John Allen McCluer, Plymouth Township
Allen McCluer was born November 15, 1816 Paris, Plymouth
Township, Richland County, Ohio. He is the eldest child
of Thomas and Susan Trucks McCluer. Thomas McCluer was a
native of Virginia, and his wife of the Keystone State,
though when quite young, they had removed to Ohio with
their parents; and it was in the latter state that they
From a Barry County, Missouri newspaper on John A. McCluer's time in Richland County, Ohio and other places:
early youth was an eventful one. At that time the country
was inhabited to a great extent by Indians and wild
beast, such as deer, turkeys, bears, etc. Here is where
he attended his first school; here he developed a tact
that afterward proved his efficiency as a teacher -- not
particularly as a learned scholar, but as a judge of
human nature, the key, as he says, to success in the
About this time his father moved to Bucyrus, Crawford County, Ohio where the logs still lay in the streets as they were felled by the ax. Here he learned the Indian art of dressing deer skins, which at the time they were obligated to wear as shoes and clothing. He also learne the art of making the old fashioned lye hominy, which was the staff of life when the water mills were not 'runnin.' Here he attended his first Sunday School and saw the first wedding. As an incident of the wedding, his father ordered him to drive home a neighbor's cows and return if not too late. On getting there he learned that his school teacher was to be married that night and naturally concluded it was too late to return.
At the age of nine years he commenced the profession of ox driving and became adept at the business. As an anecdote he relates this, which happened at his father's: A Mr. Carr, a neighbor, who was an eastern man assisting on the farm and a dear lover of pig meat, doubting his ability to eat racoon meat, saw a racoon that his father had killed lying on the door step late in the evening. Another neighbor had sent a fresh piece of pig meat, which Mr. Carr did not know of, a portion of which was cooked for breakfast. Coming in as breakfast was ready next morning, he took his seat with others. All understood the situation but himself. He was asked to have a bit of the coon and the invitation accepted. He cut off a bit and began chewing. The longer he chewed the bigger it got. He arose from the table and threw it out the door saying he could not go that. After a hearty laugh by all, he sat down and ate a hearty breakfast from the same dish.
The year he was twelve years old his father moved to near Lexington, Richland County, Ohio, and spent the winter, he was going to school and beginning the study of Murray's Primary Grammar, memorizing and reciting all that the teacher required and reviewing at the close. Although he was successful in his memorizing and recitations in grammar, he claims he did not understand its rudiments, show that a child can commit to memory and recite and at the same time not understand the study.
In his 13th year his father moved to Belleville, Ohio. His father being in poor health, the labor of the farm devolved, to a great extent, on him. Although young, he was equal to the occasion. He remembers well the great meteoric shower, or called that day, "falling of the stars." While they apparently fell, they vanished before reaching the earth. He was at his grandmother's when this occurred, being on a trip to the lake and to market. On returning with the ox team, dressed in an old, jeans round-about, bespattered with mud, ox driver style, he saw standing in the door, Miss Clarinda Nase for the first time, who, as future events proved, became his wife. In the spring of 1837, his father again sold out, prepatory to moving to Missouri. This event hastened the union to Miss Nase, which took place Oct. 22, 1837, near Gallion, Ohio, and on the 24th day of the same month they started for Missouri. Nov. 24 they stopped to winter in Perry Co. Ills. Here an event occurred which changed the program. His father being a pronounced ant-slavery man, decided not to go to Missouri as Mr. Lovejoy, a prominent anti-slavery editor was murdered in Alton, Ills. for his anti-slavery sentiments, by a mob from Missouri. In August, 1838, his father moved to Jackson County, Ills. Here, in the same month, an event occurred that changed the destinies of the whole family--the death of his mother.
In the fall of 1839, his father took three of the children and went back to Ohio, leaving James J. and George Y with John A. to buffet with the hardships and privations of a frontier life without relatives or near neighbors to rely upon for any help. Here John A. cleared up a large farm and raised a family of twelve children, eleven of whom lived to be grown and married, and by his sterling qualities as a husband and neighbor formed a character which proved him to be one of the best citizens, he often being called the peace maker.
He never took an active part in politics until the war of the rebellion when he took a strong stand for the Union, enlisting in the Union Army August, 1862, in Co. D, 81 Ills. Inft. and was discharged for disability December 1864. He has been a member of G.A.R. since 1883.
In April, 1843, he and his wife united with the Missionary Baptist church and travelled along as church members without censure or reproof until his companion's death, June 16, 1893, she being 75 years, 6 months and 15 days old. An uncommon incident is that he and his wife lived together happily for 56 years and his brother, James J. attended his wedding and also his golden wedding adn they attended James wedding and golden wedding. During this time he was engaged in Sunday Schools up to the time of his ordination as a minister which occurred in 1875. He served as Pastor of teh Pleasant Hill church in Jackson County, Ills, until 1882, when he and his wife moved to Cherokee Co., Kan. Soon after, they united with the Missionary Baptists at Cenre, in that county, where he now belongs. His companion died in Barry County and is burried at Mineral Spring, near which place he has several children. He is a man of more than ordinary strength and energy for one of his age, blessed with numerous progeny and it is with pleasure that he recites the fact that they all respect him and are all willing and ready to do what they can to make his pathway of life as pleasant as possible for him in his declining years. He has ten children living, fifty-one grandchildren and eighteen great-grandchildren.
by James W. McCluer, December 1999
Family records show that Clarinda Nase, wife of John A. McCluer was born December 09, 1817, Luzern County, Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of Thomas Barber Nase and Polly who lived in North Bloomfield, Richland County, Ohio before it was reassigned to Morrow County in 1848.
1. The Cassville Republican,
John A. McCluer , May 28, 1896, Barry