his landed possessions now aggregate six hundred and forty acres. He has also assisted his sons to secure good farms, and his home farm is now one of the best to be found in Rice county. It is improved with a fine modern residence, supplied with all the comforts and conveniences, a large barn, granary, sheds, feed lots and a windmill for pumping water. The verdant pastures afford excellent feeding grounds for the stock and the waving fields of grain give good promise of large harvests. Everything about the place indicates the thrift and enterprise of the owner, who was justly regarded as one of the substantial agriculturists of his community.
The home of Mr and Mrs McCabe has been blessed with eleven children: Anna Frances, who died at age eleven years; Mary Belle, who was a successful teacher and is now the wife of John Bush, of Rockville township, Rice county; George E, and James M, who are resident farmers of Wilson township; Sadie Malinda, who was formerly a popular teacher and is now the wife of Sidney Smith, of Houston, Texas, and is the owner of an extensive ranch of sixteen hundred acres in the Lone Star state; Harry Elmer, of Wilson township; Agnes, deceased wife of George Monroe, of Wilson township; Charles W, who is upon the home farm; Elnora Maull, wife of Frank Forney, of Lyons; Laura Edith and Bertha Grace, both at home. The latter is identified with the educational interests of the county as a teacher. Mr McCabe has been honored with the office of township treasurer for a number of years and has also been justice of the peace. Both he and his wife are worthy and prominent members of the Presbyterian church of Lyons and contribute liberally to its support. A man of fine physique, he weighs over two hundred pounds. Seventy-two years have passed since he entered earthís pilgrimage, but nature has dealt kindly with him and his has been in the main a happy and prosperous life. Mr and Mrs McCabe are an esteemed and highly respected old couple of sunny disposition and genial manner, who are rich not only in the possession of a comfortable competence but in the love of family and friends and in the respect of children and grandchildren.