John Allen McCluer, Plymouth Township

John A. McCluer and wife, Clarinda Nase, people in background unknown.

John 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 were married.

From a Barry County, Missouri newspaper on John A. McCluer's time in Richland County, Ohio and other places:

"His 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 school room.

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 County, Missouri.

2. History of Jackson County with Biographical Sketches...Philadelphia, Brink McDonough & Co., 1878 (Illinois Historical Society) F896, J, H67b, 1878, (1973 reprint) oversized, "Among the early settlers of the County appears the name of John A. McCluer, of Levan Township, who is a native of Richland County, Ohio, and was born near Parris, Richland County, Ohio, November 15, 1816."

3. Columbus Courier, April 20, 1899, Columbus, Cherokee County, KS "At the home of his son, Thos. N. McClure, in Lyon Twp., Monday night, April 17, '99, at the advanced age of 82 years, Rev. J.A. McClure died."
4. Affidavit of recorded death for Jno A. McClure on 18 April, 1899 at Lyon Twp., Cherokee County, Kansas, certified by County Clerk of Cherokee County Kansas, Maurice, Soper

5. History of Jackson County with Biographical Sketches...Philadelphia, Brink McDonough & Co., 1878 (Illinois Historical Society) F896, J, H67b, 1878, (1973 reprint) oversized. Married on 22 October, 1837 to Clarinda Nace at the home of Thomas Barber Nace in Richland County, Ohio."His marriage occured on the 22d day of October, 1837 to Clarinda Nase, eldest daughter of Thomas B. Nase, of Ohio; and two days after, on the 24th of October, he started, with his young bridge and parents overland by wagons for Illinois, their future home."

6. Richland County, Ohio Court Records: Volume 3, page 171, certified by Mary K. Pore, Deputy Clerk "I hereby do certify that on the 22nd day of October, 1837, I celebrated the unites between John McLane(sic) and Clarinda Nase. Witness my hand, Nov 9th, 1837, Ephraim Walter, J.P."(note: an obvious misspelling by the Clerk. McCluer was often spelled as McLure, so the handwriting must have been interpreted as McLane. - JWM)

7. Certificate of Disability for Discharge, 81st Vol Inf, Illinois..discharged dated Dec 18, 1864, Sergeant, original company 81st Volunteer Infantry, Company D to Company A of a Reserve Unit Age 47 (on 12 Nov 1864), 5 feet 8 inches, dark complexion, gray eyes, grey hair, occupation - farmer, Chronic Diarhhea and general dibility reasons for discharge. disability rated and 1/2. Doctor states over age of 49 (note: perhaps a miscalculation on the age - JWM).

8. History of Jackson County with Biographical Sketches...Philadelphia, Brink McDonough & Co., 1878 (Illinois Historical Society) F896, J, H67b, 1878, (1973 reprint) oversized. On page 88, under paragraph titled "John A. McCluer""He is the eldest child of Thomas and Susan 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 were married. In 1837, Mr. McCluer, wife and family moved to Perry County, Illinois, and a year later settled in Jackson County, Illinois on the farm now owned and occupied by his son, John A. McCluer."

9. Notes Written by John A. McCluer in his note book:
Grandfather Samuel McCluer died in his 68 year Grandmother in her 51 year Uncle Samuel McCluer 77 year Aunt Rhoda McCluer 62 year Aunt Elizabeth Nesbitt dau. of Isaac & Mary Montonia died Mar 21-72. Copies of notes held by Fred Gilliland and James W. McCluer.

10. Notes Written by John A. McCluer in his note book for itenary, 1880:
Jo. A. McCluer & Clarinda Mc left DuQuoin, Illinois for Galion, Ohio. At Centralia at 8 a.m. Effingham, 12 noon, Terryhaut 2:30 p.m., Indianapolis 5:15- left 7:15, Got to Galion 3:35 a.m., to John Overbys 6:30 a.m. wrote home - on to John McCluers at Warsaw, Ind. on the 27th 28th - At J. Overby's a beautiful morning Rained two little showers 29th - Sunday morning - cloudy in the west 30th - Mon. Went to Uncle J.A. Mc Cloudy 31 - Tues. Cloudy & foggy Rained in afternoon Sep: 1 - Wed. at S.A. Gass, clear and pleasant 2 - Thrus. Went to Hor. McCluer, took silver wedding supper at N.C. McKain Sep 3 - More rain Sep 4 - Went to Wm. McCluer met Jenny and Wm. Liedg 5 - Stayed at Wm. McCluer 6 - Cloudy, put letter in office to Lurissa McCluer 7 - Went to thresh at Fidlers 8 - Helped thres at Fidlers & over R.R. 9 - Went to Belleville and A. Lockhearts 10- Went to Wm. Robinson 11- Went to Jas. A. McCluer 12 - Went to Mansfield to see Alice 13 - Went to Lexington to see ? 14 - Went to Mansfield to see show 15 - Went to John Overby's 16 - Went to Galion to see Fire Co. 17 - Went to Elias Overby's 18 - Went to T.C. Davis and Lacy 19 - Sam Nase came to see us 20 - Threshed at Jo. Overly or (b)? and A. Davis 21 - Went to see Aunt Polly Davis 22 - Took dinner at T.C. Davis. In the evening started for Warsaw 24 - Heard B.F. Butler speak in Warsaw- wrote card to Ing. 25 - Wrote letter to Wm. Holliday 26 - Went to Peter Noyer - Rain 27 - Went to Cranberry marsh 28 - Went to Rochester - took dinner Lawson M. Noyer 29 - Took dinner with Cal Noyer 30 - Went Warsaw with P. Noyer Oct 1 - Wrote letter home at Warsaw 2 - Went to John Overby's 3 - Went to church. Stayed with Elias Oversby. 4 - Went to see Aunt Polly Davis 5 - Took dinner with P. Stephens 6 - Went to Galion, dinner A.L. 7 - 5 o'clock started for DuQuoin got to Malloon on 8th---waited til 4:25 and started for DuQuoin. Got there at 12 o'clock the same day. Went home from DuQuoin on the 9th.

11. 1850 Census from Jackson County, illinois, Residents of 1850, compiled and edited by Wright, John W.D., Carbondale, Illinios, Jackson Historical Society, page 30 #462, shows John A. McClure, Section 3, Levan Township, 33 years old, place of birth - Ohio, worth $500.00.

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