My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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JOHN W. McLEAN. There are few men more widely or favorably known throughout the county than Mr. McLean who, for many years has occupied himself as a builder and contractor and who has thus formed a wide acquaintance in this section of the State, making many warm personal friends while in the transaction of his legitimate business. He is a native of this State, having been born in Warren County, March 23, 1836, and thence was brought by his parents to Greene County in 1845. His father that year had taken a contract on the first road in the county running through Yellow Springs, where the family sojourned until 1849. That year they removed to Cedarville and young McLean, now a man grown, pursued the same business as that in which his father was engaged, being concerned in the opening of the road through Cedarville.

Mr. McLean pursued his early studies in a little old frame church at Yellow Springs which is still standing, and now a part of the hotel of that place. When approaching manhood he began learning the and carpenter’s trade, but the outbreak of the Civil War broke in upon his plans, as it did upon those of thousands of others, and he laid aside his personal interests to proffer his services toward the preservation of the Union. A few weeks after the attack upon Ft. Sumter he enlisted in Company D, Forty-fourth Ohio Infantry, which was assigned to the Army of the Potomac and fought at the battles of Lewisburg, Va., Knoxville, Cumberland Gap, Dutton’s Hill, (Ky.) and others. He had left at home his young wife and child and he served until after the close of the war, receiving his final discharge in September, 1865. In the meantime he had enjoyed a two months’ furlough and had veteranized after the expiration of the first term of his enlistment.

Upon leaving the army Mr. McLean returned to Cedarville and shortly afterward made a trip west, visiting Illinois and Iowa, but finally came back to Ohio and worked as a carpenter until 1867. He then purchased the business of a firm of contractors and builders which he has since conducted with remarkable success. Nearly all the fine buildings in this section have been put up under his supervision including the town building and opera house at Cedarville, the large school-house, the Methodist Church and the residences of D. S. Erwin, S. K. Mitchell, George W. Harpen and Thomas Crawford, besides many others equally as fine. He also put up among many others, the residence occupied by the mother of Whitelaw Reid, the famous editor of the New York Tribune , whose native place and whose real home is near Cedarville.

Politically, Mr. McLean since his voting days commenced, has been a straight Republican and he has held many of the local offices. He served as Postmaster of Cedarville when the office was located in the town building. He is a member in good standing of the Grand Army of the Republic and of the Encampment and Subordinate Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He finds his religious home in the Methodist Church. When twenty-three years old he was joined in wedlock with Miss Margaret Jane, daughter of Jacob Ford, the wedding taking place at the bride’s home in Cedarville, in 1859. This union resulted in the birth of eleven children, three of whom — John, Olive and Clara, died in infancy; Schuyler Colfax at the age of fifteen years was thrown from a horse receiving fatal injuries; Lucy died when an interesting maiden of sixteen years of typhoid fever. The survivors are Jennetta, the widow of J. J. Barber, and the mother of three children; Rollin P., a lad of sixteen years; Esty, fourteen years old; Lavina, a little miss of twelve years and Asa W., the baby. The parents of our subject were Franklin and Amy Ann (Durfey) McLean, natives respectively of Ohio and Rhode Island. The McLean family originated in Scotland and was first represented in the United States probably during the Colonial days.

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This family biography is one of the many biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890. 

View additional Greene County, Ohio family biographies here: Greene County, Ohio Biographies

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