Pages 174-176, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.


Mr. & Mrs. George McLaughlin


GEORGE McLAUGHLIN.—Our attention is directed in the following brief sketch to a family who have done no little toward the moral, educational and material advancement of Allen county. Its establishment here dates from the year 1871 and its worthy and industrious head is the subject hereof.

When George McLaughlin located upon the north-west quarter of section 8, township 25, range 21, there were few persons who could now be termed neighbors. The Sapps, Culbertsons, Moores and the Armstrongs were among the nearby settlers and the neighborhood was considered to extend as far away as Nortons, west of Moran. The post-office was old Elsmore and there was naught to prevent one from taking the shortest cut to any desired point. Mr. McLaughlin erected, or moved into, an old stone house layed up with mud, built by an old bachelor settler, Lindsey. This the family used as a residence till 1879 when the present family cottage was erected in the center of the section he now owns.

The first years in a new country are not infrequently years of occasional trials and hardships. This is particularly true of settlers who are without means, save as they gather them from their fields in the harvest times. The McLaughlins were poor. They had settled in a new country because of that fact and when it is stated that a failure in their crops


brought suffering, both mental and physical, it is no exaggeration. There was one barrier between the family and actual distress, at times, and that was education. Mrs. McLaughlin had superior educational facilities. At the age of sixteen she was a classical graduate of the Macedonian Institute at Alexandria, Kentucky, and was immediately tendered the chair of English Literature in the Mt. Vernon, Ohio, Female Seminary, which she declined. Her first teacher's certificate was granted by Colonel Jacob Ammon, a close friend and old teacher of Gen. Grant. When Mrs. McLaughlin was acquiring an education it did not occur to her that said education would some time save a little settlement on the frontier and preserve it for good in the development of a great state. But it so happened. When the hard years came and the family larder ran low the wife of our subject taught school. Rocklow and Union and Stony Point have all been garrisoned by her and a small band of America's youth and those times are now regarded as among the events of her life.

As the years wore on and crop conditions became more favorable and the growing of cattle profitable the material prosperity of the family became apparent. This condition of financial ease exemplified itself in a regular and steady increase in area of the family homestead. Eventually its boundaries extended to and included all the eighties in section eight, save one, and its shortage is made up in another section. To dig a section of land out of itself is not done without great industry and perseverance and the McLaughlins are to be congratulated, in view of their early difficulties, in accomplishing the task in a quarter of a century.

Mr. McLaughlin came from Brown county, Ohio. He was born there May 12, 1835, and his wife April 25, 1844. The latter was Abbie J., a daughter of Thomas Pickerell, who cut off with his own ax three hundred acres of Ohio timber land. Mr. Pickerell was born in Mason county, Kentucky, March 12, 1800, and died in Brown county, Ohio, April 16, 1871. His father, Samuel Pickerell, enlisted at twelve years of age in the Colonial army for service in the war of the Revolution. He was a drummer and served through the war. He was with General Washington at the crossing of the Delaware and in the service his feet and hands were so frosted that parts of them were necessarily removed. He was a farmer and bought the old Pickerell place on Eagle Creek, Bird township, Brown county, Ohio, upon which the first church of the Campbellite faith was erected, in 1817. The Shakers had once occupied the site but had abandoned it and the early Campbellite leaders gathered and perfected their organization there. Samuel Pickerell died at the age of ninety-eight years. He was married and reared the following children: Dennis, who reared a family in Brown county, Ohio; Richard, Samuel, Lovell, Thomas, William, Betsy, who married Samuel Dunham, Jennie, who married James Beatty; Mary, who became the wife of Mr. Harbaugh; Sallie, wife of Mr. Gillespie; Mrs. Thomas Reese; and Lucy, who became Mrs. Samuel Bartholomew. Thomas Pickerell married Alice Mann, a grand-daughter of David DeVore, born in Alsace, France, now Germany. She was Mr. Pickerell's second wife. He reared two families; in the first eight children


and in the second five. Those surviving are: Thomas Pickerell, of Rice county, Kansas; Addison Pickerell, of Carthage, Illinois: Alexander O. Pickerell, of Arkansas; John F. Pickerell, of Ripley, Ohio; Mrs. McLaughlin; Sarah, widow of Samuel Peck, Dover, Kentucky, and Ella, wife of John McKee, of Ripley, Ohio. William C. Pickerell, deceased, was the first settler on the townsite of Topeka. He was a brother of Mrs. McLaughlin who went out the Kaw river above Kansas City in 1853 and took the claim that much of the State Capital stands on. He enlisted in Jameson's command and served through the war. His twelve-year-old son, Thomas, rode ninety miles without saddle or bridle and without eating to a military post to carry out his determination to get into the service. He went through the war as buglar and resides in Ness county, Kansas, at present.

Mr. McLaughlin's father was David McLaughlin, a pioneer settler in Brown county, Ohio. He was born in Pennsylvania but was reared in Mason county, Kentucky. He was a son of John McLaughlin and the farm where he first settled is still in the family, owned by our subject's youngest brother. David McLaughlin was a soldier in our second war with England and was in the garrison at Detroit when Hull surrendered it to the British. He died in 1880 at the age of eighty-four years. He married Reebcca[sic] Ramey who died in 1873. Their children were: John R., of Brown county, Ohio; Lydia, deceased, married R. P. Fisher; George McLaughlin; Josiah C., who died in 1863; Frances, deceased, and Lawrence McLaughlin.

George McLaughlin served in the hundred day guards called out during the war to protect the border from Rebel invasion. He left Ohio in 1866 and came west to Jackson county, Missouri. He resided there three years and took another step westward into Brown county, Kansas. In 1871 he left there and came down into Allen county. He was married May 2, 1860, to one of the successful teachers of Brown county, Ohio. Their children were: Herschel, deceased; T. Hamer; Josiah C., of Kansas City, Kansas, married Cora Holman; Anna, widow of J. L. Edson, resides in Kansas City, Missouri; Alice, wife of Will Shank of Bronson, Kansas; Chilton W., of Kansas City, Kansas, assistant surgeon St. Margaret's Hospital; Rose, wife of W. L. Stahl, with Kansas City Journal, and Leona and Myrtle McLaughlin, successful teachers of Allen county, and Horace McLaughlin, at home.

Mr. McLaughlin is a Democrat. He was reared one and there has been no time when he felt warranted in changing his faith.

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