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    JAMES McCLARY, deceased, formerly one of Newberry Township's most respected citizens and prominent and useful men, was a worthy representative of one of the sturdy old pioneer families of Miami County. He was born on the old McClary homestead farm, about two miles north of Covington, Miami County, Ohio, February 18, 1821, and died at Covington, April 15, 1906. His parents were John and Eliza (Brandon) McClary.

    The father of the late James McClary was born in Kentucky and came to Miami County, Ohio, in 1812. He brought with him his wife, Eliza Brandon, who was born in South Carolina, a daughter of Benjamin Brandon, a Revolutionary soldier, who settled in Miami, County about the same time, locating near Piqua. Shortly after marriage, John and Eliza McClary established the home ever since known as the McClary homestead, not far from Covington, Miami County.

    On the above farm James McClary grew from childhood to manhood. Pioneer conditions prevailed, great expanses of uncleared land and forest stretching between the different civilized points, a trip to the mill, in his boyhood, involving as much preparation and loss of time as now is required to cover hundreds of miles by train or automobile, and the performance of many errands, except the one of carrying the grist and waiting for it to be ground by means of the old-time water wheel, and the returning home with the bag of flour on the back of his pony in front of him. He was quite small when he first began to be entrusted with this very important mission and when he was permitted to spend the first night, when part way home, at Grandfather Brandon's, he thoroughly enjoyed the unusual relaxation. In his boyhood work instead of play came first, not a great deal of time being given, either, to the acquiring of knowledge. He was wont to tell his children of his first primer, which was made out of a paddle, on which his alphabet was printed and which served the purpose very well. Many ingenious and thrifty methods were made use of in the early days, when books were scarce and money was little in circulation. Life had many hardships for both youth and age, in those days, but, on the other hand, more simple pleasures pleased than satisfy the present generation, and there are few of the old remaining pioneers who will not fondly recall the early times. Work, outdoor life, sufficient recreation, all contributed to James McClary growing into strong sturdy manhood, while a naturally quick understanding and generous disposition, brought him the confidence and esteem of those with whom he was associated.

    In 1842 James McClary was married to Nancy Buchanan, who was a daughter of Col. George Buchanan. The latter was a native of Rockingham County, Virginia, where he married Nancy Cassiday, and together they came to Ohio, in 1803, locating first at Deerfield, Warren County. Probably in the spring of 1808 the Buchanans moved to what is now West Milton, Miami County, where the father engaged in farming until the opening of the War of 1812. He then became captain of an organization known as the Frontier Guards and was placed in charge of the supply depot at the junction of Greenville Creek and the Stillwater, the names designating these points at that time being Fort Buchanan and For Rowdy, now Covington, a quiet little city far removed from any indication of military disturbance. At the beginning of the war, Colonel Buchanan removed his family to the east side of the Stillwater, in Montgomery County, just over the county line, and there the Buchanans lived until 1830, when Colonel Buchanan settled on a farm in Section 6, Newberry Township, Miami County, which remained the permanent home. By trade he was a carpenter and cabinetmaker but he never lost interest in military affairs and following the close of the War of 1812, remained active in the Militia. Both he and wife were members of the Christian Church. He lived to the age of eight-three years, dying in 1862, and was survived for nine years by his widow.

    Following his marriage, the late James McClary built a house on a small tract of land which his father had given him off the old homestead, in recognition of his cheerful assistance given all through his youth, and on that place he lived until his parents died, a few years later. He then sold out and went to Piqua and during the eighteen months of his residence there he began to acquire shares in the old homestead and subsequently purchased the interests of all the heirs and became sole owner of the property. During the years of subsequent residence on the farm, he assumed all the duties of a citizen of his township and frequently was tendered public office and at times served as assessor and as a member of the Board of Trustees. Later, when he retired to Covington, he was elected a justice of the peace, serving most acceptably in that position for a number of terms, and for years was occupied in settling up estates and administering upon them. He was a man of such undoubted and unimpeachable integrity, that his fellow citizens entrusted to his judgment their most important business concerns.

    Mr. McClary was married (first) to Nancy Buchanan, who died in 1888, and several years later he was married (second) to Susan Trout. His four children were born to his first union, namely: Eliza Evaline, deceased, who was the wife of John West; George D., who lives in West Covington; Winfield Wesley, who lives at Butler, Pennsylvania; and Laura, who resides on North High Street, Covington. Miss McClary is one of Covington's best known and most highly esteemed ladies and probably one of the most substantial, owning various residence and business properties in this city. She takes a natural pride in her ancestry and justly cherishes and reveres the memory of her father.

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