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J. F. McCoy

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J. F. McCoy

Huntington County Volunteer (View posts)
Posted: 4 Jan 2001 5:00AM GMT
Classification: Biography
Edited: 23 Jun 2001 9:50AM GMT
Surnames: McCoy, Good, Sprowl, Hopkins, Armstrong, Carl, Bryan, Burgess, Bevans, Williams
From Biographical Memoirs of Huntington County, 1901, pages 731-733

J. F. McCoy, an enterprising and reputable young farmer of Salamonie township, Huntington county, Indiana, was born four miles southeast of Huntington, January 21, 1872. His parents are Alexander and Sarah Ann (Good) McCoy; his paternal grandparents were William and Polly A. (Sprowl) McCoy, and his great-grandparents were John and Sarah (Hopkins) McCoy. John McCoy was native of Scotland and came to America in 1803 or 1804, and located in the old "Mother state"--Virginia. There he was joined in wedlock to Miss Sarah Hopkins, daughter of William and Sarah Hopkins, of that state, and in 1811 moved to east Tennessee. The following year he took part in the second war with England, and was a true, loyal citizen of the new Republic.

William McCoy was born in Patrick, West Virginia, November 18, 1810, and grew to manhood in eastern Tennessee, receiving but limited schooling. In October, 1829, he started for Ohio and there secured employment with a Mr. Montgomery, of Hamilton county, that state, who had the contract for constucting the first pike built into the city of Cincinnati. Later he turned his attention to farming and went to Union county, Ohio, arriving there January 1, 1830, finding a home with a Quaker family until the following spring. He then hired as a farm hand to another Quaker family in that section, and remained with them two years, going thence to Preble county, and learned the trade of a brick-layer and plasterer, working at that business in Ohio for two years. In the fall of 1836 he came to Indiana, and entered one hundred and forty acres of wild woodland, innocent of cultivation and location, in what became Jefferson township. After remaining there a sufficient time to establish his claim to the property he went, in company with another man, to Peru, Indiana, and secured the contract for laying the brick work in the court-house there. After completing this job he went to Lafayette and finished the season, returning to his farm in Jefferson township on December 1, 1837. January 4, he was joined in marriage to Miss Polly A. Sprowl, daughter of Joseph and Jennie (Armstrong) Sprowl, a native of Preble county, where she was born March 29, 1819, and where she grew to womanhood. In 1838 he purchased property in Marion, on to which he moved, and worked at his trade as contractor and builder, in the erection of the Marion court-house. In the fall of that year he returned to his farm and continued to clear and improve it, although he continued to work at his trade for a great many years, gradually giving more of his attention to agricultural pursuits as age came on. He was a man who was accustomed to hard work, and by his industry and good management accumulated considerable property. In later years he moved to Warren, where he owned large properties, and took life with the ease and comfort he had so richly earned by many years of toil.

He was a Democrat in early life, and for four years was assessor of his county. Both he and his wife were devout members of the Christian church and among its most influential and willing workers. They lived goodly lives and were spared to reach advanced ages before they were called to join the great majority, the summons coming to him April 3, 1895, and to her on March 2, four years later. They were a kindly, worthy couple, whose Christian lives shed a benign influence around them; whose hearts were so filled with a love for humanity and their kindly deeds and gracious acts so continuous, that they became objects of universal veneration and love, the circle of their friendship being limitless. A large family of children were born to them, but only three of the number are left to perpetuate their name and memory. The names of the family are as follows: Elizabeth J.; Alexander, the father of our subject; Davidson, who is a resident of Oklahoma; Sarah; Martha, wife of B. F. Carl, a resident of Montpelier, Indiana; William G.; Priscilla; Mary B.; Julia; Louis; and Marshall.

Alexander McCoy, the father of the gentleman whose name heads this sketch, was united in marriage with Miss Sarah Ann Good, whose labors of love were ended in 1880, and she was tenderly laid to rest among the silent shadows of the quiet city of the dead. She bore him three children, viz: Martha, wife of Oscar Bryan, a farmer of Wells county, Indiana, with whom he makes his home; William B., deceased, who married Miss Laura Burgess, of Blackford county, which is now her home; and J. F., who was a child at the time of his mother's death.

J. F. McCoy received a common school education and was employed at various things during his youth before he finally settled down to the rural life he now adorns. He was married March 16, 1898, to Miss Minnie Bevans, of Wells county, Indiana, and a daughter of James and Annie (Williams) Bevans. Her parents were natives of England, who settled in Clinton county, Ohio, in 1860, later moved to Blackford county, Indiana, and still later to Wells county, in 1871, where they purchased a farm and where the father died in 1899. Their children are John, William, Augustus, deceased; David, Lawson, Minnie, and Elizabeth. To Mr. and Mrs. McCoy has been born one child, Ruth F., who was born January 11, 1899. They are people who stand well among their neighbors and all who know them. Their home is in section twenty-nine, Salamonie township, where they have thirty acres of land which formerly constituted part of the McCoy homestead, and upon which a neat, cosy home was erected in 1898. Fifteen acres are under cultivation, devoted to general farming, the balance being used as pasture. Mr. McCoy is one of the progressive young men of the township, and is ambitious to make of his vocation something more than a mere plodding road to affluence. While he is frugal in his habits and a good manager, he believes in taking his pleasure in life as he goes along and in helping others; realizing that we pass this road but once, and that an opportunity lost is gone forever.

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