Biography of Daniel E. McHarry

Daniel E. McHarry. Among the numerous families whose activities of life have contributed toward the upbuilding of Champaign County we are pleased to mention the name of McHarry.

William McHarry was a son of Daniel and Elizabeth McHarry, born in Strenraer, Scotland, in 1856. Daniel McHarry had preceded his family to America, became a soldier in the Civil War, and lost his life in the service. His family followed him to America when William was fifteen years of age. They came first to Mackinaw, Michigan, later moved to Chicago, and from there to Champaign County, where they engaged in farming.

William McHarry wedded Miss Maggie Tweedy, a native of the same place in Scotland. The two families, Tweedy and McHarry, immigrated to America together when Maggie was ten years of age. After the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. William McHarry they began their wedded life two miles north of Rantoul, settling on prairie land. For a number of years they rented the land they farmed, and there this sturdy young Scotch couple began to carve out a future for themselves and found a permanent home. By practicing strict economy and being industrious they were finally able to purchase a farm for themselves. Three children came to gladden their home, which the fond parents named Nettie, now Mrs. Parker of Paxton, Illinois, Jessie and Daniel E. The children attended the district school, and later Daniel and Jessie became students of the high school of Rantoul, graduating with honor. Later Miss Jessie became a student at the University of Illinois, graduating in 1911 in literature and art and attaining the degree of A. B. She then specialized in history and in 1913 took the degree A. M., after which she was employed as principal of the high school of Rantoul, filling in a satisfactory manner that position for four years. She was also employed as teacher in the high school of Pontiac, Illinois. At the present writing she is is carrying three courses in history and one in education at the university. When one considers the amount of work faithfully performed in that number of years, the good seed sown in the lives of our young students, thus fitting them for life’s duties, we can in a measure appreciate the value and worth of one whose influence is thus far reaching, and say, “All honor to whom honor is due.” Miss Jessie is an interested member of the Phi Beta Kappa, Kappa Alpha Pi Atheneum literary society of the university.

Daniel McHarry, the only son of William McHarry and wife, wedded Miss Geil Smedley, a daughter of Elmer and Sarah (Bundy) Smedley, natives of Indiana. She was born at Salem, Indiana.

The Smedley family migrated to Illinois when Geil was three years of age. The family consisted of two girls, Hallie and Geil. Geil received her education in the high school of Rantoul, graduating from the same. She is a cultured and winsome little wife. Daniel McHarry resides on the old McHarry estate, busily engaged in managing the farm. He is extensively interested in raising Shorthorn cattle and has some fine blooded horses. He is one of the progressive farmers of Rantoul. He believes a farmer should enjoy the useful things of life, and puts in practice these ideas. He farms his estate with an “International Titan” traction engine, making that engine do the work of eight horses, plowing, disking and preparing the soil for the grain. He also makes it do the heavy work of the farm, doing the belt work, running the ensilage cutter and filling the fine large silo which he built himself, having a capacity of seventy tons. He has also installed a smaller gasoline engine which runs the feed grinder, pumps all the water for the stock and farm purposes, and the ladies of the house think its best service in lightening labor is that of running the washing machine. He has a fine water system in the house, where hard or soft water may be had by simply turning a faucet.

Mr. McHarry is a true type of an American, and believes in enjoying the good and useful things of life. He owns a fine Auburn five passenger car, which he understands thoroughly and runs sanely, making it a pleasure for his family to enjoy. The McHarry family are attentive members of the Congregational Church and liberal supporters of the same. Politically Mr. McHarry supports the Republican party. He is broad minded, however, and believes in supporting principle instead of party, believing the man who will render the best service to the public is the one worthy of his support. The McHarry homestead has ever been noted for its hospitality. Their lives have been closely associated with Champaign County and they have experienced the joys and sorrows incident to the usual lot of humanity. In 1913 a great sorrow visited them in the death of the dear father, who entered into rest. He was a loving husband, an indulgent father, a kind neighbor and true friend.

The lives of the McHarry family have been such that it garlands the name with pleasing memories of deeds of kindness and helpfulness. The family may be found at their pleasant home two miles north of Rantoul. The widowed mother is comforted by the presence of her children and is able to look back over their lives with pleasure to days well spent and duties well performed.


Stewart, J. R. A Standard History of Champaign County Illinois. The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York. 1918.

Search Military Records - Fold3

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Scroll to Top