Sedgwick County KSGenWeb

Portrait And Biographical Album of Sedgwick County, Kan.

Chapman Brothers 1888

Pages 676 - 677 

JOSEPH G. McCOY, king of the Texas cattle trade of this locality, and at present located at Wichita, came to this city in 1881, and accumulated the nucleus of his present fortune in the real-estate business. Naturally energetic and of more than ordinary business capacities, he has been extremely fortunate in his labors and his investments, and seems especially adapted to the business which he now follows.

          Sangamon County, Ill., was the early tramping ground of our subject, and there his birth took place on the 21st of December, 1837. His parents, David and Mary (Kirkpatrick) McCoy, were natives respectively of Virginia and Kentucky, the father born in 1790, and the mother a few years later. David McCoy followed farming all his life, and leaving the Old Dominion at an early age, was counted among the pioneer settlers of Sangamon County, Ill., to which he removed in 1815. He was very successful in his labors, becoming wealthy, and died in the city of Springfield about 1869. The mother passed away in 1846. Of their eleven children three died in infancy, two unnamed besides a son John. The others were Owen, Hugh, Polly A., Nancy, Thomas, William, James, Richard, and Joseph G., of our sketch. Of these five are living, two residing in Kansas, one in Illinois, one in Oregon, and the other in Washington Territory.

          Our subject spent his boyhood and youth in the Prairie State, and when twenty-four years of age was married there, Oct. 22, 1861, to Miss Sarah Epler. Mrs. McCoy was born in Cass County, Ill., Jan. 16, 1837, and is the daughter of Jacob and Mary A. (Beggs) Epler, natives of Indiana. Her father, who carried on farming during the years of his active life, was born in 1803 and is still living, having reached the advanced age of eighty-five years. He makes his home in the city of Jacksonville. The mother was born in January, 1802, and also lived to a ripe old age, her death taking place at her home in Pleasant Plains, Ill., in 1884. She was a most excellent Christian lady and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. They were the parents of five children John T., Anna, Sarah, Jennie and Stephen A. D.

              Mr. McCoy was the youngest child of his parents, and after completing his studies in the district school attended Knox College two years. He embarked in the cattle business in 1861 in Illinois, and also carried on farming. In 1867 he conceived the project of establishing a shipping depot somewhere in the West for Texas cattle, and selected Abilene, Dickinson County, this State. Here he purchased 600 acres of land which embraced the county seat of that county, and surveyed a cattle trail from Abilene to the Indian Territory, and the route of transportation for large herds. He also made arrangements for the watering of the animals at stated periods, and founded the town of Newton. They crossed the Arkansas River near the site of the present city of Wichita, and struck their first railroad station at Abilene. From July to January, 1878, the transactions included 2,500 carloads of cattle. The following year exhibited a much larger number. In 1869 Mr. McCoy took up his residence at Abilene, where he continued until 1873, then disposed of his property there and removed to Kansas City.

          Our subject was in Kansas City during the struggle of 1873, which established that point as the leading cattle market of the West. He operated in that locality for a period of seven years, and then invested a portion of his capital in the meat product, and in the prosecution of this traveled all over the southwestern part of the United States. In order to learn something of the magnitude of the business carried on in this section of the country, he availed himself of all the statistics pertaining thereto, obtaining the number of head of cattle, sheep and hogs in the Southwest, from which he compiled a very readable work entitled "History of the Cattle Business of the West and Southwest.

          Mr. McCoy, in 1881, was employed by the Cherokee Nation as agent for the collection of revenue on their outlying lands, and in the pursuance of this located in Wichita. He served as Mayor of Abilene during his residence there, and the famous Wild Bill who was killed at the Black Hills in the seventies was his City Marshal. Our subject is the father of seven children, namely: Owen, Troy, Mary E., David B., Florence L., Eugene M. and Ada. The latter died at the age of ten months, and two others, Owen and Troy, passed away in infancy. Mr. McCoy and his family are members and regular attendants of the Presbyterian Church. Socially, he belongs to the I. O. O. F., and politically, is a Democrat of the first water.

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