Biography of John McCoy

JOHN MCCOY (deceased). All people of true sensibility, who have a just regard for the memory of those who have departed this life, cherish the details of the history of men, whose careers have been marked by uprightness and truth and whose lives have been filled up with acts of usefulness. It is, therefore, with gratification that we present to our readers a sketch of John McCoy, whose life in this county has been such as to make his memory justly respected. He was a native of that grand old Mother of States, Virginia, his birth occurring in 1799.

When about two years of age he was taken by his parents to east Tennessee, where he was reared in the then wild country, with-out the advantages of an education, just merely learning to read. He was married in Hawkins County, Tennessee, and made his home there until 1841, when he came by wagon to what is now Christian County, being six weeks and two days in making the journey. He at once purchased a portion of the present home, having sixteen or seventeen acres in cultivation, upon which was a rude log cabin. This was about three miles southeast of Ozark, and there Mr. McCoy improved a good farm and spent the remainder of his days, until his death in 1875. For many years he operated a distillery, and soon after the war built a flouring mill, which he and his sons carried on until 1875. He was active, industrious and honest and made a good property. Although a Union man during the war he did not enter the army. A man of good habits, he was highly respected in the county where he was one of the first settlers.

He had two brothers, James and Joel, and four sisters: Elizabeth, deceased, was the wife of John Hayes; Sallie, deceased, was the wife of George Hayes; Nancy, deceased, was the wife of Jeremiah Wilson; and Polly, deceased, married a Mr. Ferguson. The two brothers settled in Christian County prior to the time our subject came and here passed the remainder of their days. The first three sisters died in this county, too, but Polly died in Tennessee. Their father, Archibald McCoy, was probably born in Virginia, where he was reared and married, but he was one of the first settlers of east Tennessee. In 1841 he came to Christian County, Missouri, and there followed farming until his death a few years later. He was but a boy during the Revolutionary War and took no part. His parents came from the Emerald Isle to Virginia a few years prior to his birth. His wife, whose maiden name was Phoebe Hill, also died in Christian County. The wife of our subject, Barbara Wolf, was a native of Hawkins County, Tennessee, born in 1797. She died October 10, 1882. Her father, Charles Wolf, died in Tennessee many years ago, and but little is known of the family history.

To Mr. and Mrs. McCoy were born six children, as follows: Andrew, deceased, was a soldier in the Civil War. He left a family; Phoebe is the wife of Jeff Wolf, a prominent farmer of this county; Eliza, deceased; William, born in Hawkins County, Tennessee, was a soldier in the Federal Army (for about two months he was in the Sixth Missouri Cavalry, but later joined the Sixth Provisional and was a scout in south Missouri and north Arkansas; he was never in a regular engagement); Charles, who is now on the old farm, served a short time in the militia, being unfit for active service, owing to disability (his wife was Delphi McGinnis, daughter of James McGinnis, of this county; he and his brother William own the old farm of 450 acres, one of the best tracts of land in the county, and are engaged in stockraising); and Catherine is the wife of J. T. Tillman, a farmer of Christian County. All these children were born in Hawkins County, Tennessee The father and sons were Whigs prior to the war, but after that were stanch Democrats. The McCoy family is one of the oldest and most respected in the county. The two sons are occupying the farm on which their father settled fifty-two years ago, and are classed among the county’s representative citizens.

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