Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


[p. 527] is a citizen who has in his day seen much of life and has traveled over a goodly portion of the United States. That he utimately came back to the land of his nativity and here settled only goes to prove the pre-eminent desirability of this section as a place in which to live and thrive. That he has prospered in this beautiful country and attained a high standard as a leading citizen and farmer of Plain Grove township is due equally to the worth of the region and his own style of life and manner of work.

Captain James McCune, the father of the gentleman with whom we are the most concerned, was a native of Plain Grove township, and was a son of James McCune, Sr., and his wife Susan (Armstrong) McCune. James McCune, Sr., was in his life-time one of the pioneer shoemakers of this new country and left an honorable name for his descendants to perpetuate. Capt. James McCune while a youth learned the tanner's trade which he followed for some time. Discontinuing this line of work, he became a stock dealer. Later on he engaged in mercantile pursuits at Harlansburg, a line he followed up to 1864, when he enlisted in Co. E, 134th Reg. Pa. Vol. Inf. Of this company he was captain. From exposure and hardships, to which he was subjected, while on a forced march from Washington to the scene of the Second Battle of Bull Run, and thence to the field of Antietam, he contracted a severe fever. He was a large and fleshy man, so that weakened by severe heat, the disease obtained a hold on him that he could not shake off. He died in the hospital, and his body was brought home and interred in the Plain Grove Cemetery. His widow, Hannah, (Adams) McCune, survived him about three years. She was a daughter of James A. Adams, who married a Miss Harris, and lived to be a very old man. Our subject's mother was born in Butler County, near Adam's Corners, in 1827.

William McCune, our subject, was born in Harlansburg, July 26, 1856. At his father's death he was less than ten years of age. His uncle, Michael Jordan, took him to rear, and gave him all the educational advantages possible. He attended district school until he was sixteen, and then spent some time in Prof. Robinson's private school. After this he took a year each in the Sunbury Academy and the Edinboro Normal School. Completing his education, the now young man farmed on shares with his uncle for four or five years, and then took Horace Greeley's famous advice, and went West. His first location was at Lincoln, Neb., where he spent a short time, then sold all his interests and removed to Kansas City, where he remained six months. Nowhere in the West did he find fields so fertile or climate so genial as in his own native township, so back he came to Lawrence County, where he married and settled down on rented property, which consisted of two good farms. His uncle, Michael, in the spring of 1887, deeded him the present farm of ninety-two acres, which he has since greatly improved, adding large barns and commodious buildings. Here he is actively engaged in general farming, but makes a specialty of a fine dairy, keeping as high as twenty to twenty-five head of milch[sic] cows.

Mr. McCune was married Nov. 15, 1883, in Scott township, to Cora I. McBride, daughter of Robert and Sarah J. (Martin) McBride. The latter was a daughter of William and Margaret (Marshall) Martin. William Martin was a son of Charles and Jane (McNiece) Martin, Robert McBride, father of Mrs. McCune, was born in Butler Co., Pa., and is a wagon-maker by trade, but now resides in New Castle. He was a son of Alexander and Mary (Armstrong) McBride, the latter being a daughter of David and Mary Armstrong. Alexander McBride was a merchant of the days gone by, and was a native of Ireland. He left his native land at seventeen years of age, and lived to enjoy many seasons of summer and winter, which silvered his hair and beard, but did not sap his wonderful vitality. He was noted in his time for his wonderful aptness with figures and anything in the mathematical line. To William McCune and his wife have been born four children: James Elliott; Martha Martin; Hannah May; and John Francis. All are alive, and make up a very happy and interesting family circle.

Mr. McCune is a progressive and wide-awake man, and of more than the ordinary education and general ability. He has always been a stanch Democrat, and served for a long time as a member of the board of school directors. As a member of the Presbyterian Church, he is bringing his family up amid Christian influences. In the community, although a comparatively young man, he is highly rated as having extremely good judgment and an experience which stands him in good stead in all the varied duties of life. He has been a member of the Farmers' Alliance, and is also connected with the Royal Arcanum.

Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens Lawrence County Pennsylvania
Biographical Publishing Company, Buffalo, N.Y., 1897

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Updated: 13 Jul 2001