William W Davis.

History of Whiteside County, Illinois from its earliest settlement to 1908 : illustrated, with biographical sketches of some prominent citizens of the county (Volume v.1) online

. (page 72 of 72)
Online LibraryWilliam W DavisHistory of Whiteside County, Illinois from its earliest settlement to 1908 : illustrated, with biographical sketches of some prominent citizens of the county (Volume v.1) → online text (page 72 of 72)
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through his membership in Will Robinson Post, No. 274, G. A. R., and is
also an exemplary representative of Rock River Lodge, No. 612, A. F. &
A. M. Both he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church
and he is serving on the official board. He has been particularly prominent
in his work for local option and is a strong prohibitionist. He regards intem-
perance as one of the greatest evils of the country and puts forth every effort
in his power to check its course, further indicating his views upon the sub-
ject by his ballot, giving loyal support to the prohibition party. He is one
of the most earnest and able workers in the local Young Men's Christian
Association and, moreover, has lectured for the organization: His influence
is always found on the side of right, reform, truth, justice and progress,
and his position upon any question of vital moment is never an equivocal
one. His interest in the welfare of the city along material, intellectual, social
and moral lines is manifest in many tangible ways, and in citizenship he
displays the same spirit of loyalty which characterized him when as a boy
soldier he fought for the defense of the Union. In fact he stands loyally
and courageously in support of every cause or movement which he believes
to be right, and the principles which have governed his life are those which
work for honorable manhood.



Jeremiah V. McCarty, conducting a successful business as a hardware
merchant at Rock Falls, was born June 22, 1842, in London, England, his
parents being Dennis and Johanna (Cochlan) McCarty, both of whom were
natives of Ireland. The paternal grandparents emigrated from Ireland to
America in 1855, settling near LaCrosse, Wisconsin, where they spent their
remaining days. The mother of our subject died when the son was three


years of age and in 1849 the father married Margaret Barry, also a native of
the Emerald isle. They resided in London for twenty years and in 1850
crossed the Atlantic to the new world, remaining, however, for about a year
in New England. They then continued on their westward way to McHenry
county, Illinois, living for a time near Harvard, and about a year later they
took up their abode near Elgin. In 1853 they became residents of Peca-
tonica, Winnebago county, Illinois, where they resided until 1856, when they
again spent a year in Elgin. In June, 1856,- they removed to Lee county
and in 1857 to Whiteside county, taking up their abode on a farm northeast
of Round Grove, the place being known as the Hecker farm, in Hopkins
township. There they lived until 1870, then removing to Sterling, and the
father's death occurred in that city on the 3d of October, 1871. Five chil-
dren were born unto him and his wife: Jeremiah V., of this review; Kate,
who was married in 1872 to M. B. Fitzgerald, a contractor of Sterling; Mary;
the wife of James Fitzgerald, also a contractor of Sterling; Ella, the wife
of James Ballou ; a mechanic of Chicago; and Fannie, the wife of James
Wood, of Chicago.

Jeremiah V. McCarty spent the first eight years of his life in the land
of his nativity and then accompanied his parents to the new world. He was
with them on their various removals until the outbreak of the Civil war.
when in 1861 'he offered his .services to the government and enlisted for
three years in Company E, Thirty-fourth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He
was with the Army of the Cumberland during this time, save for a short
period in 186*2, when his regiment was sent to reinforce Grant's army at
the battle of Shiloh, returning thence to the department in Tennessee. At
the battle of Shiloh Mr. McCarty was wounded twice. He was also in the
siege of Corinth and in the battles of Stone River, Liberty Gap and Chicka-
mauga, being the only member of his regiment who took part in ' the last
named engagement, for the Thirty-fourth Illinois had been detached to
guard the bridge that crossed the river over -which his corps passed to drive
Bragg out of Chickamauga. At this time Mr. McCarty was made orderly of
the brigade. He was also in the engagements of Missionary Ridge, Lookout
Mountain, Buzzard's Roast, Resaca, Rome, Kenesaw Mountain, Peach Tree
Creek, Jonesboro and the siege of Atlanta, being engaged in continual fight-
ing for one hundred and twenty-eight days. He was only once in the. hos-
pital, although he was many times" exposed to the thickest fire of the enemy.
His bravery and loyalty were ever above question and after the battle of
Chickamauga he received honorable mention. At Atlanta, Georgia, he was
discharged September 17, 1864, by reason of the expiration of his term, and
although he had been at the front for three years he was then but little past
the twenty-first year of his life. No veteran of twice his years, however,
was more fearless or more true to the old flag than was this soldier boy who
faced the enemy in many of the most hotly contested engagements of the

When mustered out Mr. McCarty returned home and followed different
pursuits in order to secure a livelihood, leaving the parental roof in 1866.
In 1868 he began railroading between Sterling and Rock Island on the


Rockford, Rock Island & St. Louis Railroad. For two years he was em-
ployed as a locomotive engineer arid during the succeeding thirteen years
was engineer for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company between Bradford,
Ohio, and Chicago. For eleven years of that period he lived in Logansport,

Mr. McCarty was married in that city April 22, 1875, to Miss Mary
Amelia Cassidy, a daughter of James and Elizabeth (Kissinger) Cassidy,
the former a native of Pennsylvania and a contractor by occupation, who
died in his home in Logansport, Indiana, in 1866. In addition to Mrs.
McCarty there were three other children : Cecelia, who was born in Logans-
port and who married James Shafer, a locomotive engineer; John M., also
a native of Logansport ; and William, general foreman of the roundhouse
at Logansport, for the Pennsylvania Railway Company.

Mr. and Mrs. McCarty have two children : Charles J., born in Logans-
port, Indiana, September 29, 1876, was eight years of age when his parents
came to Whiteside county and in 1894 was graduated from the Rock Falls
high school. He then took up the study of electrical engineering in the
State University at Champaign, completing the four years' course. He is
now a civil engineer in the employ of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy
Railroad Company and lives in Aurora, Illinois. He was for a time engaged
with his father in the coal business at Rock Falls. He married Miss Susan
Nickelson, a resident of Aurora. Gertrude E., the younger child, married
John Kadel, Jr., of Rock Falls, who is engaged in the hardware business
with his father-in-law.

Following his marriage Mr. McCarty continued to engage in railroading
until 1881, when he resigned his position with the Pennsylvania Company
and with his family returned to Rock Falls. Here he purchased the business
interests of the Montague family and dealt in coal, lime and buil'ding ma-
terials on lot 6, block 4, River street, continuing there until 1898, when he
sold out to the firm of Smith & Grater. He was then engaged in building
operations until May, 1905, when he formed a partnership with his son-in-
law, Mr. Kadel, in the hardware business, purchasing the stock of Derbe-
shier & Sons. They have since carried on the business and now have a well
appointed store, in which they are receiving a liberal patronage in recogni-
tion of their reasonable prices, honorable methods and earnest desire to
please their customers.

Mr. McCarty suffers slightly from his old wounds but otherwise enjoys
good health and is pleasantly situated socially and commercially. He be-
longs to the Modern Woodmen Camp and to the Grand Army of the Re-
public. He has several times served as commander of the latter and also
as adjutant. He is likewise connected with the Knights of Columbus. His
political allegiance is given to the republican party and he was for one
terns a member of the board of trustees, while for 'five consecutive years he
served as assessor of the town. Aside from his business his interest centers
largely in the Grand Army of the Republic and he stands with the old guard
whose faces are still set to the front. Many of his old army comrades have
recently passed away. In all that he does he has been actuated by the spirit


of Commissioner Warner, of the pension department, who wrote, "As the
setting sun shines on our faces as we march down the western slope of life
to our last camp in the valley, let us go forward with the same unfaltering
step as when in the days of the '60s we bore 'old glory' to the front on many
a hard fought battlefield nor furled it until victory was won." Mr. McCarty
has never deviated from a course that he believed to be right between his
fellowmen and himself and there has been much of the spirit of the old sol-
dier in all that he has done as year by year he has fought the battles of life
and in the great majority of instances has come out victor in the strife.


Online LibraryWilliam W DavisHistory of Whiteside County, Illinois from its earliest settlement to 1908 : illustrated, with biographical sketches of some prominent citizens of the county (Volume v.1) → online text (page 72 of 72)