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Biosketch of William McCoy (b. 1810)

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Biosketch of William McCoy (b. 1810)

Posted: 1077935789000
Classification: Biography
Surnames: McCoy Hopkins Montgomery Sprowl Armstrong
William McCoy, who has been a resident of this county since 1836, and at the present time residing in Warren, was born in Patrick, W. Va., November 18, 1810. His parents were John and Sarah (Hopkins) McCoy, the former a native of Scotland, emigrating to America about 1803, or 1804. He located in Virginia, and in about three years afterward he was married to Miss Sarah Hopkins, daughter of William and Polly Hopkins. She was a native of Virginia where she was born and raised. In 1811 the parents of our subject emigrated to East Tennessee. In 1812 the father took part in the war with Great Britain. William spent his boyhood and youth in Tennessee. Owing to the scarcity of schools in that day he only received a limited education. While in Tennessee, but after removing north, he went to school two terms, which gave him some knowledge of the common branches. In the fall of 1829 we find William nearing his nineteenth birthday. He was surrounded with poverty and an aristocratic people who upheld slavery and ignored a poor but honest white man who had to toil for his daily bread. These circumstances led young McCoy to seek another field for his future labors in life. He accordingly, in October, 1829, bade farewell to friends and relations, and started for Ohio, crossing the river on the 5th of that month, at Cincinnati. He procured work in Hamilton County of Mr. Montgomery, who had the contract for constructing the first turnpike ever built into Cincinnati. When he obtained this position he only had 75 cents in money. After working a while on the pike he engaged with a farmer and remained with him until about Christmas, when he resolved to hunt a better position and a place where he could go to school that winter and work for his board. He wandered to Union County, this State, arriving in that county about the 1st of January, 1830, and found a comfortable home in a family of Quakers. There he remained until spring, when he hired to an old Quaker and remained two years in Union County. He next went to Preble County, Ohio, and began to learn the brick-laying trade and plastering, and followed that trade two years in Ohio before he emigrated to this county. In the fall of 1836 he arrived in Jefferson Township, this county, and entered 140 acres of wild land. After establishing himself in Jefferson Township he and another man took the contract for laying the brick in the courthouse in Peru, Ind. After completing this contract he went to Lafayette, Ind., and worked the rest of the season. About the 1st of December, 1837, he returned to Jefferson Township, and on January 4, 1838, was united in marriage to Polly A. Sprowl, daughter of Joseph and Jennie (Armstrong) Sprowl. Polly was born March 29, 1819, in Preble County, Ohio where she was raised. This union was blessed with eleven children: Elizabeth J., Alexander, Davison, Sarah, Martha, William G., Priscilla, Mary B., Julia, Louis, Marshall, of whom Elizabeth, Sarah A., Priscilla, Mary B., Julia, Louis and Marshall, are deceased. Mr. and Mrs. McCoy are members of the Christian Church, with which they have been identified for a number of years, and are among the leaders of that denomination, and always ready to give their aid for the benefit of the church. For a few years after Mr. McCoy’s marriage he continued to follow his trade, but finally gave up his trade and turned his attention to farming. Prior to this, or in the spring of 1838, he purchased property in Marion, moved into it and aided in constructing the old court house in that city. In the fall of 1838, he returned to his farm, and by his own hands aided in clearing up a great portion of his farm, and has spent many a hard day’s work in clearing and at night burn brush. Thus by degrees he steadily prospered. He has always adopted a straight-forward, honorable course in life, and by his own exertions has accumulated considerable of wealth. About seven years ago he moved to Warren, where he owns fine residence property, and resides there at the present time. He was reared a Democrat, and for the greater part of his life advocated the principles of that party, but lately has changed his political views, and no firmly advocates the temperance cause. At one time he was elected Assessor of Huntington County, and held the office four years. He is now living a retired life in Warren.

History of Huntington County, Indiana. (Brant & Fuller: Chicago) 1887. Biographical Sketches of Salamonie Township, pages 821 and 822.

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