C. K. McCullough

Biography of Carroll K. McCullough

C. K. McCullough
C. K. McCullough

C. K. MCCULLOUGH. Until his death on October 31, 1909, Carroll K. McCullough was one of the foremost leaders in the business activities of Anderson and Madison County. He was known as a banker in the local insurance field, as a legislator, and in many ways was identified with the public life of his County and state. The McCulloughs have for sixty years been prominent in the history of Madison County, and members of three generations have given their enterprise and character to the framing and development of the varied life and interests of this locality.

The late C. K. McCullough was born in Madison County, September 4, 1855. The old McCullough homestead farm was located near the city of Anderson, and the late Mr. McCullough retained its ownership until his death. He was a son of Neel C. and Maria (Edgerle) McCullough. His grandfather was one of five brothers who came from Scotland and located at Oxford in Butler County, Ohio.

Neel C. McCullough, who during his day and generation took a prominent part in commercial affairs in Madison County, was born in Butler County, Ohio, December 25, 1820, was educated in Miami University and was a classmate of the former president, Benjamin Harrison. At Oxford he learned the drug trade, and in 1852, having located at Muncie, Indiana, he established a hardware store there. Two years later, in 1854, he moved to Madison County and located on a small farm two miles southwest of Anderson. He proved an enterprising and successful farmer, and eventually became the owner of eight hundred acres of improved land.

In the spring of 1855 Mr. McCullough established the Old Citizens Bank, the first financial institution in the history of Anderson. In that enterprise he was associated with Byron K. Elliott, who afterwards became chief justice of the Supreme Court of Indiana. When the National Bank Act became a law in 1863, Mr. McCullough and Mr. J. G. Stilwell organized the Citizens Bank into the First National Bank of Anderson, with Mr. McCullough as cashier, But he afterward withdrew from the institution and for several years was actively engaged in the grocery and hardware business.

The First National Bank having in the meantime failed, Neel C. McCullough, in 1871, organized the Citizens Bank, which he managed alone until 1873. His son, the late Carroll Kay, then became interested in the bank, and the firm was thereafter known as N. C. McCullough & Company. In 1897 W. T. Durbin, of Indianapolis, and later governor of Indiana, was admitted to the firm and the capital was increased to fifty thousand dollars. In 1881 Mr. D. F. Mustard took the interest of C. K. McCullough, and the latter then retired, but four years later bought Mr. Mustard’s interest. In 1887 the Citizens and the Madison Banks were consolidated under the name of N. C. McCullough & Company, with N. C. McCullough as general manager. While a banker the latter also managed his large farming and other interests. In 1868 he platted N. C. McCullough’s first addition to Anderson, a tract of land now comprising that portion of the northwestern quarter of the city. In 1875 he bought the Artificial Gas Plant, operating it until 1887, when natural gas was discovered. He was an active Republican until the nomination of Horace Greeley by the Democrats in 1872, and then became a Democrat and was active in the cause of the latter party as he had been in behalf of the Republicans.

The wife of Neel C. McCullough was born in Schenectady, New York, and was a daughter of George W. Edgerlee, who went from New Hampshire to New York and later to Montgomery County, Ohio. The daughter was reared in Ohio, and was educated at Oxford Female College, being a schoolmate of Carrie Scott, who afterward married Benjamin Harrison, president of the United States. Mrs. Neel C. McCullough is a leading member of the Methodist church in Anderson. She resides in the old homestead in that city, and became the mother of five children, three of whom grew to adult years, The daughter Bertha M. became the wife of Hon. W. T. Durbin, a former governor of Indiana; Carroll K. was the next younger; and Maud married Dr. C. N. Branch.

The late C. K. McCullough was reared in Anderson and began his education in the local schools. While attending Asbury (now DePauw) University at Greencastle occurred the failure of the First National Bank of Anderson and then the reorganization by his father of the Citizens Bank, and at this juncture in the community and family’s financial affairs his father gave Carroll the choice either to continue school or to go in lousiness with the newly organized Citizens Bank. He chose the latter course, and at the age of eighteen years became identified with banking, and continued with the Citizens Bank until 1881. In that year he assumed the management of the Artificial Gas Plant, and thus continued until the plant was abandoned in 1887.

In the great era of local business improvement which set in with the discovery of natural gas in 1887, the late Mr. McCullough became one of the most energetic factors, and not only developed a large business of his own, but lent his efforts liberally and freely to the general welfare of the community. At the outset of Anderson’s prosperity following the natural gas discovery Mr. McCullough laid out ninety-one lots in Park Place and twenty-seven lots in what was known as the second addition, and in order to stimulate purchase he built fourteen houses, all of which were quickly sold, as well as the majority of the lots. In 1890, in connection with W. T. Durbin and other members of the family, Mr. McCullough built what has long been known as the post-office block, with a frontage of seventy-two feet on Ninth street, a three-story building, one of the largest and most conspicuous structures in the business history of this time. He also owned a large farm on Pendleton Pike southwest of Anderson, and he was one of the leading men in the organization of the Anderson Driving Park Association, the association having eighty-four acres of level ground and a fine one-mile track. He was also the owner of Riverside Park, a beautiful plat of ground between Anderson and the White river.

Mr. McCullough continued actively identified with the Citizens Bank of Anderson until the organization of the Liberal Life Insurance Company in 1900, and thereafter was nominally in the bank in the capacity of manager. He was secretary and manager of the newly organized Liberal Life Insurance Company, and was one of the eleven original directors, of whom nine survived in 1909, the time of the death of Mr. McCullough. The other associates in the insurance company at the beginning were The late Major J. H. Terhune, R. P. Grimes, Thomas J. Nichol, Daniel Goehler, James Wellington, George Shreeve, S. L. Van Patten and Robert Schenck. After the death of Mayor Terhune in March of 1909 Senator McCullough became president and manager of the company, and this addition to his many 0ther interests and duties was largely responsible for his quickly failing health, ending in his death.

C. K. McCullough was an active Democrat, and was a member of the state senate at the time of his death. He had been elected a state senator in 1908, and served in the session beginning in 1909, but still had the second session before him. In 1907 he was elected a member of the House of Representatives. In 1888 he had been the nominee of his party for senator from Madison and Grant counties, but the district was then strongly Republican and he was accordingly defeated. He also gave local service as a school trustee and city councilman, and to the extent of his ability was always ready to assist and co-operate with local enterprises. He organized the first volunteer fire department of Anderson, and was secretary and treasurer of every fair association until his passing away. He organized and was the first exalted ruler of the Anderson Lodge, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, was a past commander of Anderson Commandery, Knights Templars, and was also a past master and a past high priest of other bodies in the York Rite, and at the time of his death was treasurer of Mt. Moriah Lodge A. F. & A. M. and Grand Senior Warden of the Grand Commandery of the state of Indiana. His other fraternal affiliations were win the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Royal Arcanum and the National Union.

In 1877 Mr. McCullough married Miss Hattie Black, who was born in Union County, Indiana, a daughter of McFarland Black, one of the pioneer farmers of Richland Township. Mrs. McCullough received her education in the Anderson high school. Their three children are Mildred, Neel and Mary.



Madison County IN,

Forkner, John. History of Madison County, Indiana: a narrative account of its historical progress, its people and its principal interests. Chicago: The Lewis publishing company, 1914.

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