Alexander County

Biography - James McCrite

JAMES E. McCRITE, farmer, P. O. Elco. James McCrite, the grandfather of our subject, came from Ireland, and located in South Carolina, where he married Margaret Anderson, also a native of Ireland, coming to this country when a little girl. There John McCrite, the father of James E., was born June 17, 1778. This gentleman lived in that State some years, and then removed with his parents to Georgia, where he married a Miss Jane Callahon, a daughter of Edward and Polly Callahon; the father was a native of Ireland, coming to this country when a young man, and the mother was a native of New Jersey. By this union, there were seven children, four of whom are now living, and of this number our subject was the eldest, and was born March 22, 1813, in Jackson County, Ga. In 1814, his father moved to Murray County, Tenn., where he remained until October, 1829, when he came to Union County, settling near what is now Mt. Pleasant; at that place, he only remained a year, and came to Alexander County, where he settled on Sandy Creek, about seven miles from what is now Elco Station. Our subject was now about seventeen years old, and had, until this time, probably attended school at the old subscription schools, altogether, about five months. After his arrival in this county, he attended school exactly eleven days. This was the extent of his learning in the schoolhouse, and he is truly what can be called a self-made man. Most of his learning was obtained after he had reached manhood, by the light of the fireplace, after night. He remained most of the time at the home place until 1836, working at odd jobs for the neighbors at wood-chopping, rail- splitting, etc. In the fall of 1837, he located on his first farm. It was a forty-acre tract of Government land, and was entirely in timber. This has been increased, by patient toil and industry, to a farm of 480 acres, of which eighty acres are improved. Mr. McCrite was married, September 29, 1836, to Miss Edna Baughn, daughter of Reuben and Nancy Baughn, both natives of Tennessee. She was born September 15, 1815, and was the mother of eleven children, eight of whom are now living — Reuben V., Joseph L., Robert W., Nancy J. (wife of John A. Morris), Polly I. (wife of R. B. Wilson), Margaret A. (wife of George W. Vick) and Martha J. (wife of Jesse G. Wilson). This lady died April 15, 1872, and subject was married, April 8, 1874, to Mrs. Mary E. Miles, who was born May 12, 1829, and is a daughter of John and Nancy Jones, both natives of North Carolina, but raised in Kentucky. In politics, our subject is a Democrat, and he has served his county faithfully in numerous capacities. In his time, he has been Justice of the Peace, being elected to this office first in 1841 and serving continually until November, 1881. He was appointed Township Treasurer in 1846, and served in that office for a number of years. He was elected Associate Justice of the Peace in 1852, first to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Silas Dexter; was elected the next term, and served for sixteen consecutive years, retiring in 1873, and he has also served his district as School Commissioner for a number of years. Mr. and Mrs. McCrite are both members of the Missionary Baptist Church that holds its services on Sandy Creek. Mr. McCrite is a member of the Jonesboro Lodge.

Extracted 29 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from 1883 History of Alexander, Union, and Pulaski Counties, Illinois, pages 225-226.


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