From A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. I, p. 242
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902


   Isaac L McCracken is now living retired in Sterling, the rest which crowns honorable, continued and well directed efforts having been vouchsafed to him, and now as he approaches the evening of life he is enabled to enjoy quiet retirement.  He was born in Butler county, Ohio, July 18, 1836.  His father, the Rev S W McCracken, was born in Hamilton county, Ohio, near Cincinnati, in 1800, and was a son of Wilson McCracken, but aside from this little is known concerning the remote ancestral history.  During the greater part of his life the Rev McCracken devoted his labors to gospel work as a minister of the United Presbyterian church, and was at one time professor of mathematics in the Miami University, of Ohio.  He married Miss Catherine E Monfort, who was born in Butler county, Ohio, about 1809, and was a daughter of Peter and Anna Maria (Spinning) Monfort.  The parents of our subject were married in Oxford, Ohio, and the mother died at Morning Sun, Preble county, that state, in 1849, while the father, surviving her about ten years, passed away in the same county, in October, 1859.  He was for twenty years the pastor of Hopewell church in that county and his remains were laid to rest in the churchyard there.  They were the parents of nine children, but only four reached years of maturity, namely:  John Calvin, who is now a merchant in Urbana, Ohio; Isaac L; Charlotte A, who became the wife of W Craig and died in Oxford, Ohio, April 23, 1893, at the age of forty-nine years, leaving four children; and Samuel, who was killed at the battle of Resaca, and sleeps in the soldierís cemetery at Atlanta, Georgia.  He left the Miami University at President Lincolnís second call for troops, served for three years and on the expiration of that period, when his first term of enlistment had expired, he re-enlisted, meeting death upon the battlefield.

   Isaac L McCracken, the immediate subject of this review, and the member of the family in whom the citizens of central Kansas are most interested, was a student in the Morning Sun Academy, after which he engaged in teaching for one term.  He volunteered for service in the Union army August 8, 1862, becoming a member of company G, Ninety-third Ohio Infantry.  He joined the army as a private and was sergeant when mustered out.  He was never wounded, but was accidentally injured while on the sick list.  Brave and loyal he was ever found at his post of duty and with a creditable military record he returned to his home.

   Mr McCracken was united in marriage October 27, 1857, to Miss Ella W Stewart, of Preble county, Ohio, born December 9, 1835, her parents being Joseph and Naomi (Hart) Stewart.  Eight children have been born of this union:  Alla M, wife of A D Ramsey, of Sterling, and they have three living children and have lost one; Frank M, who died at the age of two years, while his father was in the service of his country; Myrta C, who  is the wife of N C Elliott, of Union county, Indiana, and they have two living children; Charley S, who is now a ranchman in Texas; Lee S, a resident of Sterling, who is married and has four children; Gilbert G, who is married and also resides in Sterling; Josiah C, who graduated in the University of Pennsylvania with the class of 1901, and was for four years a member of the football team and one of the finest athletes of the school, while he is also renowned for his mental superiority and his moral worth; and Daisy E, who is the wife of O B Johnson, of Lyons, Kansas.

   Mr McCracken continued to reside in Ohio until the fall of 1872, when he removed to Lincoln county, Tennessee, going thence to Emerson county, Kansas, in the fall of 1884.  He followed farming and milling.  In the spring of 1886 he went to Ness county, Kansas, where he secured four quarter sections of land and thereon carried on farming for five years.  In 1891 he came to Sterling, taking up his abode in his present good residence, and is now living retired.  Socially he is connected with the Grand Army of the Republic and has been junior vice commander.  He has served as street commissioner for four years and is a stanch temperance man.  He also belongs to the United Presbyterian church, in which he is a trustee, and he is deeply interested in all moral work calculated to uplift his fellow men.