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Between pages 196-197
William McCoy, father of the subject of this sketch, and the portrait of whom appears elsewhere [not found], was born in what is now the State of Delaware, December 25, 1752. His wife, Drusilla Browning, was a native of Pennsylvania, and they were married in Huntingdon county, of that State, June 12, 1794. William McCoy followed the old time popular occupation of wagoning for twenty years, and it was while thus engaged that he met Drusilla Browning. After their marriage they emigrated to Kentucky, and in 1797 removed to the Northwest territory, and located on Kinnickinnick, which is now in Greene township, Ross county. At that time there was not a family between his location and Cleveland, and only two white families between him and Chillicothe, which was six miles south. He built upon Kinnickinnick the first mill in the Scioto valley. He moved from his first location, in 1803, to the farm in Green township, Ross county, now occupied by D. Crouse.
During the war of 1812 he was lieutenant in the Irish Gray company, and though he awaited the call of duty, his company was not called into active service.
He was a man of moral and pious character, had been for a number of years a church member in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, and was the leading spirit in the organization of the Mt. Union Presbyterian church, of which he was for a long time subsequently one of the ruling elders.
William McCoy's first wife died September 2, 1805. She was the mother of seven children: William, born November 26, 1795--deceased October 2, 1820; Alexander, born June 16, 1897--deceased 1877; James, born February 2, 1799; Martha, born May 9, 1800--deceased October 2, 1814; Nancy, born January 26, 1802--now deceased; John, born April 30, 1803, and Joshua, born April 2, 1805; now in Iowa.
Mr. McCoy married, in 1818, as his second wife, Rebecca Wilson, and had by her three children: Joseph, born November 10, 1819; Martha, born November 15, 1822; Harriet Ann, born December 24, 1823.
William McCoy, the pioneer, parent of these ten children, died August 27, 1823.
It is our purpose to give of his son, James, a further account than the mere mention made of other descendants, for the reason that his long life has been prominently identified with the history of Pickaway county. As we have said, he was born February 2, 1799. He grew to manhood upon his father's farm, and lived there until after his marriage. In his early life he engaged in boating, and took several loads of flour and other provisions down the Scioto to the Ohio, and thence down the Mississippi to New Orleans. He thus obtained, at the same time, his first knowledge of business and of the great world outside of the quiet farm home. His first trip was made in 1819. He took one hundred and seventy-eight barrels of flour and a considerable quantity of other goods; arrived safely at New Orleans, and sold them at a fair price, but to men who were dishonest, and from whom he was never able to secure the whole of the pay. He stated home June 8th, and arrived July 11th, having walked all the way from th mouth of the Mississippi, and passed through the trials of sickness, the danger of attack from Indians in the Indian Nation (now Mississippi), and the no less imminent danger of being robbed by lawless characters not of the red race.
In 1821 he built a boat for his father, and in company with a man named John Grant, took the second trip to New Orleans. They returned upon a steamboat; made what was called a quick trip, and were fourteen days and ten hours coming up the river from their starting point to Louisville. In 1823 Mr. McCoy made his third commercial venture, this time going down the river upon a boat of his own, and carrying wheat and flour, on which he made a reasonable profit.
Just after his return from this trip his father died, and the care of the family was, to a large extent, thrown upon him. He devoted most of his time, after that, to farming, and wa a hard worker and a good manager.
In 1825, on the eighth of November, he married Elizabeth, daughter of John and Nancy Entrekin, who was the sharer of his joys and sorrows, his failures and successes, until 1872. She died, August 23d of that year. James and Elizabeth McCoy were the parents of four children, two of whom are still living. Martha Janeborn August 22, 1826, died September 4, 1829; John E., born July 30, 1830, married Phillip Anna Ferguson, and is now living in Lawrence, Kansas; Milton, born December 9, 1838, married Catharine Crouse, and is living at Kinnickinnick, Ross county; Barton, born November 24, 1842, was a musician of great natural genius. He enlisted in the army, served as leader of the Second regiment band, and died in the service, from disease, July 8, 1864.
After his marriage, James McCoy continued his occupation of farming. He moved, in 1826, on to the south half of section six, in Salt Creek township, and took up his home on a farm owned by his father-in-law. There he remained, without intermission, until 1837, when he prepared to go west. This project was defeated by money difficulties, brought about by the suspension of the banks. He resumed work on the Salt Creek farm, and continued to reside there until 1839, when he removed to Circleville, and started in company with Dr. Olds, in the business of pork-packing. He remained in that business for two years, and then went into the mercantile business with Messrs. Olds and Baker, under the firm name of Olds, Baker & McCoy. Seven years of his life were spent, with varying degrees of success, in this enterprise, and at the expiration of that period he retired, and purchased a farm on the Pickaway plains. He followed farming, stock raising and dealing, acted as agent for land-owners, and engaged in several other employments, from which he realized, in the aggregate, a considerable sum of money. Althoug Mr. McCoy has been an active, industrious man of business, and a good farmer, he has not, in his old age, a large accumulation of property or moneys, and this is rather creditable than nor, for the cause is to be found in the many generous acts of the last half of his life. He has the reputation of having done, quietly, a great number of substantial kindnesses, and has been, in every sense, a generous and liberal man to those persons and causes which have been in need and were worthy. His life has been without reproach, admirable in its earnestness and simplicity. He is a member of the old school Presbyterian church, and the house upon east Main street, where he has, these many years, taken part in worship, stands upon a lot which he donated for the purpose of its erection. In politics, Mr. McCoy is a Republican of Whig antecedents.