J R. McNARY. Joseph Rea McNary, of Smith township, Washington county, son of Joseph and Jane (Rea) McNary, was born July 19, 1847, on the farm where he now resides one mile west of Burgettstown.
His father, the late Joseph McNary, of Smith township, was born in Cross Creek township, Washington county, June 18, 1802. He was a son of James McNary (son of John and grandson of the "original" James), who removed from York county, Penn., and located in Cross Creek township in the year 1798. His mother, Margaret Reed, was a daughter of Col. Joseph Reed, of Revolutionary fame. He married Jane Rea, youngest daughter of William Rea, Esq., of Cross Creek township. In 1828 he removed to the "Homestead" in Smith township, where he resided until his death in May, 1874. He became an active and influential citizen of the township, and was for many years a prominent member of and an elder in the U. P. Congregation of Burgettstown, Penn. He had twelve children two sons and ten daughters. Of the daughters, one died in infancy; and one, Julia, was strangled with a grain of corn, at the age of eighteen months. The other ten children survived their parents, and the old homestead is now occupied by his sons J. R. and W. J. McNary. His mother died at his home, aged ninety-five years, as also did his grandmother, Jennet Brotherton, relict of Col. Joseph Reed, at the age of ninety-six years.
J. R. McNary worked upon the farm in his boyhood, attending the district schools, and later, the grammar school of Prof. S. F. Patterson (afterward speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives). In early life he began reporting for the county papers, and is now a well- known writer for the agricultural publications of the country. At his father's death he took charge of the home place, where he now resides, and is engaged in farming and stock raising. In November, 1875, J. R. McNary was married to Catharine W., daughter of Samuel J. Ghrist, of Burgettstown, and their union has been blessed with the following named children: Bessie J., Ethel R., Joseph V., S. Georgiana, Kate G. and Samuel James. Mr. McNary has always taken a leading part in public affairs and early became interested in matters political having represented his district in county convention before being of age. He has filled the positions of auditor, school director, and member of the Union Agricultural Association; and at the age of twenty-five years was the Democratic nominee for county auditor, securing a handsome endorsement, outside of his party, in his own district.
Owing to the misfortune of a loss of hearing, from an accidental cause, in November, 1886, Mr. McNary has retired from active public life, giving his attention to stock raising, and to agricultural affairs. He enjoys the reputation of being an extensive reader, a progressive farmer, the possessor of a retentive memory, and of being well informed upon the current issues of the day.
Text taken from page 81 of:
Beers, J. H. and Co., Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893).
Transcribed April 1997 by Neil and Marilyn Morton of Oswego, IL as part of the Beers Project.
Published April 1997 on the Washington County, PA USGenWeb pages at http://www.chartiers.com/.
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