From A Biographical History of Central
Kansas, Vol. II, p. 1612
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902
JOHN G. McCLURE
Upon a farm on section 20, Sterling township, Rice county, John Gerry McClure is devoting his energies to agricultural pursuits. His life has been one of industry, and indolence has figured in his career in not the slightest degree. He was born in Franklin county, this state, on the 15th of September, 1870. His father, George R McClure, was a native of Holmes county, Ohio, born December 12, 1838, and the grandfather, John McClure, was an Ohio farmer, who was born in 1806, either in Pennsylvania or the Buckeye state. He died in the latter state in 1891. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Mary Richardson, was born in Ohio, in 1811, and there died in 1900, at the age of eighty-nine years. They reared ten children, six sons and four daughters. All were married and had children and eight of the number are still living in Ohio. The grandfather was a sturdy pioneer, who cleared a farm in the midst of the heavy timber and died an octogenarian.
George R McClure was injured by a fall when sixteen years of age and was never a strong man. He offered his services to the government during the Civil war, but could not pass muster. He was confined to his bed much of his life and was always an invalid yet in the brief periods in which he enjoyed health and strength he was very energetic and accomplished much. In Holmes county, Ohio, on the 21st of September, 1865, he was united in marriage to Martha Croco, of Ohio, a daughter of John and Barbara (Bear) Croco. The Croco family is of Polish origin and representatives of the name removed from Poland to Germany. Peter Croco, the great great-grandfather of our subject, went to that country and served under Frederick the Great for six years. He afterward deserted and came to America, where he loyally aided the colonists in their struggle for independence. For ten years George R McClure, the father of our subject, engaged in teaching school during the winter months in Ohio and throughout the summer season he worked at carpentering. In the spring of 1866 he came to Kansas, locating in Baldwin City, where he aided in building the college now known as Baker College. After a year there passed he removed to Franklin county, Kansas, and on the 28th of March, 1866, he took up his abode on a tract of land of one hundred and sixty acres which his father-in-law had purchased in 1864. During the early days he and his wife were forced to meet the stern realities of pioneer life and to endure many hardships incident to establishing a home on the frontier. They paid ten dollars per hundred weight for flour, fifty cents a pound for butter and thirty cents for pork. Their nearest market was at Kansas City, about forty-five miles away, and they had to drive to that place in wagons, for railroads had not then been built through the state. Mr McClure continued his farming operations until 1892, when he sold his property and in March of that year came to Rice county, settling on two hundred and sixty acres of land near Sterling. In 1898 he purchased a quarter section near the city, and upon that farm he died on the 31st of August, 1898. He was a Republican in his political affiliations and served as a justice of the peace for nineteen years, a fact which proves conclusively that his services were capable and satisfactory. He was also a member of the school board, and while residing in eastern Kansas he engaged in teaching through three terms. Of the United Presbyterian church he was an active member and served as one of its trustees. In his family were seven children: Anna, the wife of William Ewing, of Sterling township, Rice county, by whom she has three children; Lizzie, the wife of Charles Amend, of Sterling, and the mother of three children; John, of this review; George, who resides on eighty acres of the home farm and has two sons; Mary, who became the wife of Curtis McCammot and died at the age of twenty-three years; Carrie, the wife of Archie Rees, who is living north of Sterling and by whom she has one child; and Jay, a farmer near Sterling, who is married and has one daughter.
John Gerry McClure was reared to farm life and did not leave the old homestead until his marriage, which occurred on the 22nd of February, 1898, Miss Alice Rees, of Jasper county, Iowa, becoming his wife. Her mother was a successful school teacher before her marriage. Mrs McClure has been an able assistant to her husband. She is not only a practical housewife, but also has charge of the poultry on the farm and is as successful in this work as her husband is in raising grain and stock. At the time of their marriage they located upon a farm of eighty acres which had been deeded to Mr McClure by his father. Throughout his entire career he has carried on agricultural pursuits. He makes a specialty of the raising of corn and broom corn, and of the former crop produces about twenty-eight hundred bushels annually. He also raises horses, cattle and swine, keeping on hand from eight to ten horses and from fifteen to twenty cattle, while annually he sells about sixty head of Poland China hogs. He became the manager of his fatherís farm at the age of sixteen, so that he was well qualified by practical experience to carry on business for himself when he took up his residence at his present home only about two years ago. He is a young man of enterprise, thoroughly in touch with the progressive methods of farming in vogue at this day and his labors have gained for him a place among the substantial citizens of the community.