John T. McClure, a prosperous and progressive farmer, owning and controlling extensive interests in Drummer township. Ford county, is one of the native sons of Illinois, always interested in the welfare and upbuilding of his state and in the advancement of local interests as well. He was born in 1837 at Stouts Grove, McLean county, where his father, B. H. McClure, had located in 1825. He was a native of Posey county, Indiana, and wedded Frances Kellam, a native of Virginia. Following the removal to Illinois he became the owner of three hundred and twenty acres of rich and productive land, which he converted into well tilled fields. In his farm work he had the assistance of his son, John T. McClure, who aided him more and more largely in the development of the fields as his age and strength increased. In his youth he was a pupil in the public schools and upon the home farm continued until twenty years of age, when he started out upon an independent business career.
In 1861 John T. McClure secured a companion and helpmate for life's journey through his marriage to Miss Jane A. Deal, a daughter of John Deal, of Dry Grove, McLean county, Illinois, who was a farmer and tanner. The year following his marriage Mr. McClure enlisted for active service at the front in the Civil war, becoming a member of Company D, Ninety-fourth Illinois Regiment of Volunteers. He participated in seventeen hotly contested battles and skirmishes, including the engagements of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, the siege of Vicksburg, the capture of Fort Morgan, and others of note, remaining at the front until mustered out with the rank of orderly sergeant, July 17, 1865.
Mr. McClure returned home with a most creditable military record and resumed the pursuits of civil life, purchasing sixty acres of land at Danvers in McLean county, where he resided until 1868, when he bought three hundred and twenty acres in Ford county. This farm is still in his possession but it does not represent his entire property holdings, for he now owns ten hundred and forty acres in Manitoba, Canada, which is cultivated by his son. In this county he raises Galloway cattle on an extensive scale, also Shropshire sheep, and his live-stock interests constitute an effective factor in his success.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. McClure have been born the following named sons and daughters: Elliott, who died in early childhood; Frank, a resident farmer of Gibson; Alice C., now the wife of Charles Foster, who is living in Canada and is operating Mr. McClure's land in connection with his brother-in-law, J. H. McClure; Ora D., who is chief engineer and electrician at the Cleveland Cliff Iron Company at Ishpeming, Michigan, and is a graduate of the Illinois University of the class of 1891 as a mechanical engineer, after which he pursued post-graduate work in electrical and civil engineering; Clyde B., a civil engineer who is now deceased; Nell T., living at home, who was formerly a teacher in the Gibson high school and assistant principal of the graded schools; J. H., who is engaged in cultivating his father's land in Canada; and Mrs. Susan J. Snyder, now living in Wisconsin. The wife and mother died May 17, 1894, and her loss was deeply deplored by many friends who esteemed her for her genuine qualities of heart and mind.
Mr. McClure is a member of the Presbyterian church and of Lott Camp, G. A. R. His political support is given to the republican party and he has served as collector, while for fifteen years he was school trustee. He built the first gravel road in the county, demonstrating to his neighbors the advantage of such a highway. He has always stood for that which is progressive in citizenship and which tends to promote the material welfare of the community, and his labors have been a source of benefit to town and county, at the same time bringing to him the substantial and gratifying reward of earnest effort.

Extracted 16 Oct 2016 by Norma Hass from History of Ford County, Illinois, From Its Earliest Settlement to 1908, author E. A. Gardner, Volume 2, pages 644-648.

Templates in Time