Article Index
The McHargue Family History
Prelude To An American Family
The Patriarch
John McHargue I
James McHargue I
William McHargue I
Mary McHargue
Margaret McHargue
Alexander McHargue, Jr
Postlude For An American Family
All Pages

Glynis McHargue Patterson


In the years since the McHargue family first appeared on records in colonial America in 1745, the family has been completely interwoven into the fabric of American history. 1 It is a very interesting history and one that deserves to be shared and passed down to generations to come.  Our ancestors shouldered many difficulties and much hard work to make this country a home that would offer more prosperity than that which they had in the country they left behind.


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This history is a combination of original research in official records available in libraries, courthouses, and state archives as well as letters, county history books, newspaper articles and oral history.  It is written to serve as a record of our clan and a source for family researchers. To the best of my knowledge the information is factual.  Any conjecture is noted as such.  The intent is that this is a living document that will change as descendents add their contributions.

This is my first attempt at writing since my master’s thesis, which was a scientific endeavor and not captivating fiction.  Therefore, it may seem dull to those searching for something along the lines of James Michener or Edward Rutherford.  However, the history itself is very interesting and I hope that it will be viewed in that light.  The purpose was to educate us about our past with a view to the future, so that we can continue what Alexander sought for himself - the freedom to create a better life.  These ancestors were tremendously admirable people who worked against far larger challenges than we, for the most part, face today.

Barbara Sue McHargue wrote the first history of the McHargue family and we should be forever grateful to her for that.  Without her information contributed in the 1930s, we would not have the information that connects us today. As records were scant, she filled the gaps in the early years of the family, particularly when it came to the names of the first three generations.  Not only that, she did it the hard way.  It is relatively easy today to research from one coast to the other through the benefits of the computer and increasingly available documents.  Any corrections I have made to the record were done not as criticism of Barbara Sue, but rather to set the record straight with the available information we have today.  She would have envied our technology and I envy her original documentation.

I am grateful to those persons who have unselfishly opened their files and contributed information for this history so far: Mike and Eva Alford, Charles Archer, Lee and Sue Bowman, David Carmichael, Brad McHargue, Danny McHargue, Judy Derry Mahoney and Frank Templeton.

I have continued Barbara Sue’s system of enumerating the first couple of generations of men.  One reason is that in the letters it’s clear the family did it themselves.  The other reason is that it’s the only sane way to keep those numerous Williams, James, Johns, Samuels and Alexanders separate.

Glynis McHargue Patterson
August 2009




Alexander McHargue, the father of our family, was Scotch-Irish according to the family’s oral history and the records confirm that history. Elizabeth McHargue, wife of William II, wrote in a letter in 1854 to family members in Missouri, "The McHargues were from Penn. also.  But had not been there long when they moved to N.C.  They came by boat from Ireland and Scotland."  Alexander settled in Paxton Township, in Lancaster County, later Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, which was an Ulster Scot community.  He was also a member of the Paxton Presbyterian Church, whose congregants, led by the Rev. John Elder the "fighting parson", were known to be Scotch-Irish. 2 Some time in the middle 1700s his daughter and three oldest sons left Pennsylvania and traveled down the Valley of Virginia to North Carolina, following many other Scotch-Irish,to have an opportunity to own land. 3

But who were the Scotch-Irish?  Scots-Irish, Scotch-Irish or Ulster Scots are socio-cultural terms referring to the history and culture of the people.  But most of  the people to whom the name refers did have a mixture of Scots and Irish genes intertwined through centuries of migration between lowland Scotland and northern Ireland.

In 1603, King James VI of Scotland also became king of England (as James I) upon the death of his distant cousin Queen Elizabeth I.  Coincidentally in the same year, the end of the Nine Years War brought the long resistant Gaelic Ulster under his control through forfeiture of the lands of the O’Neill and O’Donnel lords.  James decided the best way to quell the problems in Ulster was to populate or "plant" the lands he had taken from the fleeing Irish Earls and from the Catholic Church with British Protestants and declared that no land should be leased to any "mere" Irish.  He was trying to "protestantize" Catholic Ireland.  An earlier plantation in Ireland, mainly in the province of Munster, had failed because of rebellion. This successful plantation of Ulster primarily impacted the Ulster counties of Cavan, Derry, Donegal, Tyrone, Fermanagh, and Armagh. 4

The Counties of Antrim, Down and Monaghan in Ulster were for the most part unaffected by the plantation by King James.  Private enterprise had caused the earlier migration of lowland Scots to those counties and it continued for many years after the plantation period as thousands moved over the Irish Sea and to the west. 5 Personal research has shown that the McHargs for more than two hundred years have settled mostly in Antrim and Down and that’s where they live today - though as Mehargs.  It’s probably safe to assume that the McHargs/Mehargs as a whole were not actually part of the plantation effort though there is no proof either way.

The Protestant lowland Scots were ripe for making the move to Ireland.  The rich lands of Ireland were very tempting and the terms were favorable at the time. Conditions in Scotland had become very difficult for poor Scottish tenants who were being dispossessed of their lands.  Continued crop failures of the late seventeenth century in Scotland made Ireland even more appealing and the population was growing, making land scarce and rents high.  To make matters worse, the late seventeenth century was a time of violence against the Covenanters in southwest Scotland.  Covenanters, considered to be unruly bigots by their fellow countrymen,  were fervent conservative Presbyterians with a more evangelical kind of faith who came under mistreatment and abuse by the Church of Scotland, the official church of the country. 6 Many fled to Ireland during these "killing times" of the 1680s. These covenanters later had an influence on the Irish Presbyterian Church as well as the religious beliefs of the Scotch Irish in early America.

In time, after settling in Ireland, conditions that had previously been favorable changed, and for the worse. As rents became due the Scots found they had increased tremendously.  The rules that the English had imposed on the Irish were now also being imposed on the Scots.  The Presbyterians found themselves having to tithe to the Anglican Church.  They were not allowed to be a part of the government and often their marriages were not considered valid by ecclesiastical courts. Meanwhile the Irish, being discriminated against and having lands taken away by the protestant Scots, became increasingly fervent Catholics and filled with resentment.  These difficult conditions helped to push the Presbyterian Scots to immigrate to America where the land was available for the asking and they could leave behind the troubles of life in Ireland.

Beginning in 1717, the Ulster Scots began immigrating to America in waves of thousands, though migration on a smaller scale had actually begun a few decades earlier. The early migrations were a result of poverty and inability to subsist in Ireland.  These immigrants paid for their passage by indenting themselves for several years of service to successful persons already settled here. The Scotch-Irish who migrated in the later years were better off, more skilled and better able to pay their passage rather than undergo indenture. Migration, interrupted by the American Revolution,  continued in increased numbers for a while after the founding of the new country. 7

The Delaware River ports including Philadelphia, Chester and New Castle were where most of the Scotch-Irish coming to Pennsylvania entered the country. 8 Those early arrivals settled on the plentiful land that was closer to the ports. With the English settled around Philadelphia, and the Germans beyond them, the Scotch-Irish settled farther west.  Paxton Township was one of their earliest settlements.  Dunaway in The Scotch-Irish of Colonial Pennsylvania, says that the Scotch Irish were the first permanent settlers of what later became Dauphin County and occupied the original townships of Derry, Paxton, and Hanover as early as 1726. 9 As those lands filled up, later arrivals moved farther west and settled in Indian lands. It is not known where Alexander landed or what year he arrived but he didn’t travel far before settling in Paxton Township near the Susquehanna River and present day Harrisburg.



(c 1709-1789)

Alexander first appeared on public records in Lancaster County in 1745 when he signed a petition.  Later, his son William, in an effort to gain a Revolutionary War pension, testified in court in Kentucky that he was born in 1745 in Pennsylvania.  These are the earliest known records of Alexander’s presence in America.

Researching Alexander’s life in Pennsylvania opens a fascinating view of colonial life in America. During this period, everyone in the community who was able had to pitch in and help with community chores.  There was no Department of Transportation to pave and repair roads.  The local men were often on a rotating schedule to be summoned by the courts for their turn at local community work.  And in America, when they had objections based on good reasons, they felt quite free to protest their summons.  The petition Alexander and fifty-nine other men signed in 1745 was against repairing John Harris’ road. Unfortunately, there’s no record of whether or not the petition Alexander signed saved them from repairing Harris’ swampy road - again!  John Harris later established a ferry service across the river and the eastern site became Harrisburg.

Over the next fifteen years, there are records of Alexander paying his taxes in Lancaster County.  His name on these records was spelled in several different ways. This was due to the spelling abilities (or inability) of the tax collectors, the lack of standardized spelling of names at that time and probably transcription errors of the original documents.  One thing to note is that Alexander’s last name was spelled Meharg, the Irish version of the name, on the 1745 document. 11 After that, the spelling varied greatly.

In Barbara Sue McHargue’s book, The Family of McHargue in America, written in 1938, she said that Alexander moved to North Carolina "probably as early as 1750. We hear no more of Alexander McHargue I, for a time though descendants and researchers have looked diligently through all available records.  Evidently he remained in North Carolina during the life-time of his first wife as the three sons, James, John and William married and established homes near each other in Rowan County, North Carolina...." 12 Barbara Sue said "probably" and "evidently".  She was guessing.  But this is one of those statements that over the years has gained momentum until descendents believe it is a fact. There is no evidence of Alexander in North Carolina. It seems highly unlikely that Alexander went to North Carolina, or that he left his sons behind, for several reasons.

Alexander appeared on the tax rolls in Lancaster County in 1749, 1750, 1756 and 1758.  13 In 1760, a record of Alexander’s second marriage appeared on the records of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, so we know that he was in Pennsylvania for the periods covering these dates.  14 In 1760, his youngest son, William was only 15 years old and John and James would have been around 19 and 17.  It’s hard to believe that he would have left a son younger than 15 and a daughter of an even younger age in North Carolina to return to Pennsylvania.  Equally compelling is evidence that contrary to what Barbara Sue McHargue posits the boys were not married until much later.  Marriage records show that John married in 1769, James married in 1771, and William married in 1774. 15

Another major reason to doubt that the children were left behind in the 1750s is that this was the time of the French and Indian Wars.  James Leyburn in his book The Scotch-Irish: A Social History said that in 1754 the French and Indian Wars in Pennsylvania heated up and the migration from Pennsylvania down the Valley of Virginia came to a complete halt because it was so dangerous to travel.  Leyburn also said that the number of taxables in Rowan County, of which Iredell was still a part, dropped by half between 1756 and 1759 because that was the center of Indian troubles after 1756.  16

The conditions became so bad after 1755 that Fort Dobbs was built in Rowan, just a few miles to the north of present day Statesville, to provide a refuge for the residents who later moved into the fort during the winter of 1758-59 for safety.  17 On February 27, 1760, the Cherokees attacked Fort Dobbs, which only had a few militia detachments present.  But the militia repelled the Cherokee who continued to terrorize the settlers until August of 1761 when the Cherokee leader sued for peace. With this evidence, it seems more likely that Alexander’s grown children would have traveled south on their own some time later after Alexander remarried. We do know that the three sons were in North Carolina by 1766 because there is a record of James’ presence in that year.

Alexander’s marriage in 1760 to widow Jane Montgomery Toland , daughter of Robert Montgomery and Elizabeth,  18 produced two more children: Margaret who was born in 1762 and Alexander, Jr. who was born in 1765. Alexander, Jr.’s surname became established as Mehargue, a combination of the Irish version of the name and the new version adopted by his father, Alexander, Sr. His family remained in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.

By 1765, Alexander had applied for land warrants for 200 acres and in 1766 received 127 acres in Paxtang, as Alex Maharg.  19 The records show that in 1771 he only owned 50 acres - or at least that’s all he paid taxes on.  Perhaps the land warrant was approved because later in 1771 on Returns and Assessments for the Fourteenth Eighteen Penny Tax for the County of Lancaster, the records show that he owned 100 acres, two horses, and two cattle. Then in 1779 he paid taxes on 100 acres and again in 1780 and 1782.  In 1778, Alexander was assessed one bushel each of wheat and forage.  This was his contribution to the Revolutionary War.  Alexander continued to appear frequently in the 1780s, paying taxes and signing a contract (though that could have been his son, Alexander, Jr.) for a new teacher, until his death in 1789.  20

Paxton Presbyterian Church, which was a part of Alexander and family’s life, is the oldest Presbyterian church in continuous use in Pennsylvania.  21 The old stone church, still standing, was built in 1740. Alexander’s family must have spent many hours there during their lifetime though he did have a brief sojourn at Newside Presbyterian Church which is no longer in existence. *

We only "knew" Alexander for the last forty-four years of his life, during which he contributed to the service of the community and his church.  His early life will always be a mystery but his legacy lives on in the lives of hundreds and hundreds of descendents of the five children who in the last 220 years have spread out over the continent.  We don’t know for sure where he and Jane are buried but it very well could be in Paxton Presbyterian Church cemetery where his son Alexander, Jr. and granddaughter Jane are buried.


(c. 1741-1780)

John, James, William and Mary were Alexander’s four oldest children, as named in his will, by his first wife, whose identity is unknown.  Since wills usually list the children in the order in which they were born, with the exception of women who were frequently named last, we can assume that John was the eldest, James was the second and William was the third of the sons.  It would seem that Alexander chose to list his daughters as well as his sons in birth order because Margaret came after Mary but before Alexander, Jr. His stepson, James Toland, likely preceded the youngest child, Alexander, Jr., because the directives for Alexander’s inheritance were more complicated as he inherited "the whole of the remainder of my estate."

An early record of McHargues settling in Rowan County, later Iredell County, was in 1769, when according to marriage records there, John married Margaret McBroom, daughter of James McBroom and Elizabeth Houston. There are few records to be found for Alexander’s oldest son, John McHargue and he remains somewhat of a mystery.  Part of the reason is that he was probably younger than 40 when he died and had little time to accomplish those things that cause one to show up on official records.

When John and the brothers migrated down to North Carolina it was difficult to get land grants.  Lord Granville, who was the proprietor of a huge portion of North Carolina lands, died in 1763 and his heirs didn’t bother after that with making more grants in the 1760s and 1770s, probably because of problems with the land agents.  22 Therefore, many of the new settlers in North Carolina, anxious to settle and start farming, became squatters and marked off their tracts hoping that eventually they would be able to own the land. These were called "ax claims"because they slashed trees with their axes to mark the property they were settling.  This was something that the Scotch Irish had not seen a problem doing in Pennsylvania  23 and this practice was continued in North Carolina.  Evidence of squatting appears sometimes in later land documents.  These documents will mention that a citizen is buying land from the state with "improvements made" by a particular person, rather than buying the land from that person.

After North Carolina became an independent and organized state by late 1777, land was once again granted outright.  The settlers were to enter a claim for the land, and assuming no one else filed for the same land, a warrant would be issued and a survey would be done. Upon entering the claim, claimants would pay one fourth down and save their money until the grant was made and then pay the rest.  It could take years to pay the balance.  24 John was able to have a warrant issued on February 3, 1779, for the land he settled, "To the Surveyor of said County Greeting You are hereby required as soon as may be, to lay off and Survey for John McHargue a tract or parcel of Land containing four hundred---acres, lying and being in the County of aforesaid on the waters of the South fork of Rocky Creek, including my own Improvements. Observing the Directions of the Act of Assembly in such case made and provided for laying off Lands two just and fair plans of such Survey with a proper certificate annexed to each, you are to transmit with this Warrant to the Secretary Office without Delay."

But he never was able to own the land outright before he died in 1780.  No record of a land grant for John has been found.  In 1791, John Graham paid 50 shillings per acre to the state of North Carolina for 400 acres on South Rocky Creek including improvements made by John McHargue.  25 Tracing the subsequent purchases of that land will show where John McHargue lived.  It is believed to be in the section of land on the south side of Friendship Church Road where it meets the Wilkesboro Road (Rt. 115). John evidently never had the opportunity to purchase any land as no further mention of him in land records was found.

Without records of land purchases and sales, there are few records to give evidence of a man’s existence in an area.  One must look at tax, church, and court records, in the absence of land records, for proof of someone’s presence.  In this way, a few records of John McHargue were found.

In 1772, John McHargue was listed as a taxable on the Rowan County Tax List of William Sharp.  In those days, the heads of the militia groups collected the taxes.  This was apparently a poll tax collected for males of the household.  John’s younger brother William must have been living with John and Margaret as he was taxed in John’s household.  In 1778, in Capt. Morrison’s district, John McHargue appeared on the tax list as owning possessions valued at £408.* Presumably, this would not have reflected the value of the land since he only applied for a warrant for a survey in 1778.

In 1773, John McHargue was shown on the Fourth Creek Congregation Map which not only showed where Presbyterians lived within the county but was an early de facto census record of Presbyterians in Rowan. This priceless map, drawn by William Sharp, was created to enable boundaries to be drawn for the purpose of establishing new congregations in Rowan (later Iredell) County.  26

In August 1774, John was listed as a juror in several upcoming cases.  His name was given as John Meharg.

During the colonial era, when there were fewer people than there were animals such as wolves, wildcats, panthers and bears, there was such a problem keeping one’s livestock safe from these predators that the government of Rowan County and many other counties paid a bounty for the scalps or hides of these animals.  In November 1774, John McHargue was named in county records as being one of those men who had brought in wildcat scalps to claim his bounty.  27

In the Abstracts of the Minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions Rowan County 1775-1789 4:165 dated 7 August 1778  "Road to be laid out from the Rich Cove Gap at the head of South Yadkin the nearest and most convenient way into the public road not more than 2 miles below John Archibald’s plantation.  With the following to qualify as commissioners of said road before some justice", John McHargue (as well as twelve other men).  Like his father before him, John was tasked to help in some way with building roads in his community.

In February, 1779, John McHargue was appointed in place of John Jolly as constable regarding the letters of administration of Christian Everhart.  This is the next to the last known record of John before his death.

John I served in the Revolutionary War as proven by the North Carolina Revolutionary Army Accounts which show that the government paid John 5 pounds for a rifle.  28 The Statesville Landmark, published on March 9, 1883, lists him as one of many Revolutionary War soldiers buried at Snow Creek Methodist Church Cemetery on Snow Creek Road.  The article said that the many soldier’s graves were marked by rude stones.  These are no longer visible.  This article, written about 100 years after the war, says that John was "wounded, captured and paroled, came home, took small pox and died".

From John’s will dated September 20, 1780, we know that he and Margaret had three sons, Alexander, John and James.  There were no daughters named.  We assume that the first son, Alexander, would have been about ten at the oldest, at the time of his father’s death. While the will states that John left his "plantation" to his wife Margaret, she never owned it outright.  He might have thought at the time the will was written, that the survey for his land would come through and they would be able to purchase it.  But the bureaucratic process was slow and it didn’t happen.  John’s wishes were that the children have one year’s schooling and be bound to trades.  He left his books to his wife for the use of the family.

When John died he was the second person to be buried in Snow Creek Church Cemetery, which predates the actual church.  The first person was a man named A. McArmand, who was bitten by a rattlesnake, and whose tombstone pictures a rattlesnake coiled to strike.  John was probably buried close by but there is no marker.  A memorial marker to him has been placed by his descendent Mike Alford, near the gate at the rear of the church.

Mike Alford, in his research paper on John’s family, says "After Alexander’s father died in 1780, his mother was left with the responsibility of the family as the head of the household.  She made the decision eventually to leave North Carolina, and take the family to Greene County, Georgia.  We had often wondered why she went to this particular place until we found a deed of her son, John, buying land from a Robert Porter in Greene County on May 25, 1805.  This Robert Porter was a brother-in-law of Margaret, having married her sister, Elizabeth McBroom on August 29, 1767, in Rowan County, and it became evident to us that she moved to Green County to be with some of her McBroom relatives."   29 Elizabeth McBroom’s marriage to Robert Porter is documented in the North Carolina Marriage records.  30

Margaret and her family more or less disappear after John’s death in 1780 until December 11, 1792, when Margaret bought 200 acres of land from Nathaniel Whaley, in Greene County, Georgia on the Ogechee.  31 Perhaps Margaret had been able to get the money back that John had put down on the warrant for his land in Iredell in order to pay for this land.  She and her son Alexander then appeared on tax rolls in 1797 in the Posey District of Greene County.  Alexander would have been around 27 at this time and head of his own household.  He appeared on the tax rolls in 1799 in Jackson County as Alexander McHerg.  32 In 1809, Alexander was still on the tax rolls for Jackson County.  33

In the period between 1805 and 1832, Georgia held seven land lotteries for the purpose of distributing lands that had been taken from the Creek and Cherokee Indians.  By the lottery of 1827, the Creek Indians were gone and the land lottery and Gold Lottery of 1832 began a chain of events that led to the "Trail of Tears" that saw the Cherokee forcibly removed to the west.  34 Thousands of Georgians participated in these lotteries. Two-thirds of the lands of the state of Georgia were distributed in this way.  Participants could be widows, orphans and males over the age of 18.

Margaret, Alexander, John and James were among those eligible to take part in the lotteries. The lottery ballot cost only pennies and winning meant gaining the valuable asset of land.  These lottery drawings had acreage varying from 490 in the 1805 lottery to 40 acres in the Gold Lottery of 1832.  James drew land in the 1807 lottery and Alexander drew land in 1808.  35 John was listed as a "fortunate drawer" in the 1827 lottery as was his son, William Thomas.  36 Alexander’s son, James, drew land in the Gold Lottery in 1832.



In 1820, Alexander, the eldest son of John I and Margaret, appeared on the census for Jackson County with his family of nine children.  He had married Christiana Barron in November 2, 1796.  Their known children were; John, Seaborn, Wilburn, Greene, William, James, Mary, Henry and Hiram.

John I’s grandson, Seaborn McHargue, son of Alexander, married Margaret Ann Barron and started raising a family in 1829.  In 1832, he drew land as mentioned in the land lottery while living in Upson County. He also purchased land in Alabama in Randolph County in 1839 but it is unknown if he lived there at that time because he appeared in Upson County records in Georgia after that year.  Seaborn and Margaret Ann did move to Cherokee County, Alabama by 1860 and remained there for the rest of their lives. Seaborn’s children were, William Lewis, James, John, Eliza, Rebecca, Matilda and Georgia A.

William Lewis and his wife, Sarah Jane Morris, married in Georgia in 1855 and later moved to Alabama where they appeared on the 1860 census in Cherokee County, Alabama. But by 1862 William Lewis and Sarah Jane were back in Georgia. Seaborn’s grandson, William Lewis’s son, John Seaborn, settled in Alabama and raised a family there.  He married Mary Melissa "Molly" Threadgill and had nine children; William, John Allen, Jesse, Arthur E., James Ocie, Henderson, Mattie B., Daisy B. and Lewis (Lutz).  They lived in Alabama and most Alabama McHargues are descended from them.



John, John and Margaret’s second born son, married Martha Thomas * and had four children, Margaret Ann, Martha, William Thomas and Jane H.  When John died, he left property to the heirs of his daughter Margaret Ann Dolvin, who had predeceased him in 1834. Margaret's husband was James Dolvin. We learn from John's will, proven May 1848, in Green County, that his daughter Martha married a Robinson. Georgia marriage records show that he was Joseph Robinson and the marriage took place on August 25, 1836. This was apparently a second marriage for Martha, as the Georgia Marriage Records from 1808 to 1967, record that Martha McHargue married Mathew Ellis on 8 July, 1819 in Greene County, Georgia.  John also mentions a bequest in his will to his grandchildren by Mathew Ellis. His daughter, Jane H. married David Waites McJunkin.  37

According to descendents, John purchased land in 1819 from his mother, Margaret, which she had purchased from Nathaniel Whaley.  This land had a mill on it.  John's will indicates that when he died in 1848, he bequeathed 22 slaves to his family members.

John's son William Thomas appears on the 1850 slave schedule which indicates that he owned 16 slaves.  William had married Julia A.F. Hendricks in Green County on 29 June 1843.  The 1850 census gives his occupation as blacksmith.  William Thomas died in 1852 and Julia died in 1853.  They seem to not have had any children, so this McHargue line died with William Thomas.



James McHargue, the third son of John and Margaret, died some time late in 1807 in Greene County, as his brother John McHargue, and William Harris applied for letters of administration to manage his estate on December 14, 1807.  James left a daughter, Cynthia.  His wife was thought to be named Elizabeth, as there was an Elizabeth McHargue at the sale of his estate.  38 Cynthia married Littleton Caldwell of Greene County on 4 September, 1825. Their known children were Augustus Green Caldwell, Martha Ann Caldwell and Adaline Caldwell.



After the emancipation of slaves in the South, many of the former slaves had no homes or job skills to earn a living.  In Georgia, a system of indenture through the court system was set up and many black people agreed to indent themselves for the security of a job and place to live.  Many of them were sent to work in the mills and their pay went to their masters.  This indenture system evidently lasted quite a few years because in court records of 1893 in Upson County, a Robert J. McHargue signed an indenture agreement with Harriet F. Johnson, for her three-year-old daughter, Carrie Bell Johnson.  This indenture would last until Carrie Bell was 21 years old.  Robert McHargue was to teach her household duties, protect her, feed and clothe her, provide medical care and educate her.  In consideration of this, Robert was to receive her services and her earnings until she was 21 years old.  39 They did not show up on later census records so nothing more is known about them.  Nor is it known for sure from whom Robert descends.


In Georgia, there are branches of McHargues from John I who changed their names, including the McChargue family of Upson County and some McCards.  DNA testing and genealogical research in December, 2011, has proven that the descendants of Henry McHargue, a grandson of John I, through his oldest son Alexander, became McCards sometime after the 1850 census was taken.  But not all McCards should be presumed to be from the McHargues. The children of Henry McHargue/McCard and his wife Louisiana are, Mary J., Martha, James H, Elizabeth, Frances, John R, Henry Jefferson, Lou, Bell and Laura McCard.

The McChargues are the descendents of Evan, born around 1856, and his younger brother, Sanford A. McHargue/McChargue, who was born in 1860.  The story is told in the McChargue family that Sanford and his father, Greene McHargue, had a major falling out, which was never resolved.  Sanford was so angry with his father that he changed his name by adding the extra C.  He apparently influenced his brother, Evan, to change his name also. Greene McHargue was a grandson of John I, through his son Alexander. Sanford and Evan were sons of Green and his third wife, Mada Hale.

By the early nineteenth century John I’s family were landowners, settled and raising children in Georgia.  From this family came most of the McHargues/McChargues in Georgia as well as in Alabama and eventually in North Florida.


(c. 1743-1823)

Alexander’s second son James came to North Carolina with his siblings sometime prior to 1766.  By November 10th in that year, the "Rowan County Settlements, Treasurer’s and Comptroller’s Papers"  40 show that James Meharg was in debtor’s gaol. *

Historically, debtors have been treated very badly, thrown into jail with little hope of release if they didn’t have someone to pay their debts or if they didn’t have personal property to turn over for restitution.  This system lent itself to corruption of the worst order. Farmers could lose their plows to sheriffs who were collecting for their bad debts and the sheriffs could seize more than twice or three times the value of the debt owed. The sheriffs then could sell the plow and other belongings to settle the debt, making a profit, which the debtor never saw.  How was the debtor to earn a living upon release - if he could get released at all?  Many debtors languished for years, often dying in gaol. The records we have don’t show how long James was in gaol or whether his debt was unpaid taxes or some other kind of failure to pay. * But he got married in 1771, so at least we know that he was out of gaol by that year.

On August 8, 1771, James married Elizabeth Beatty, daughter of James Beatty.  41 James’ older brother, John McHargue, was the bondsman.  James and Elizabeth had eight children; Alexander II, David, James III, Levi, Elizabeth, Rebecca, Polly and Rhoda.  David and Levi must have preceded James in death, as they were not mentioned in his will.  They also never appeared as adults on census records so their fate is unknown. But there was a Levi McHargue who fought in the War of 1812 according to records at the National Archives (via As there is no other Levi McHargue known in the family in that time period, he must be James' son. No information is known about the daughters and whom they might have married except for Rhoda, who married her cousin Eli McHargue, son of William I’s son James II.

James, like his brothers John and William, made ax claims in North Carolina on land on which he settled.  James first appeared on "A List of Taxables for the District of Fort Dobbs for the year 1772".  This seems to be a poll tax, which is simply a set fee, charged literally "per head" or person.    James was on a tax list later in 1778, in Captain Jacob Nichol’s District.  He was taxed for a value of £367.  This must refer to improvements, such as cabins on his ax claim, livestock and other valuables.

James was a charter member of Bethany Presbyterian Church, which was established in 1777 and was intended to serve the Presbyterians living along the South Yadkin River.  42 However, James was buried at Snow Creek Methodist Church Cemetery and not at Bethany according to a newspaper article mentioning Revolutionary War soldiers buried in Snow Creek.  Snow Creek Church was established later than Bethany and James lived very close by so that is likely.

The Southern Campaign of the Revolutionary War brought James into service as a Patriot.  He fought at the Battle of Camden in South Carolina in 1780 under Captain Samuel Reid, Colonel Alexander and General Griffith Rutherford.  He received a land grant for his service on October 10, 1783 that included 380 acres on the South branch of Rocky Creek.  The survey date was December 30, 1782 and was signed by Griffith Rutherford.  43 * This land is in the northeast quadrant of the intersection of North Chipley Ford Road and Snow Creek Road in present day Iredell County.  James died before Congress enacted the Revolutionary War Pension Act in 1832; so unfortunately, no testimony exists of his service.

In 1784, James was on a list of "Taxable Property of Captain George Reid’s Company" showing that he owned 350 acres of land.  On May 7, 1787 James was listed as the head of family on "A Return of the number of Souls in Captain Joseph Nichols Rowan County Company of the Militia".  There were six people in the household beside himself.  As only the age of the males was noted, this return was probably to determine eligibility for service in the militia. The militia had been organized in the decades preceding the Revolution for the purpose of protecting the settlers from the Indians.  When the Revolution started, the militia was in place and became fighting units when called upon against the British.  After the war, the militias served to continue protecting against the Indians.

In 1807, James sold to his son Alexander, 120 acres on the south fork of Rocky Creek.  This was a part of the 380-acre tract that James received in the grant of 1783.  This was noted in Deed Book F, page 461 and was dated March 2, 1807.

James I died in 1823 and left one-half of his plantation * to his son James III.  The other half went to his widow, Elizabeth, for use in her lifetime and at her death it was to go to the four daughters.  Alexander was not mentioned except as the executor of the will along with Elizabeth.  With that trust placed in Alexander II, it would seem that there was not a falling out resulting in no bequest but, perhaps, the 120 acres that Alexander bought from his father in 1807 might have been, in fact, a gift.  This is strictly conjecture.


Alexander II

James I, like his brother John I, named his oldest son Alexander after his father in the custom of the Irish and Scots at that time. It is not known when Alexander II was born but it was probably between 1775 and 1784. On the 1800 census in Iredell County, there is an Alexander McHargue whose age is between 16 and 25. Alexander II’s wife was a woman named Ann and with her he had four sons; Elam, James, Jefferson, Alexander, and three daughters, Elizabeth, Sarah and Nancy.

Alexander II’s oldest son, Elam, whose birth date was probably between 1795 and 1800 based on the 1800 and 1810 census records, remains a mystery.  He was mentioned in Barbara Sue McHargue’s book as a child of Alexander but no further information was given.  In the 1830 census in Iredell County, Elam was shown as the head of a family of six.  Besides his wife, there were three daughters and a son, ranging in age from somewhere between ten and fifteen down to, perhaps, five. They never appeared on a census again.  When Elam’s brother, Jefferson McHargue died in Iredell County in 1884, Elam’s children were named as heirs.  But they were never located to claim their part of the estate and nothing has ever been known of them or their father, Elam. This entire family simply vanished from the records.

Alexander II’s second oldest son James married Janetta Waters of Maryland and together they had seven children; Mary, Joseph, James William "Billy", Sara Adaline, Caroline, Courtney Louise and America Levinia.  James and Janetta probably separated at some time in their marriage because they appeared separately on two consecutive census records.  James is shown as being employed as a carpenter.  His son, James William "Billy", served a two-year term on the Sharpesburg township executive committee in Iredell, having been elected on June 7, 1884.  44 James William also served in the Civil War as a blacksmith.

Jefferson, Alexander II’s third son, was a farmer in Iredell County. His unmarried sister, Nancy, lived with him until his death.  He died without children and named his nieces and nephews as beneficiaries of his estate.  From a newspaper notice of the sale of his property, it is noted that he lived in Olin Township on property adjoining Thomas Perry and Thomas Summers.  45 From the Superior Court of Iredell County, E.L. McHargue, filed an affidavit for publication of a notice to heirs of Jefferson McHargue.   "That said Intestate left no wife nor lineal heirs; his only heirs at law are as follows; to wit, Alexander McHargue his brother who lives in Indiana; Wm Barnsley surviving husband of his deceased sister Sarah, and their only daughter Mary Eagle wife of Wm Eagle, all of whom live in Iredell County; Mary Ann Turbyfill living in Iredell County, and Adaline Turbyfill living in Alabama, both maiden daughters of his deceased sister Elizabeth; J. Wm McHargue living in Iredell, Joseph McHargue, living in Arkansas, Mary McHargue living in Iredell, Adaline Yates wife of David Yates, living in Iredell, Louisa Sharpe wife of C.M. Sharpe, living in Iredell, Caroline Sharpe wife of S. {Beth.} Sharpe, living in Iredell, Lavina Massey wife of A.C. Massey, living in Iredell, all children and heirs of his deceased brother James; and Elam McHargue’s (his deceased brother’s) heirs whose names are unknown and who are all non-residents of this state and their whereabouts unknown." This document, found by Bradford Lee McHargue, in the North Carolina Archives in Raleigh, was the critical proof needed to connect James, who was born in 1802 in Iredell County, to his father, Alexander II, son of James I. {


The present state of Indiana underwent several phases as a territory, achieving statehood in 1816, which brought about a stability that influenced rapid growth and development.  Settlers started moving into the state, especially as transportation improved with the creation of canals and rail lines and roads such as The National Road.  The land was fertile and in the early days, settlers were squatters just as early pioneers had been in other areas.  As farmland was taken and became expensive in other regions, settler’s sons in those areas started looking for a place to farm that they could afford.  Families by the hundreds moved to Indiana from the Upper South; from states such as Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina.  46 Whole groups of families moved to the same county, maintaining links that had existed through various migrations and possibly even since before coming to America. Continuing the McHargue Scotch-Irish tradition of following available land, two grandsons of James I moved to Indiana from North Carolina looking for land and opportunity in the mid-1840s.

One of those grandsons was Alexander II’s fourth and youngest son, Alexander, "Sandy", born about 1814.  Sandy moved to Jackson County, Indiana as a young single man some time in 1844 but soon he married Elizabeth Blackiter on February 15, 1845.  Sandy and Elizabeth had five children; Hugh A., Sara A., William Lewis, Thomas and Biddy.


James III

The other grandson, John P. McHargue, born in 1810 was a son of James III, younger brother of Alexander II. James III was born on November 2, 1781.  He married a woman named Martha Ann and they had six children; John P., Louisa E., Martha Ann, Mary Matilda, James Frank and Walton.  47 James III and his children moved to Indiana later in his life, following his son, John P.

John P. had fifteen children. With his first wife Eliza he had William Dempsey, Cornelia Caroline, Fielding Harvey, and Thomas.  John P and his second wife Nancy Kerby 48 had eleven children; James Frank, Susan, Martha F., Mary F, Rachel, Laura, John K, Nancy, Lissa C., Eva Florence and Samuel.

We know that John P. moved to Indiana from Iredell County with his first wife some time after July, 1843, because his third child, Fielding, was born in that month in Iredell.  His fourth child, Thomas, was born in Indiana sometime in 1844 according to census records.


A notable McHargue who was descended from James I through his descendents James III, John P., William Dempsey and Oscar Fitzgerald is Georgess McHargue.  She was the granddaughter of Oscar Fitzgerald or O.F. as he was known.  O.F. McHargue was born in Indiana in 1863 and was a minister of the Church of Christ, which took him to many locations, including Bozeman, Montana around 1900 and later to Auburn, New York.  O.F. McHargue may be familiar to family members as the minister who spoke at the McHargue reunion in Kentucky in 1938, before Barbara Sue launched her genealogy, History and Genealogy  The Family of McHargue in America.

Georgess was the author of many novels for children and young adults, including the most recent, Queen in Waiting: A Life of "Bloody Mary" Tudor, Stoneflight, Turquoise Toad Mystery, Private Zoo, Beasts of Never, Meet the Werewolf (Eerie Series) and Meet the Witches. She has also written on archaeology.  49

Georgess was nominated for the National Book Award and the Dorothy Canfield Fisher award and was a Fellow at the MacDowell Colony.  She  reviewed children’s books for the New York Times and twice served on the children’s book jury for the American Book Awards and for the Junior Scholastic writing contest. She initiated the Women Who Lead series.  Georgess was a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Georgess died on July 18, 2011 in Groton, Massachusetts. 50


A true tragedy fell on one of James I’s descendents in the early years of the 20th century.  He was Hallett Santford McHargue, son of William Everett P. McHargue and Lina Tine Motsinger of Owen Township, Jackson County.  Hallett was born on Mar 24, 1890.  When young men were required to register for the World War I draft, Hallett dutifully did so.  He was sent to France where he served with the 72nd Engineers Regiment according to a newspaper article. * While serving in France, Hallett was gassed by the enemy.  Gassing caused horrible physical effects on the soldiers that could be devastating, often resulting in a slow death for many.  Hallett did not die, but the result of his being gassed and the horrors of war caused him to be shell shocked, as it was known in World War I.  Today, we know the condition as post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD and soldiers now receive treatment for it. They didn’t in World War I.  Hallett was sent home on a troop ship, and he and other soldiers, who also were suffering the psychological effects of gassing and war, were locked in iron cages for the journey back, according to The Brownstown Banner in 1920. *

After returning home to Indiana, Hallett became employed at a glass factory in Muncie.  In 1920, without provocation according to Hallett himself, he repeatedly shot a coworker, killing him.  The court recognized that he was suffering psychologically, so he did not serve a life term or death as he might have under other circumstances. Hallett was sent to prison and, according to family stories, while there his disability checks went to his parents.  He wanted them to use the money for their income but, instead, they saved every dime for him.  When Hallett was released from prison, sometime in the mid 1930s, he had accumulated around $150,000, which was a fortune at that time. It was said he had the most money of nearly anyone in the community during those post depression days.  But that’s small compensation for a life that was tragically altered by a horrific war experience.


James III didn’t join his son and nephew in Indiana until later when he was over 70 years old.  He is listed on the 1850 census still living in Iredell County, North Carolina but by 1855 he had moved to Indiana.  That is known because Elizabeth McHargue, wife of James II wrote a letter to James and his daughter in Indiana on October 31, 1855. The 1860 census shows that he was living with his daughter, Martha Ann, age 21, next door to his son John P. in Brownstown Township.

James III’s son, James Frank had also moved to Indiana some time between 1850 and 1855.  On the 1850 census, he was living at home in North Carolina with his father and family.  But by the 1860 census in Indiana, he had married Margaret Lockman Wells, a widow, and they had a child named Hudson, who was born in 1856 in Indiana.

The family kept in touch with their relatives back in Iredell County and a wonderful letter has been saved detailing life in the community that James III had left. * Elizabeth McHargue, second wife of James II, a cousin of James III, wrote the letter telling of crop successes, commodity prices, changes at their old home place in North Carolina and a little news of family and neighbors.  How wonderful it would be to have more letters like this and more letter writers like Elizabeth.

These McHargues, all descendents of James I, settled in Jackson County.  The 1850 census shows some lived in Brownstown Township and earned their living as farmers.  In later years, McHargues were found living in Carr Township and Owen Township, as well as Medora and Brownstown in Jackson County.  By 1900, there were McHargues also in Lawrence County.

The descendents of James I, by the late 19th century, were to be found mostly in Indiana.  The remaining descendents of James I in Iredell County, who bore the McHargue name, were from his grandson James, son of Alexander II.



William McHargue was born on August 5, 1745,  51 the third son of Alexander and the only son for whom we have a birth date. His placement in Alexander’s will as third son confirms information given in the family’s oral history.

William first appeared on public records when he was listed on William Sharpe’s Tax list in 1772 in Rowan County. This was a poll tax and it showed that William was living with his oldest brother, John, at the time.   By January 3, 1774, William appeared again in records when he married Sarah McBroom, a sister of his brother John’s wife.  52 William and Sarah had five children of whom anything is known.  They were all sons; James, Alexander, John, William and Samuel.

In 1778, he appeared again, this time on the tax list for Capt. Morrison’s District.  He was taxed for a value of £210.

In 1779, there were two parcels of land that were surveyed for William I, according to Warrants 1707 and 1708.  One parcel contained 150 acres and the other, 200 acres.  The 200-acre parcel included "his own improvements".  Once again, as seen with John, this is proof that William was a squatter on this land until he received the land grant. This survey for 200 acres also mentions a boundary "beginning at a Black Oak on a stoney hill" and proceeds "to a stake on the mountain, thence east to the beginning."  53 The 150-acre parcel mentioned that it was "on branches of south Rocky Creek, on spur of the mountain."  54 These parcels would have been the property on what became known as McHargue Mountain.

The land that William requested to be surveyed in 1779 didn’t become legally his until he actually got title to it in 1795, when according to the State of North Carolina, Record of Deeds, Book B, page 282, Grant # 80 and Grant # 113, he paid 50 shillings per 100 acres for these two pieces of land.  The process was probably held up because in 1778, North Carolina was flooded with requests for land in the post-Revolutionary War period after the state created a land office. Also, as mentioned earlier with John McHargue, it took many years for an individual to save the money to purchase the land for which they had obtained a warrant.  55

The fact that those parcels of land were termed grants, no doubt caused Barbara Sue McHargue to assume, understandably, that they were parcels of land granted to William because of his Revolutionary War Service.  She mentioned that in her history and it is the common opinion of William's descendents. However, plots of land, whether Crown Grants, Proprietary Grants, Lord Granville Land Area grants or later parcels from the North Carolina State Land office, were all termed grants.  Who knows why?  Perhaps it was because those entities were "granting" a person the right to buy land.  William did not receive any bounty land grant for his Revolutionary War Service.  Lloyd Dewitt Bockstruck, the author of Revolutionary War Bounty Land Grants published by the Genealogical Publishing Company in 1998, says there were no Revolutionary War Land Grants within the current boundaries of the southern states of North Carolina and Virginia.  The land that North Carolina issued as bounty land grants in the western lands later became Tennessee.

The Iredell County Tax List of 1800, shows that William owned 550 acres of land, a barn, stable, smith shop and five dwellings for which he was taxed.  Records have not been found for the purchase of anything other than the 350 acres mentioned.  Perhaps the difference is due to a transcription error in the tax list.

William served in the Revolutionary War in the North Carolina Militia as a minuteman.. To receive a pension for this service, he had to testify under oath about his experience in a county court. In his testimony he said that he served three separate times as a private, first in 1777 under Capt. Patrick Morrison.  He served again in 1779 under Capt. James McGathy (McCathy?) in the 2nd Regiment commanded by Col. Francis Locke.  In 1780, he volunteered in the Militia as a minuteman under Capt. John Sloan.  During this five-month service, he fought at the Battle of Ramseur’s Mill.  His wife’s brother, John McBroom was killed in this battle as was his captain, John Sloan.   Apparently he forgot that he served a fourth time. Under Capt. Joseph Sharpe, he served in the Light Horse Service from the 26th day of January until the 11th of March, 1781, under the command of Col. Francis Locke.  57 *

William I appeared in records of the Minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions of Iredell County 1789-1800 several times over a period of years.  Like his brother John and his father Alexander before him, he served his turn working on the local roads.  A few times it was mentioned that the roads that William would be working on with other citizens of Iredell County, extended to "Will McHargue’s Mountain".  He also served as a patroller in Capt. Sloan’s company. *

William served jury duty in 1793, 1794 and 1796.  He also brought lawsuits: in 1794, in a case of Will McHargue versus Will Shoemaker, the jury found for the plaintiff.  Also in 1794, William sued John Shoemaker for slander and the jury found for the plaintiff.  It would be so interesting to know the details of these cases.

For a couple of decades in the late 18th century, adventurers and Indian fighters had been going to Kentucky to explore, trap and keep the Indians under control and out of the regions over the mountains to the east.  Daniel Boone was one of those explorers and Indian fighters.  In 1769 he left Wilkes County, NC and went to Kentucky.  By 1775 he had blazed a trail across the Blue Ridge Mountains, to the Holston Valley, through the Moccasin Gap of Clinch Mountain, then through Powell’s Valley and Cumberland Gap.  58 This was the Wilderness Road and it created the easiest way for settlers to make the long trek to Kentucky, which in the years around the turn of the 18th to 19th century was now the latest destination for those seeking new land. Once the Revolution was over and there was relative peace with the Indians, hundreds of families starting moving westward.

After living in Iredell County for about 40 years, William left there in 1803 and traveled the Wilderness Road, looking for new opportunity in Kentucky.  Before leaving, he sold 200 acres of land that he had been granted in 1792, to Joseph Millsaps. * He moved to the Clinch River in Tennessee and "lived there 2 winters and 1 summer". 59

In 1805, William and his family moved on to Knox County, Kentucky and settled on the north bank of Lynn Camp Creek near present day Corbin.  Barbara Sue McHargue said that William built a fort, in which they lived, for protection against the Indians.  The fort was constructed of large hewn logs with openings through which guns could be fired.  It would be wonderful to have the original documentation that Barbara Sue used for this information.  Perhaps it was oral history.

William farmed and raised sheep, cattle, and horses.  He had two mills:  one for grinding meal and a sawmill for making lumber. The family also wove cloth at home, as everyone did in those days.

One of the things for which William I is most noted, once he moved to Kentucky, is his gristmill. The story is frequently seen in different sources that William I brought his millstones from North Carolina, but they would have been too heavy to bring across the mountains at that time.  William I bought the conical stones in Carter County, Tennessee in 1804 and installed them at Lynn Camp Creek in 1805.  60

Their two married sons and families, as well as their two youngest sons accompanied William and Sarah to Kentucky.  Their oldest son James remained behind in Iredell County, North Carolina.


James II

James McHargue II, William’s oldest son, was born in Rowan County, later Iredell County, North Carolina, in 1775.  In 1799 he married Nancy Ann Millsaps, daughter of Joseph Millsaps.

There has been a debate among some descendents about Nancy Ann Millsaps and whom she married; James or Alexander IV.  The question arose because of letters that Alexander’s daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Stansberry McHargue, wrote to a family member.  In it she stated that her mother-in-law, Nancy Ann, was a daughter of Joseph Millsaps and that she had a sister named Mary who married John McHargue, another brother of James.  This problem was compounded when new tombstones were placed at the McHargue Cemetery in Laurel County, Kentucky, for Alexander IV and his wife, Nancy, and her birth date was given as February 18, 1777.  But the facts don’t support the claim that Nancy Ann Millsaps was the wife of Alexander IV.

The fact is that in Joseph Millsaps’ will, his bequests were to his son William, his son Joseph, his son-in-law James McHargue, his daughter Mary McHargue and his son Thomas.  He did not mention Nancy Ann.  Joseph’s will was dated October 22, 1821.  Joseph’s son-in-law, James McHargue, was named in the will because James’ wife and Joseph’s daughter, Nancy Ann, had already died on March 1, 1821

A family bible belonging to Joseph Millsaps and handed down to his grandson Elliot S. Millsaps and then to Catherine Millsaps of Graham, North Carolina, gives Joseph’s five children as Thomas, William, Joseph, Ann, born on February 18, 1777 and Mary born September 15, 1782.  61

Nancy Ann Millsaps McHargue died on March 1, 1821 and her tombstone on McHargue Mountain states that she was 44 years and 10 days old at her death. * When one figures back from her date of death, then the birth date is February 18, 1777, the date of birth of Joseph Millsaps’ daughter, Nancy Ann, as recorded in the family bible.

In his collection of letters, Dan Stanberry called Alexander’s wife Nancy Agnes.  62 This was probably the true name.  In the 1810 and 1820 census records there was an Agnes McHargue living next door to William McHargue I.  In those early census years prior to 1850, the only females listed were heads of household as Agnes would have been after her husband Alexander died.  In the 1810 census she was in the category of "between 26 and 44 years old".  If this was not the widow of Alexander McHargue IV, then who was she?

The letter that Elizabeth McHargue wrote to Malinda and William Stansbury in 1854 seems like proof of her mother-in-law’s family but for some unknown reason she was very mistaken.  Nancy Ann Milsaps who was born on February 18, 1777 and died on March 1, 1821, and who was a daughter of Joseph Milsaps, was the wife of James II. The parentage of Nancy Agnes McHargue, wife of Alexander IV, is unknown.


James II, besides being a farmer, was a blacksmith. He probably made horseshoes, kettles, pots, and farm implements of all sorts at his forge on Rocky Creek near McHargue Mountain. In the early decades of the 19th century, wolves were numerous and a problem in north Iredell County, endangering livestock, and other animals.  James, in his blacksmith roll, made large wolf traps with "jaws" 11 inches long with two heavy prongs.  His daughter, Adaline Weatherman, wife of Henry Weatherman, gave one of these traps to a man named C.A. Campbell in exchange for tuition for children of family members in Mr. Campbell’s school.  Mr. Campbell eventually sold the wolf trap to a museum in Raleigh. The name of the museum and the eventual fate of the wolf trap are unknown. 63

James was also a justice of the peace and postmaster in New Hope, Iredell County.  The post office was in his home that is still standing today on Brookhaven Road.  That land is thought to have been the property of William McHargue that passed down through the family to Eli McHargue, James’ son.  Eli’s son, Eli Lafayette then inherited the property.

James had at least eight children with his first wife Nancy; Jonathan, Karisa, Eli, Sarah, Elizabeth, Agnes, Morina and Nancy Adaline.  64 Barbara Sue McHargue, in her book, also names a daughter, Mary.  But no evidence to support that has been found. Perhaps it is an additional name of one of the girls.  By James’ second wife, Elizabeth, whose last name is unknown, he had two more sons, James Alexander and Samuel.

James died in 1856 and was spared the knowledge of the fate of his two youngest sons in the Civil War.  Both sons served in the 4th North Carolina Infantry and were killed in Virginia, one at the beginning of the war and one near the end.  These were the only two children of James and his second wife, Elizabeth.


Jonathan, James’ oldest son, married his first cousin Rhoda Millsaps and they had eleven children.  Jonathan was a trustee and charter member of Damascus Baptist Church in north Iredell County.  65 * His son, John McHargue and wife Dorinda Wilson McHargue are buried there.

On the 1850 census, Jonathan and his family were living in Alexander County, just across the county line from Iredell.  He also lived for a time in Watauga County. Sometime between 1860 and 1870, Jonathan and most of his grown children and their families moved to Greene County, Tennessee where he lived the rest of his life.  He is said to be buried in Limestone Springs but a trip to Greene County could not determine where that was or where Jonathan was buried.

Jonathan’s daughter Rhoda Elmeda was a very interesting person in her own right.  She married John Walker and was living with him in Watauga County during the Civil War.  There are stories told in A History of Watauga County North Carolina with sketches of prominent families66 about this mountainous county which was very split by loyalties to both sides during the war.  What happened in that county gave new meaning to the term civil war.  There were so many factions:  the Home Guard led by Benjamin Green, Unionists Bushwhackers led by Keith Blalock, and other groups. All were hostile to each other, instigating a tremendous amount of fighting and killing, none of which was an official part of the battles by recognized armies of the north or the south.

The Bushwhackers and the Benjamin Green group had become enemies on an earlier occasion, so when a man named Levi Coffey joined the Bushwhackers in 1864, the Green group went to his home to arrest or kill him.  Coffey escaped from his house but was shot and wounded.  In retaliation, his group, the Bushwhackers, went to the home of Lott Green.  They knocked on the door at the Green’s house and when the door was opened, someone from inside fired shots.  One of the Bushwhackers, a man named Calloway was shot and was subsequently taken to John and Elmeda McHargue Walker’s home by the Bushwhackers. The Green group pursued the Bushwhackers to John and Elmeda’s home, surrounded it and when one of the Bushwhackers ran out of the house, he was shot and killed.  The Bushwhacker leader, Keith Blalock, was in the house and called to Elmeda Walker to open the gate.  She did and they escaped. Clearly, the Walkers were Union sympathizers though John Walker did enlist in the Confederate Army.

After enlistment in the Confederate Army, John Walker, Elmeda’s husband, was a soldier at Camp Mast.  Tiring of being a soldier and of being at Camp Mast, he wanted out of the Army, but he didn’t want to desert.  So when he was able to get a week at home, he arranged for some friends to "capture" him at the end of his furlough.  His friends wore Union uniforms, recruited wives of some of these men to dress in men’s clothing to act as assisting forces and went to John Walker’s father’s house in the dark of night.  These bogus Federal soldiers knocked on the door and John Walker and the women of the house, including Elmeda, came to the door, "white faced" according to the account.  The women tearfully pleaded to the "soldiers" for John but they "tore him away from the house".  To make the scene seem genuine, these "soldiers" also captured Jonathan Ross McHargue, Elmeda’s brother, at the same time.  The women did not know of the deception and thought this capture was real.  Elmeda’s husband, John, was taken to the hills and hidden on a rock cliff, where a nearby friend fed him whenever he went out to feed his hogs.  About a week later, John, walked into his home all "disheveled, crippled, and distraught".  He had a paper with his signature attached, a duplicate he said of one the Yankees in Tennessee had compelled him to sign to secure his parole.  This paper was a fake but it worked. John was told by Camp Mast officials to respect his parole and so he was able to stay home until the end of the war.

One wonders how Elmeda McHargue Walker reacted to these shocking and dangerous events in which she was peripherally involved. But Elmeda’s real contribution to history was her expert craftsmanship.  She was a weaver who was extremely skilled and made her name in that field.  No doubt the skills she learned had been handed down from generation to generation as her great-grandfather on her mother’s side, Thomas Milsaps, had been a weaver in Ireland.

Rhoda Elmeda McHargue Walker and her sisters, Martha Matilda and Sarah Elizabeth McHargue Nelson were weavers of cotton fabrics.  The family passed on drafts, or patterns, for weaving the cotton into patterned fabrics that could be used for bedspreads, coverlets, table runners, curtains and other items.  Sarah McHargue had 11 patterns, which she copied and shared.  Elmeda kept patterns in a wooden box that had been handed down in the family for decades or even perhaps, a century or more.  The sisters grew herbs and flowers from which they obtained the pigment for the dyes that they used for their cotton.  Martha spun the cotton into thread, which could be used in the looms operated by Elmeda and Sarah.

The sisters were "discovered" by Frances Goodrich, a Presbyterian missionary who came to the Appalachian Mountains from New York.  Looking for a means to help the mountain women, she started a store called Allanstand Cottage Industries in Allanstand, North Carolina near the Tennessee border.  She encouraged the women in the area to develop their skills, whether it was weaving, basket making or some other kind of craft.  They sold their products in this Allanstand Cottage store making money to supplement their living.  Elmeda also taught weaving to other women.  It became clear to Frances Goodrich that Elmeda McHargue Walker was an expert weaver.  Elmeda soon became known for her skill and caught the attention of Mrs. Woodrow Wilson who was visiting the Appalachian area.  Mrs. Wilson chose Elmeda and Josephine Mast to weave fabrics that she used in a bedroom of the White House, which became known as the Blue Mountain Room.  67 Elmeda became a close personal friend of Frances Goodrich and was mentioned as an expert weaver in the brochures that advertised for the Allanstand shop and also in books about Appalachian weaving.  68 *

Elmeda died on March 24, 1924 in Elkin, Surry County, North Carolina.  Martha, who had lived with Elmeda, preceded her in death on February 26, 1922. Through their work, these sisters contributed to the survival of old time weaving in the Appalachian region.


The story about John Walker and Elmeda’s brother, Jonathan Ross McHargue and their deception with friends in Union uniforms, raises the question of what was really going on with Jonathan Ross. He enlisted into the Confederacy on October 6, 1863 at Camp Vance, North Carolina.  He was in the 4th North Carolina Infantry Regiment.  Two months later, on December 5, 1863, Jonathan was captured by Union soldiers in Culpeper, Virginia and taken to Capitol Prison in Washington, DC.  Upon taking an oath of amnesty he was released and taken to Philadelphia.  He then joined the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry, a Union regiment. He stayed with the unit and applied for and received a pension from the Federal Government for his service.  His Pennsylvania unit information is carved onto his tombstone in Surry County, North Carolina.


Jonathan McHargue and Rhoda Millsaps’ third son, John, married Amanda Dorinda Wilson, daughter of Joel Wilson and Malinda Graham.  John and Dorinda started their family in Watauga County, where they had moved along with most of his family sometime between 1850 and 1860.  John did not move on to Greene County, Tennessee after the Civil War like his father and siblings.  He and Dorinda moved back to Iredell County where they were born.  John and Dorinda had a large family of eleven children; Adolphus Clayton, Leonidas Clark, Clinton Lenwell, Lula Clementine, Luther Columbus, Cornelius Lillington, Robert, Larkin, Calvin Lafayette Leroy and John Henry.

Once again, the desire to move to seek land and better opportunity affected some of the McHargues.  Around 1894, four of John and Dorinda’s children’s families moved west, this time to Coryell County, Texas.

Lula Clementine McHargue married Abraham E. Mayberry, who was a veterinarian in Iredell County. Having heard about opportunity in Texas because a number of North Carolinians were moving to Coryell County, he went out there to look things over to see if his services as a veterinarian would be needed.  Deciding there was a need, he sent for Lula and the children.

The area around Gatesville and Mound had good farming land along the Leon River, on which watermelons and cotton were grown.  The McHargues, being farmers, were attracted to this farming opportunity.  According to the family, Lula and children were accompanied west by Clinton Linwell McHargue and his family, his brother, Luther Columbus and his family and Mary Etta "Molly" Beard McHargue, widow of Leonidas Clark, and her children.  Dr. Mayberry first settled west of Gatesville in Slattery.  He then later moved with his family to Mound where he had a farm from which he practiced as a vet.  The others settled in Mound as well, except Luther Columbus who moved several miles east to the Waco area.

Clinton Linwell and Julia Siceloff McHargue had several children who were born in North Carolina prior to the move to Texas but son Robert and a daughter, Ollie were born in Texas. Their son Lowell was born in North Carolina in July of 1893 and Ollie was born in Texas in September of 1895.  69 So the move to Texas for this extended family group took place sometime between those dates.

Molly McHargue’s husband, Leonidas Clark died of typhoid fever in Cool Springs, Iredell County, North Carolina in July of 1891.  When the others left for Texas, she decided to accompany them, taking her three children: Lillie Mae, Walter Scott and Oren Edgar.

Clinton Linwell and his family returned to North Carolina some time between 1897, when their son Robert was born in Texas, and January, 1899, when their son Ernest was born in North Carolina. They appear on the 1900 census living with Clint’s parents, John and Dorinda McHargue in Iredell County.  North Carolina family members remember hearing that a child had died in Texas and was brought back on the train to North Carolina for burial, so that must have been Clint’s family.  They returned to Texas in late 1900, because a newspaper article in the Statesville paper, The Landmark70 gave brief mention to the fact that Mr. Clinton McHargue and family were moving to Texas on the 20th of December, 1900.  This family was accompanied by Mr. Frank Shoemaker and family. * Clinton and Julia had two more children in Texas after returning; James Siceloff and Burney Schley.

Many of these McHargues settled in The Mound area of Coryell, Texas, and are buried in the cemetery there, including Clint and Julia McHargue, A.E. and Lula McHargue Mayberry, Oren Edgar and Lizzie Bell Yount McHargue and other descendents.


James II’s other son, Eli, married his first cousin once removed, Rhoda McHargue.  She was a daughter of James I and was a few years older than Eli.  They had six children: James E., Franklin A., Davidson L., Eli Lafayette (E.L.), and Elizabeth Louisa Caroline. Eli and Rhoda are buried in Snow Creek Methodist Church Cemetery on Snow Creek Road in very clearly marked graves near the gate at the back of the church.

Eli’s son, Eli Lafayette (E.L.) married Amanda Harmon.  Eli Lafayette was a Methodist minister and organized Sandy Ridge Methodist Church in North Iredell County.  He and Amanda had no children but E.L.’s sister Caroline lived with them.  E.L. and his sister were the fourth and last generation to live on McHargue Mountain.  Their home is restored and is still standing today on Brookhaven Road.  71


Alexander IV

William I’s second son was Alexander IV and the oldest to go to Kentucky.  He and his wife Nancy Agnes had two children, William and Ann, when he left North Carolina with his father and mother. A son, James, was born on January 11, 1805,  72 while they were temporarily living in Tennessee before moving on to Kentucky.  Shortly after arriving in Kentucky, Alexander applied to the court to homestead land on Robinson Creek.  He received a certificate for 400 acres of land.  73

Some time before 1810, Alexander was helping his brother John build an addition to his home when a log fell, killing him.  He was about 30 years old at that time and left a wife and seven young children.  The family drew together to help Alexander’s widow, Nancy Agnes, by sharing slaves so she and her children were able to manage the farm.  74


Alexander IV’s oldest son was William III.  He married Elizabeth Stansberry.  Many of the letters in the compilation by Dan Stansbury were written by Elizabeth Stansberry McHargue. William owned a lot of land on the north bank of Robinson Creek, the same tract of land that his father Alexander IV homesteaded.  William and Elizabeth had seven children; Nancy, James, John, Jane, Barbara, Malinda, and Mary Ann.

When William III died he owned 500 acres of land.  His widow, Elizabeth, wrote in a letter to Malinda and William Stansbury, that she decided to divide up the land eight ways between her seven children and herself.  They didn’t use a surveyor but laid out chains to "step it off as best they could".

In this letter written in 1858, Elizabeth said when she and Bill (William III) were married they lived across the road from his mother’s house.  Bill’s brothers and sisters lived with their mother, Nancy.  According to Elizabeth they were good people and most had gone to school and all went to the McHargue Church "rain or shine".  But the amusing part was, she said "they were all McHargues".  No foolishness allowed.  The blessing had to be said before they came to the dinner table and they didn’t want talking at the table.  Elizabeth said she put a stop to that. They had thanked the Lord for the food and his blessing, "so now we should get on with our family."  She wrote that her boys, Jim and John, were too much like the McHargues...all work and no play!  75 A letter written by Ira Stansbury in 1869, to his parents Malinda and Bill Stansbury, mentioned that he stopped by to visit his Aunt Elizabeth.  Ira says that she was still the best cook in the family and "I am sure each of you can remember how much fun Aunt Eliza was. Now her girls are McHargues all the way.  Never a smile...".  76


Alexander IV’s second son, was James H McHargue who was born January 11, 1805 in Tennessee.  James married Mary Dugger in August of 1827.  James and his brother Abner had talked about moving either to Indiana or Missouri, eventually deciding on Indiana, and talked their mother, Nancy Agnes, into going with them.  James’ wife Mary was expecting a baby and was also very sick with consumption.  The baby, Alexander, was born on August 2, 1829 in Indiana. Mary died later and was buried in Greene County, Indiana.  77

A biographical sketch of Alexander McHargue in a Parke County, Indiana publication states that he was a son of Phoebe Arnold, James’ second wife and that he was born in Lawrence County, Kentucky.  This sketch also says that Alexander was the second child and eldest son of James H. 78 This differs from Elizabeth McHargue’s account.  One would think that Alexander McHargue would know where he was born and who his mother was. But perhaps since his mother died when he was an infant and Phoebe raised him, he considered her his mother.  Perhaps a descendent can clear this up. In any case, they did go to Indiana.

According to Elizabeth, Nancy Agnes McHargue, James’s mother, decided after several years in Indiana that it was time for her to return to her home in Kentucky, so James took her back to Kentucky in 1835. He remained in Kentucky because he appears on the 1850 census in Laurel County with eleven children, all of whom were said to be born in Kentucky.  According to Elizabeth McHargue, James’ second wife, Phoebe Arnold, died in 1842 and James married again, this time to Jane Martin.  Elizabeth McHargue said that James moved back to Indiana, this time to western Indiana (Parke County). 79 He must have returned to Indiana some time before 1855 because his oldest son, Alexander, married in that year.  James had fifteen children by three wives. *


James’ oldest son, Alexander, married Sarah Ann Martin on January 18, 1855.  She was born on January 22, 1833 in Union Township, Parke County.  Alexander and Sarah Ann had two children; James B. who married Sally B. Shouchs and John C.F. who married Margaret Martin.  80


James’ son William, by his second wife Phoebe, was born in 1831. William married a Nancy J. in Indiana and had four children, John Frank, Lucy J.R., William Marion and Rebecca.  William Marion married Alice Townsley from Covington, Indiana and they later lived in Vermillion, Illinois.  William and Alice had three children, Jessalyn, James Eugene and William Vincent.  James Eugene was to become one of our notable McHargues.  A large, soft-spoken man, he was known professionally as "Rosy" and lived for his audiences.

Rosy McHargue was born on April 6, 1902 in Danville, Illinois.  He was the second of three children of William and Alice.  Shortly after his younger brother was born, when Rosy was only about two, his father died and his mother had to raise the three children alone.  When Rosy was 16, his mother died during the influenza epidemic of 1918.  He and his younger brother William then went to live with his older sister, Jessalyn.

Rosy had studied piano as a boy under his mother, Alice.  But by the time he was 15, he became interested in the saxophone.  In those days he was working on the C. & E. I. Railroad replacing rivets with a 30 pound sledgehammer, but his interest in music took him to a very different use of his hands and fingers.  In 1917, Rosy heard records of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band’s, "Livery Stable Blues" and "Dixie Jazz Band One-Step" and was hooked on this new form of music.  He bought a clarinet and taught himself how to play by imitating the clarinetist in the Original Dixieland Jazz Band.

About this time he got together with some local musicians in Danville and started playing at dances.  They formed a band called the Novelty Syncopators and Rosy played the C melody Saxaphone and the clarinet.  He also sang.  He really enjoyed novelty songs and when the "exotica" craze swept through Tin Pan Alley, Rosy sang a Hawaiian song called "When Rosie Riccoola Do Da Hoola Ma Boola".  His fellow band members started calling him Rosy and the name stuck.

Besides the Novelty Syncopators, his first group, Rosy played with Roy Shoenbeck’s orchestra, Sig Myers band in Chicago, the Seattle Harmony Kings, Al Handler’s orchestra and Maury Sherman’s orchestra.  He recorded with Frank Trumbauer’s orchestra in 1931, and joined the Ted Weems band in 1934.  When touring with Ted Weems’ band, his roommate was a young singer named Perry Como.  Rosy wrote arrangements for the band, including "I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now" which was a hit song for Perry Como and the Weems band.

Tired of being on the road, Rosy went to Los Angeles in 1943.  He was offered a temporary job with the Benny Goodman orchestra and played tenor sax with them.  Later that year, Rosy joined Kay Kyser’s orchestra on alto sax and clarinet.  With that group he made an appearance in the movie "Around the World". In the late 1940’s Dixieland was experiencing a revival and he recorded for Jump and Capitol labels.  Rosy’s best known recording from that period was "Twelfth Street Rag."  In 1951, Rosy organized his own band, "Rosy McHargue’s Ragtimers".  The name later was changed to "Rosy McHargue and his Dixieland Band".  Rosy performed well into his nineties, performing one last time the week before he died at the age of 97 in 1999.

In 1929, Rosy married Blanche Caumiant, who was from Westville, Indiana.  They were married for fifty-four years, until her death in 1983. They had no children.  81


Andrew McHargue was a son of James and his second wife Phoebe.  He was born on April 14, 1835 in Laurel County, Kentucky but returned with his family to Indiana.  In 1862, Andrew enlisted in Indiana in the 71st Regiment 6th Cavalry. Andrew learned to read in the three years he spent in the war and became an avid reader. After the war, he became a carpenter and a farmer.  The History of Parke County describes Andrew as an enterprising and honorable citizen.  Andrew McHargue never married.  He was shown in later census records, single and living with his brother John M. McHargue.  In the 1930 census in Indiana, he was living in Kingman, Fountain County and was 94 years old.  His brother, John M. McHargue was a clergyman in the Brethren Church.


Another son of James and his second wife, Phoebe, was Thomas, who was born February 8, 1837 in Laurel County, Kentucky.  Thomas married Elizabeth Lankford in Parke County, Indiana.  When the Civil War started, Thomas enlisted in Company C of the Sixth Indiana Cavalry.  After the war, Thomas became a farmer and made his first move west to Moultrie County, Illinois.  He decided then to move on to Kansas.  Loading his wagon with his family and his possessions he made the 21-day trip to Montgomery County in Kansas.  Upon arriving, he settled his family in a 14 by 18 foot cabin, which was home to the family until 1885, when they later built a permanent home.  This home was on 160 acres where he was chiefly a grain and stock farmer.  While politically active on the sidelines of the Republican Party, the only office he held was that of a member of the local school board.  Thomas and Elizabeth had five children, Manson, Edward, Emma, Ella and Virginia.


James M. McHargue, born in 1845 in Kentucky, was one of James’ sons by his third wife Jane Martin. James M. married Talitha Maines and they had five children:  Jennie, Phoebe, Stephan A., Sarah B. and James H., all born in Iowa.    By the 1910 census, the children were gone and James and Talitha were alone and living in Lola Township, Cherokee County, Kansas.  James M.’s son James H. married Pearl I. Green in Indiana.  She was born in 1888.  James and Pearl had three sons; Robert H born in Iowa, Warren F. and Walter L.   Robert H. married Blanch Anderson.  This family moved across country and the present descendents live in southern California after moving there from Council Bluffs, Iowa in 1955.


James’ brother Abner, son of Alexander IV, married Mary Riddle who was born in North Carolina.  Abner had moved to Greene County, Indiana with James and their mother, Nancy Agnes in the late 1820s.  Abner and Mary had five children; Nancy born in 1838, Elizabeth born in 1840, General M. born in 1845, Aliva Ellen born in 1850 and Lucy born in 1852.  Abner and his family remained in Green County, Indiana.


There were two groups of McHargues living in Indiana; the group in Jackson County who were descendents of James I, and the group in Greene and Park Counties who were descendents of William I through his son Alexander IV.


John II

William I’s third son was John who was born in 1780 in Iredell County, North Carolina.  John married Mary Millsaps, daughter of Joseph Millsaps of Iredell County.  Mary was a sister of Nancy Ann Millsaps who married James, John’s brother.  John and Mary had eleven children; four sons and seven daughters.

John and Mary, decided to go west to Missouri in 1827 and left the end of March, the first of the family to make that move.  William, their oldest son who was 23 at the time, was very enthusiastic about the move.  William told a friend in a letter dated 1874, that they were influenced to go to Chariton County, Missouri, by the son of Daniel Boone who came back to Kentucky from St. Louis to visit.  He recommended that they go by water so that they would be safe from the Indians.  82

When John and his family first arrived, there were only five other settlers in the area.  John staked out 80 acres for himself and 80 acres each for William and his 13 year old brother James, all adjoining.  They built a house in a week and then added to it the next month, finding plenty of timber with which to work.  John bought eight steers and a plow and they slowly turned the sod under, six inches at a time. Working long hours, they finally had a good crop the first year, including corn, wheat, oats, and tobacco. Their garden was bountiful with plenty of potatoes and beans and with the hogs and cows they had, according to William, they did well.

John McHargue died September 18, 1844 and his wife Mary Millsaps McHargue, died June 20 in 1864.  They are buried in the McHargue Cemetery in Chariton County, Missouri.


Some 20 years after settling in Missouri, William’s old friend, Luke Watkins, whom he had known in Kentucky, hired him to be a trail boss to drive 1500 head of cattle to California.  This was around 1846.  Luke Watkins put together a company, as he put it, in Independence, Missouri.   Izie Davis, a friend of Luke’s, was a friend to the Indians and fluent in their language and he lined up a number of Indian scouts for them.  They had an agreement in San Francisco with their partners to advance them the money before they left and then to pay the men who were on the drive once they got to California.

Luke and William started the drive a month early to get ahead of the wagon trains going to Oregon and California. No mention was made of which month or how long the drive took but most wagon trains started in April after the grass had started growing for the horses and cattle to graze on.  Leaving earlier before there was grass was risky which was apparently what William and Luke did.  Using the same trail William had used to haul freight to an Army fort in Utah, they went along the North Platte River so they would have water for the cattle and plenty of grass. * The group included 26 men, with 4 wagons pulled by 4 mules each.  There were 32 horses, some of which were tied behind the wagons in case they were needed to pull them later.

In Fort Bridge, Utah, they delivered salt pork, earning extra money and then traveled the Northern Route to Soda Springs for the water. Later, they turned south on to the California trail along the Humboldt River.  The cattle were driven through the gap in the mountains into California and on to Sacramento where they delivered 1,000 head to their San Francisco partners.  No mention was made of what happened to the other 500 head of cattle. Surely some died and others may have been sold along the way.  Once in Sacramento, the trail hands, including William McHargue, were paid.  According to Luke, the area was becoming over run by gold prospectors whom apparently they found unpleasant, so they rested up a while and went their separate ways.  William traveled back to Missouri by boat.  83 He didn’t mention what route but the water way was the long route around South America.  In those days, the only way across the Isthmus of Panama was on land through the jungles.


William’s much younger brother James was born in 1822 in Whitley County, Kentucky and had been given 80 acres of land by his father when they arrived in Missouri.  William said that James decided to move to Oregon because of the weather in Missouri in 1846.  There had been many people sick with typhoid and "winter" fevers.  The Oregon Trail was just opening up travel for wagon trains. The word was spreading that rather than sail around South America, it was now possible to go by land all the way to Oregon where there was more land available... always the quest for land.

In 1843, the "Year of the Great Migration", the trail had been finally opened by the clearing of trails through the forests in the Blue Mountains of Oregon.  This opened the trail all the way from Missouri to the Willamette Valley.  The trip usually took a grueling six months from Independence, Missouri to Oregon with travelers experiencing sickness such as cholera; Indian troubles, though relatively few; a high percentage of accidental gunshot wounds; difficult crossings of flooded rivers, and the constant dust brought on by so many wagons and animals.  But James was a very determined man; determined enough to make the trip with his wife, Sarah Jane Montgomery and young daughter, Mary Ellen, who was less than a year and a half old.  Accompanying them on the wagon train were Sarah Jane’s parents Ellen and John Montgomery and her aunt, Elizabeth Montgomery and uncle, Robert Montgomery. They left in April of 1847, driving a team of oxen and arrived in Oregon on October 20, 1847.

When James finally arrived in Oregon he spent his last 20 dollar gold piece on a piece of land three miles southeast of Brownsville.  This left him practically penniless, according to his daughter, Catherine Hume. The land had a small cabin and about 20 acres, enough to plant some wheat.  Catherine said her family was so poor in those early days that they didn’t have enough money to buy flour to make bread.  Her father, James, went to Jonathan Keeney who had settled the year before and asked him for a loan of flour.  Keeney, thinking he wouldn’t get paid back, gave James the poorest flour that he had.  In about two weeks, James was able to thresh the wheat that he had grown.  He spent a week taking it with an oxen team to a mill in Oregon City to be ground.  When James returned he weighed out twice the amount he had borrowed and returned it to Jonathan Keeney to repay the debt.  Keeney told James many times over the years, how ashamed he was that he had treated a new neighbor so poorly.

After James spent the last of his money for the land, he had to work "out" as Catherine said.  The closest work was at the R.C. Finley flourmill, which was on the Calapooia River several miles to the east.  It was the first mill ever built in the valley.  James would leave for work early in the morning and return late at night after dark, sometimes walking the several miles.  James’ wife, Sarah Jane was so afraid of Indians that as soon as James left, she and her daughter Ellen would lock the doors to the cabin and hide under the bed all day long until James returned from work at night!

James’ hard work paid off and he soon had money to become part owner of a flourmill that was built in Brownsville in the 1850s.  He was a partner with a miller named Bassett who ran the mill, as James was apparently a financial investor. His brother, William, also had an interest in the mill.  James also was involved in the organization and building of the Brownsville Woolen Mill and he was one of the prime movers in that project, which fed the growth of the whole town of Brownsville.  James was not the only one involved, as most able men in the town helped to get it started.

James’ oldest child, Ellen, who had traveled safely to Oregon from Missouri on the wagon train, became ill and died on December 7, 1852.  On the same day, her brother George was born. Ellen’s father tried three times to dig a grave before finally digging one that didn't fill up with water. It was on the top of the ridge above their home.  Little seven-year-old Ellen McHargue was the first person buried in what became the McHargue Cemetery in Linn County, Oregon.

Two of James’ sons had land claims in Washington Territory near Colfax.  James had a thousand head of cattle on those lands, which the boys were herding.  In 1875, John was out with his father, James, driving cattle, when he caught a cold that turned into, most likely,pneumonia. * He returned home to recuperate and was improving, when his 27-year-old brother, William died of a heart problem. John went back up to Washington Territory to help his father, but then he relapsed and died.  84

The Willamette Farmer account said that, "Mr. James McHargue, of Brownsville, passed up on Monday’s train, on his way home from the Palouse (Washington Territory) country, having in charge the coffined bodies of his two sons, William and John, who died there recently, while in charge of their father’s cattle."  85

James died at the age of 75 in Brownsville, in October, 1897 less than five months after his wife, Sarah Ann died.


William had seen the Oregon Trail and the West when he was the trail boss in 1846 for Luke Watkins.  When James left for Oregon in 1847, William must have must have started thinking about moving there himself.  William was 18 years older than James and he and his wife, Lucinda Profitt, had no children.  He wanted to be near his brother, so in 1853 he wrote to James telling him what he had done.

William told of the cold spells and many changes of weather in the winter of 1852 and 1853.  Times were good and brisk in Missouri with every kind of property high and in demand. * He went on to relate the high prices and said that men were foolishly selling everything off to make a profit.  But he thought that when they would try to buy replacements in the spring they would "repent" their foolishness as the California speculators had most of the cattle. Only then did he tell James that he had sold his land for $1265, his slaves for $1700 and his loose property for $400.  With some of his money he bought $764 worth of stock and said that he wanted $400 worth more.  "I expect to start for Oregon in the spring", he revealed finally.

William was planning to take two wagons and "eight persons" with families.  He had a total of 42 persons, 64 head of cattle, 20 head of oxen and hoped to have three mares and one mule.  Presumably, the two wagons were both for him and his wife and supplies for the group.  He told James to look for him in the Fall of 1853.  86

Months later, in January of 1854, William wrote a promised letter to Luke Watkins telling him how he had fared on the journey west.  He mentioned that he had stayed with his brother John and family, in Chariton County, Missouri.  This was probably after he and Lucinda sold their farm and belongings in preparation for the move.  His cattle were well cared for and looked "like gold" when he started out.  He mentions again that he had eight people with families and six single men on horses and named John and Lewis Tycer and families, John Wright, Henry Tilleson, Nathan Rice, Elizabeth Profitt and Frank Tycer and family, forty two in all.  He had contacted his friend, Izie Davis for new Indian guides and so Izie went with them to South Pass and the Winding River Range.  Izie wanted to get them through the Sublette Cutoff and then to Soda Springs and Fort Hall.  They then had to go along the Snake River to Fort Boise, and from there across the Blue Mountains and down the Columbia River to Brownsville.

The logistics of a wagon train were something one had to plan well. William added three hundred head of sheep that he bought in Mercer County, Missouri and Iowa.  Friends from Kentucky, Fred Snyder and his sons, drove them to Ft. Kearny for him at no cost and free food at his place. William was well stocked with food.  He had for each grown person 200 lbs. of flour, thirty pounds of pilot bread, 75 pounds of salt pork, ten pounds of rice, five pounds of coffee, two pounds of tea, twenty five pounds of sugar, a half bushel of cornmeal and a small keg of vinegar.  For the children eight years and up, they carried half of the same.  They also carried the "usual" tools and keg for water, a metal plate for stove and two churns, one for sweet and one for sour milk, rope, rifle and shotgun.  Each man was to have a Bible.

They had a total of 12 covered wagons pulled by four oxen each and plenty of horses and mules to take over on the waterways and hills.  They were able to shoe them at night and if a steer became lame they would use hide they had taken from a fallen steer by the road, wrap the foot with the plain side out and in two or three days the oxen were good as new according to William.  One man and two dogs could drive three hundred sheep and stand guard all night.  When William got to Oregon he had 272 of the original 300 sheep he had started out with and he reported no problems with the eighty head of cattle he took.

The 2000 mile trip usually took six months, averaging ten or eleven miles a day, and that’s what they planned but it only took them five.  They left on April 15 from Fort Kearney and were lucky to have good weather so they arrived at the end of September, 1853.  James planned to meet them at a pass but they arrived there early and sent riders on ahead to tell him not to come, since they were on their way. William mentioned that Lucinda liked the trip and she had driven one of the wagons almost every day.  When they arrived, Lucinda said their speed was because she was the trail boss.

When William arrived in Oregon, he and Lucinda lived with his brother James for a while.  By the time he wrote the letter he had staked out a homestead of 200 acres in Colfax Valley where his brother James also had 400 acres that were well stocked.  87

In a letter in 1854, William asked his friend Luke to find a water wheel for corn and wheat and ship it to him and that Luke would have the money before William received the wheels.  William mentioned, as he sometimes did, the cost of sending the letter, which was transported, by boat to New Orleans and then to the state house in Missouri, costing $8.00.  Not bad for a trip around the Cape Horn of South America or, perhaps, over land at the Isthmus of Panama 88 Years later, in 1868, William again relied on his friend, Luke, for help.  He told Luke that the water mill that he had sent to him was serving the area well and now he would like a woolen mill.  Once again, he asked Luke to ship it on to him and he would mail him a check, no questions asked.

Another time that William mentioned the cost of mail, he told Luke Watkins that he received the letter he mailed some time ago on the Pony Express from St. Joseph, Missouri at a cost of $3.00 to Sacramento and another $3.00 by mail to Oregon.  This was a lot of money in those days (and even today for a letter) but it was also a lot of effort to get letters from one place to another.  Because of this, letters were precious and were saved and even copied years later and sent to other people. *

In Oregon, the Civil War was a horrible story and very distant.  Rebel soldiers were not seen there but some Federal troops occasionally were. According to William, Oregon didn’t want to get involved in the "Eastern Conflict." William heard from their family in Missouri and Kentucky and they had terrible stories to tell about the miseries of war and the roving gangs of riders.  He hoped that now that the war was over, life could return to normal for their families back home.  89

By 1867, William’s farm was doing well.  He had most of it fenced and had the sheep on a 100 acre pasture.  He wanted another 1000 head of sheep and told Luke that he would contract for 1500 head to leave St. Joseph, Missouri.  He wanted to take them to his northern ranch and was sure that he could get his brother, James to take the same amount.  Telling Luke that was a good amount to drive, he asked him to go ahead and set it up for the next spring.

William had been licensed to practice medicine and law in Missouri. He had gone to St. Louis to study the law and also kept up on medical studies. Whenever he traveled to New Orleans he took a class or two, keeping up on the new information.  Once in Oregon, he was able to continue practicing, as it was a territory, not a state, so he didn’t need another state license to practice.  He had helped many a person as a doctor and he also kept busy with practicing law, but his first love was the farm and he felt that had to come first.

William’s brother, James, had an idea that apples would be a big thing in Oregon one day.  William had his own orchards and grew strawberries and blackberries and had a grape vineyard.  He had plenty of grapes for wine but he commented that he hadn’t tried to make any corn liquor yet.  James had a boiler at his property and with the corn they grew he could make the liquor like they had in Kentucky and Missouri. William described liquor making as an art. He also believed it to be healthful.  He had a glass when he got up in the morning, then after he ate he had another glass.  He said that he knew from his medical practice that he was staying ahead of the "gurms that are after him."  He skipped the liquor at noon but had another glass in the evening.  So far, he said, it had been good to him.  90

William died in 1875, at the age of 71, six-and-a-half years after Lucinda did.  They were both buried in McHargue Cemetery in Brownsville.


These two sons of John McHargue and Mary Millsaps, grandsons of William I, were the pioneers who took the family further and further west in the early days of our country.  Other McHargues followed, to Missouri, Iowa  and Kansas, but William and James were the first to make such a commitment to the far northwest.


In the spring of 1839, John, the second son of John II and Mary Millsaps, left Chariton County and took up land in Grundy County.  He put in crops, and in the fall went back to Chariton to visit his parents. His granddaughter, Bessie McHargue Ford, later tells in an interview that while he was in Chariton, the animals ate most of his crop. Later that same year on December 29, John married Missouri Ann Warmouth. They had five children, William Harrison, John Henry Clay, James Monroe, Zachariah Taylor and Mary Elizabeth.

Bessie Ford said that John was a very useful man in his community.  Besides being a wheelwright, he made furniture and coffins.  He also extracted teeth, sewed up wounds and set broken bones.  By far the most unusual thing he did, for which people would come from miles around, was to blow fire from burns and charm away toothaches! The only thing for which he charged money, according to Bessie, was building furniture and coffins.  For the coffins he got 25 cents a foot for solid walnut.  Many of the people, being new settlers, didn’t have much money so they would trade livestock for furniture.  In this way, John accumulated quite a large amount of stock that he traded for money and then invested in land.

John gave each of his sons a farm with buildings when they married.  He also donated land and materials for a school to be built because education was very important in this family.  Missouri Warmouth McHargue had attended Grand River College for two years and taught school during the Civil War. Their son, John Henry Clay McHargue, according to his daughter Bessie, attended more school than most children did in their day.

When John Henry Clay was 18 the Civil War broke out and he wanted to be a soldier.  He talked things over with his family and left home in 1861 to join the Missouri Militia.  He joined the regular army, Company B of the 23rd Missouri Infantry in late 1862 and was discharged in Louisville, Kentucky in July of 1865.

When John Henry Clay came home from the war, his father was growing old and the younger John took over all the activities that his father had done for years.  All that is, except charming toothaches and blowing fire from burns.  Bessie said that she helped her father with the coffins by putting in the cotton and cheesecloth linings and he put on silver plated handles and trimmings. Bessie McHargue hoped that when her time came, she would have as nice a coffin as her father built.  91


William II

William I’s fourth son was William II who was born in North Carolina in 1786.  When he was 26, according to Barbara Sue McHargue, he married 16-year-old Barbara Storm.  William II and Barbara had 12 children; Samuel, John, James, Elizabeth, Sarah, William, Alexander, Henderson, Hiram, Emily, Mary, and Madison.

When John II left Kentucky, his father, William I, bought his 400 acres and then traded that land with his son William II.  By owning William II’s acreage in place of John’s, William I would then have one larger plot of land, undivided by a section of land owned by someone else. In return, William II got cleared land, barns and other buildings and the watermill that had belonged to John, as well as some of the slaves who remained behind.  There was a graveyard on the farm and up on the hill behind their house was a log church and school where John sometimes preached and Mary taught.  This land went to William II and is the land where the McHargue Christian Church and the McHargue Cemetery are located today.  92

William II had a mill on the land that he had before the trade.  This mill had a flat stone that he had bought in Carter County, Tennessee.  When he left his old home upon the trade with his father, he removed the stone and then later sold it to Bill and Eliza McHargue who built a mill on Robinson Creek.  When William II became the owner of John’s land he became the owner of John’s mill and its flat stone from Tennessee. He also bought another set of stones around 1824 that William McHargue III helped him to install.  93 By 1831, William II, keeping up with the modern times, had converted the water mill to a mill powered by mules.  94 *

William II was very successful, having a variety of businesses including the water powered gristmill, the mule powered gristmill, carding machine, spinning and weaving business, the blacksmith shop, a millwork shop, a tan yard and a sawmill, as well as a grocery store.  William owned many acres of land and also had slaves who labored in his businesses.  95

When family members started moving to the west, William II gave his children slaves to keep them in Laurel County.  Family members thought that when William II was gone, the children would move west.  96 But William II’s son Henderson continued the family milling business.  He had machinery for a steam mill hauled from Lexington by 12 yoke of oxen.  This was one of the earliest steam mills in the state.  At the mill, three grades of wheat could be ground as well as corn, and wool could be carded as well.  This early steam mill attracted many people to see the new industry and in time, the mill became a center of many kinds of outdoor community sports and activities.  97

William II’s oldest son was Samuel II who was born in Knox County in 1813.  Samuel married Mary DeWeese and they had nine children; Frederick Brafford, Jesse, Leander, William Alexander, John, James, Rosa, Hiram and Richard.  William Alexander married Surilda Stanberry and they had among other children, a son, John David who was born in Lily, Laurel County, Kentucky.  John David married Samantha Bell Long in 1888 in Kentucky and moved to Oklahoma sometime after living in Texas for a while.  John David and Samantha were the great grandparents of another of our notable McHargues, Darrel Gene McHargue.

Darrel Gene McHargue was born in Oklahoma City, on September 22, 1955.
Darrel grew up there with four siblings in a family that had no connection to horse racing. He did, however, have the opportunity to ride on a friend’s Quarter Horse.  He soon fell in love with riding and after a bad fall, realized that he needed to learn what he was doing because he knew that he wanted to ride.

Darrel was 5' 1" tall and weighed 113 pounds, the perfect size for being a jockey.  At the young age of 17, he made his professional racing debut at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.  A year later he was the leading rider at Laurel Park Racecourse in Laurel, Maryland, with 66 victories.  Two years after becoming a professional rider, Darrel became only the seventh rider in history to win 400 races.  In 1975, Darrel scored the biggest victory of his career by winning the 101st Preakness aboard Master Derby.  In 1978, Darrel broke the single year earnings record for a jockey and was named the United States Champion Jockey by earnings.  In that year he was voted the Eclipse Award as the year’s outstanding jockey.

Darrel McHargue competed in all three legs of the Royal Crown, winning the Preakness in 1975, his most important career win.  He competed in eight Kentucky Derbys, finishing second on Run Dusty Run in 1977 and third in 1980 on Jack Klugman’s Jaklin Klugman.  In the Belmont Stakes Darrel finished second with McKenzie Bridge in 1976 and third with Master Derby in 1975.

In 1978, Darrel rode six winners in one day at the Santa Anita Park in California and did it again the following year on October 25, 1979.  Darrel was honored in 1978 when he was voted the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award presented by Santa Anita Park to the jockey in North America who demonstrates high standards of personal and professional conduct, on and off the racetrack.

Darrel raced the thoroughbred, John Henry, in 11 races, winning the San Juan Capistrano Handicap, Hollywood Invitational Turf Handicap, San Gabriel Handicap, San Luis Rey Handicap, and San Marcos Stakes.  Darrel raced for two years in Ireland before retiring from riding in 1988.  In his new career, he became a racing official, and in 2005 was appointed a race steward at Hollywood Park.  98 In 2007, Darrel was serving on the Board of Stewards of Bay Meadows Race Course in California.


Samuel I

William’s fifth and youngest son was Samuel.  He was born in Iredell County, North Carolina in 1790.  He was a young, single man when he arrived in Kentucky in 1805, with his parents and three older brothers. He married a young woman named Polly (Mary) Ferguson who was born in Tazewell, Virginia in 1794.  Polly and Samuel had nine children; Andrew, William, Sarah, Nancy, Alexander, Mary, Wesley, Elizabeth and James.

Samuel and his brother William II, inherited from their father William I, one half each, of his land, gristmills and sawmills after their mother Sarah died.  For Samuel’s service as an officer in the War of 1812, he was given the right to land in Mercer County, Missouri.  He chose not to move to Missouri, preferring to stay in Kentucky. There was ample opportunity for prosperity by remaining in Kentucky and continuing the family businesses and that’s what he chose to do.  In 1853, he conveyed his right to the Missouri property to his son, William, who was living in Wayne County, Iowa.


Samuel’s oldest son was Andrew, who was born in 1816.  He married Arthusia Ward and they raised seven children in Knox County, Kentucky.  One of those children was Mary Jane McHargue, born in 1842.  Mary Jane married John Norvell and they had six children including one son, Elijah who was born in 1872.  Elijah Norvell married Martha Ohler.

One of Mary Jane McHargue Norvell’s great grandchildren, Charles Archer, shared a story about the Norvell home.

"My mother, Mary Evelyn Norvell Archer, was born in 1896 in a log home in Knox, County, Kentucky.  She was the daughter of Elijah Norvell and Martha Ohler Norvell."

"The home was constructed of huge, lengthy poplar timber logs that had been squared off on the edges.  It was not a log cabin, but a sizeable home, large enough to raise my aunts and my grandfather.  I assume it was built after the Civil War.  My great-grandfather (Mary Jane McHargue’s husband) was a Union soldier wounded in the war."

"I can remember my oldest sister, Martha Ann Archer Rowlette, telling about visiting her grandfather and grandmother, Martha Ohler Norvell.  My sister said her great-grandfather still had a minnie ball embedded in his leg, and had to be helped a great deal." (After her mother died) "my mother was left with the task of raising her younger brothers, Wesley Homer Norvell and William "Willie" Norvell.  Willie built a two-room log cabin adjacent to the home place and raised a family of four there."

"Elijah eventually remarried, and after his death the farm of about 40 acres was equally divided between his three children and his second wife, Zannah."

"...My sister Ruth and her husband, Bascom Reasor, eventually bought the old home place when it was offered for auction for back taxes.  The home had not been occupied for several years.  I remember my mother removing an old pump organ and getting it repaired.  The organ went to my brother Jack after she died.  He had some more work done on it so that it would play by putting paper rolls in the back and cranking a lever."

"The Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site is at Hodgenville, Kentucky.  The state built a park, Lincoln Homestead State Park, near Springfield, Kentucky.  Several log buildings were built there depicting life during the short time the Lincolns lived there before they moved on to Indiana, and eventually Illinois."

"Somehow the state learned about that old Norvell homestead on Rocky Branch Road and asked my sister to donate the logs to help in building the park at Springfield.  She agreed."

"The state brought a low-boy trailer in to haul off the logs.  But Rocky Branch Road was rough and curvy.  A bulldozer finally cleared the way for the logs to be hauled off.  I do not know which building the logs were used to reconstruct, but my sisters visited the part after the building was completed."

Charles Archer, who is 81 years old, said that his mother, Mary Evelyn Norvell, raised her two younger brothers when her mother died.  Mary Evelyn was just a teenager. When she married Arthur Charles Archer in 1919, her youngest brother, Wesley Homer Norvell, came to live with them until he was old enough to be on his own.


Samuel’s 23-year-old son, William, responded to the call of the west.  He married Mary Rockhold on October, 12, 1845 and five and a half months later, in April of 1846, William and his new wife were on their way to Missouri.  They went in the company of William and Malinda Stansbury and twelve other families in 20 wagons.  The group brought with them 31 head of cattle, 14 yokes of oxen, 12 horses, chickens in coops, food and water barrels on the wagons and twelve slaves. The chronicler of the trip was sixteen-year-old Soloman Stansbury, a son of Bill and Malinda who said, "the trip was not too bad."

Bill Stansbury, the wagon master, had prepared for the trip by going west the year before and coming home with the route they would take marked on a map.  They traveled from Kentucky and then down along the Cumberland River across most of Tennessee, crossing the Tennessee River and then back up to western Kentucky and on to the Mississippi River.  They crossed the Mississippi at Hickman, Kentucky on a ferry to Missouri.  From there they traveled along the foothills of the Missouri/Arkansas line to the west. Along the way, they stopped at campgrounds that were a day’s drive apart where there were shacks and "lean tos" that had been built by previous travelers. Once they were in Missouri, some of the group split off and went north to Chariton and Mercer Counties in the north of the state.  William and Mary Rockhold McHargue went on to Wayne County, Iowa.  99

After their honeymoon trip to the west, William and Mary settled down in Iowa. Mary had been pregnant through the entire arduous journey from Kentucky and had her first child on July 21, 1846, possibly before even reaching Iowa. Four-and-a-half months after her youngest daughter Margaret Ann, was born in July of 1855, Mary died.  She and William had four older children who were Mary Elizabeth, Nancy Ellen, Samuel Andrew and Thomas Wesley.

William later married Nancy Jane Snyder of Mercer County, Missouri on July 26, 1859 and moved to Mercer County, just south of the Iowa state line and Wayne County.  With Nancy Jane, William had eight more children.  They were Louisa Frances, Laura Belle, James Alexander, William Sherman, Matilda Susan, Ida Jane, Charles Elliot, and Robert Rockhold. There were also two children who died shortly after birth.

In February of 1865, Samuel I wrote the sad news to William that his mother had died on the fourth of February of heart problems after a year-long illness.  He said that she was 70 years, four months and 29 days old when she died. He responded to William’s earlier request for his birth information by telling him that he was born on March, 29, 1822, making him forty three in the coming March. Thus, there was proof of a son of Samuel that Barbara Sue McHargue had known nothing about when she wrote her book.


Samuel Andrew McHargue, the third child and first son of William and Mary Rockhold, was born in Wayne County, Iowa but moved with the family to Mercer County, Missouri in 1859, when his father remarried.  Samuel married Susannah Price in 1870 and they raised eleven children.  Samuel and Susanna remained on the same farm for nearly all of their lives.

One of the children of Samuel and Susannah was Margaret Jane, born in 1875, who later married Abraham Russell Derry.  Margaret Jane and Abraham had seven sons but, tragically, Abraham died in an automobile accident shortly before his seventh son, Russ was born.  Their mother saw to it that the boys didn’t miss out on outdoor sports after their father died.  Margaret Jane had been a good ball player in school, holding her own and often beating the boys in the country schoolyard.  She loved sports and taught all her boys to play baseball.  100

One of those boys became one of the notable McHargues.  He was Alva Russell Derry born in October 7, 1916, in Princeton, Missouri.

Russ was a good athlete in high school, lettering in football and basketball all four years.  Upon graduation from high school in 1935, Russ was awarded a basketball scholarship to Northwest Missouri State College.  But it was not an all expense paid scholarship and he needed to work part-time to be able to go there.  This was just after the depression and Russ could not find a job, as there was no work to be found. He gave up on the idea of going to college and went to work at various jobs, including some WPA projects that President Roosevelt had initiated to get people back to work.

In early 1937, Russ took a train to visit his brother, Dewey, in California and they visited a cousin whose husband was a sporting goods salesman.  The cousin introduced Russ and Dewey to Bill Essick, who was a New York Yankee scout and who had signed Joe DiMaggio the previous year.  Russ and Dewey were asked to join Bill’s winter team for tryouts.  After a month both were signed to contracts to play baseball during the 1937 baseball season - Russ in Joplin, Missouri and Dewey in Rogers, Arkansas.

Dewey, a pitcher, played two years in Rogers, Arkansas.  Dewey pitched too many games, too close together and ruined his arm.  At the end of two years he was released and returned home to Princeton, where he played on the town baseball team along with all of his seven brothers at various times.

Russ started out playing first base.  He batted left-handed and threw right-handed.  He played in Joplin during the 1937 and 1938 seasons and then in Norfolk, Virginia, a Class B team in 1939.  In 1940, he joined the Kansas City, Missouri Blues, a AAA team.

He was a professional player for 19 years.  His teams included the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Athletics. One of the highlights of Russ Derry’s career was hitting two home runs, one a grand slam, for the Yankees on Opening Day in 1945, becoming the first Yankee and the first American League player to do so.  When the game was over, Babe Ruth called him over to congratulate him, saying, "Nice hittin’, kid.  That grand slam you hit was like the way old’ Babe used to hit ‘em."

While playing for the Rochester Red Wings of the International League, in 1949, Russ hit 42 home runs, and was walked 134 times, a record still unbroken according to The Mirror of Mercer, Missouri.  101 He also holds the League record for assists by an outfielder.

In 1954, Russ was playing his last professional game to end his career. The game, in California, had gone into extra innings, so Russ said, "Boys, let’s end this game.  I have a plane to catch back to Missouri".  Then he ended his final bat in his last game by hitting a home run to win the game, the playoffs and the league title for the Modesto, California team.

In 1989, Russ was selected as a charter inductee of the Red Wings Hall of Fame and ten years later, fans selected him as a member of the Red Wings All Century Team.  He was honored with two Russ Derry Days over the years and at the first one was given an International Harvester tractor to use on his farm.  At the second Russ Derry Day in 2000, the first 5,000 fans were given a replica Red Wings jersey with Derry and number 3 on the back.  He signed autographs for 90 minutes.  It was amazing the number of fans that brought 50-year-old memorabilia for Russ to sign.

Russ Derry was inducted posthumously into the International League Hall of Fame in July, 2008 in Silver Stadium, Rochester, NY, home of the Red Wings.

Alva Russell Derry married Elna M. Craig on July 4, 1940.  They were the parents of one child, Judy Derry Mahoney.  Russ and Elna farmed for 62 years near Mill Grove, in Mercer County.  Russ Derry died on October 26, 2004.





Alexander I and his first wife had one daughter, Mary.  She is known only because Alexander remembered her in his will.  No other record of her existence is known.  As far as Alexander knew, she never married because he said in his will that he left her "ten pounds in full of her part of my estate real and personal to be paid two years after my decease.  But if the said Mary be now dead or died before she receives the aforesaid sum of ten pounds then and in that case I allow it to be paid to her brother that she died with for his trouble and expense in burying her."

Barbara Sue McHargue, in her book, says that when John’s widow, Margaret McHargue and her children went to Georgia, Mary went with them.  Probably John was the brother with whom Mary had lived and to whom Alexander was referring.  Since John was the oldest brother, it seems likely, though this is only conjecture.  No records of Mary have been found in Georgia or North Carolina.


(c. 1762-?)

Margaret was the daughter of Alexander and his second wife, Jane or Jean Toland.  Since the records show that Alexander and Jane married in June of 1760, Margaret was probably born in 1761 or 1762.  According to the records of Paxton Presbyterian Church, Margaret McHargue married Hugh Ramsey on April 8, 1782.  102 Margaret and Hugh moved to Indiana County, in western Pennsylvania where they raised 10 children; James, Jane, John, Mary Ann, Margaret, Nancy, Hugh, Sarah, Alexander and Ann.  Hugh Ramsey died on March 6, 1811 in Indiana County.


(c. 1765-1794)

Alexander McHargue, Jr. the youngest child, was born around 1765 to Alexander and Jane Montgomery Toland.  In 1786 Alexander, Jr. married a woman named Sarah whose last name is unknown.  Alexander and Sarah, whose name became established as Mehargue remained in Dauphin County for the rest of their lives.  Alexander and Sarah had four children; Jane, John Elder, Margaret and Alexander.  Alexander died at the early age of 29 on September 4, 1794 and is buried in Paxton Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Paxton Boro, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Harrisburg.



Alexander Junior’s daughter Jane never married and is buried next to her father in the Paxton Presbyterian Church Cemetery.  She died on March 6, 1850 at the age of 61.



Margaret married William Boon on December 29, 1818 in Dauphin County.  103 William was born near Wilmington, Delaware but his family moved to Dauphin County where he met Margaret.  The family later moved to Washington County, Pennsylvania, settling permanently in Cecil Township.  William was involved in politics and held most local offices.  He and Margaret were members of the Presbyterian Church.  They had seven children; Levi, Alexander, Sarah, John, Margaret, William and James. 104 Margaret and William’s son, William Boon married Mary Speer and their children were; Anneta Eliza,James Latta, John Alexander and Blaine.


John Elder

John Elder, who was named for the Presbyterian minister at Paxton, was born March 14, 1793.  He married Margaret Allen.  In the Guide to Winterthur Library: the Joseph Downs Collection and the Winterthur Archives it mentions that it has John Mehargue’s account book from the years 1825 to 1848.  It also says that John Mehargue was from either Lebanon or Lancaster County.  Surely, this must be John Elder McHargue/Mehargue who lived in Dauphin County.  According to this information, John Elder was a furniture maker.  In this account book, John recorded his activities in making, mending and painting furniture.  He also worked on wagons, turned wood, repaired signs, and chopped wood.  Healing ailing horses was also mentioned in his account book.

John Elder and Margaret had six children; James Sharon, William Allen, Rebecca, Sarah, David B. and Mary E.  John Elder, his wife Margaret and all but one of his children are buried in Long’s cemetery in Halifax, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.  John Elder died on June 20, 1861.


John Elder and Margaret’s daughter, Sarah, who was born in 1828, married Charles Novinger, a blacksmith, in 1855 and moved to Coffey County, Kansas sometime after 1871, where they raised eight children .  105 They were; Mason D., Hannah, Elizabeth, Thomas B., Newton, Laura, Mary and Patrick.


William Allen Mehargue and his wife, Susan Baskin, had three sons and two daughters.  One of those sons was James W. Mehargue who married Florence Funk, in 1884 in Pennsylvania. James W. was involved in a number of enterprises over the years, eventually making his way to Boise, Idaho where he settled.  In 1902, it was reported in the San Francisco Call that James W. had come into Boise with a lot of ore taken from a discovery of a rich vein of ore ten miles east of town.  The news caused a frenetic rush by townsmen to stake their shares of this claim.  The sacks of very rich ore that James W. brought to town were estimated to be worth $10,000, a large amount of money in those days.  106

His daughter, Alice Funk Mehargue married Edwin A. Snow in Bayfield County, Wisconsin on August 28, 1907.  107



Little is known of Alexander Junior’s son, Alexander, except that he and his wife joined the Paxton Presbyterian Church on May 25, 1824.  108 Also, there is a record in January 28, 1799 of a land transaction in Thomastown, later called Linglestown, showing Alexander as a neighbor who owned the bordering land. 109 Paxton Presbyterian Church records show a Ruth Mehargue, who married John Lingle on June 20, 1833, who could possibly have been this Alexander’s daughter.



One would think from reading the public records that only the McHargue men contributed anything to the family history. Where were the women and who were they? Their last names in many cases are lost to history and they simply become Elizabeth, Sarah or Ann. Or, as in the case of Alexander’s first wife, the mother of most of us, they have no name. The family history loses the accomplishments of the sons and daughters of McHargue daughters because they don’t bear the McHargue name.

While the men were building roads, serving on juries, signing deeds and fighting wars, the women were at home, milking the cows at 5:30 in the morning, baking biscuits for breakfast, cranking up buckets of water from the well, pouring it in the tub, boiling it and scrubbing dirty sheets on the washboard, wringing the chicken’s neck for dinner, hoeing the garden, giving birth to 10 or 15 children * and then going out to pick peas!  The men and women of the McHargue family helped to build this country.

Alexander’s and his wives’ descendents are scattered from coast to coast having moved slowly westward, mile by mile, on foot, in boats, covered wagons, trains, cars and planes during the more than two and a half centuries since Alexander came to this country.  In this family are rogues and rascals, ministers and teachers, writers and artists, lawyers and lawmen, scientists, doctors, farmers, businessmen, soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines.

All Alexander was asking in making the difficult journey from Ireland to America was the chance to make what he could of his opportunity.  His children and grandchildren followed that example, always moving on to the perceived better opportunity.  Each descendent followed his dreams and the dictates of his conscience for carving out his own life.  Most succeeded in their own way.

We are a very typical American family. We are a very special American family.




1 Dr. William Henry Egle. Egle’s Notes  and Queries of Pennsylvania, 1700s-1800s.  Third Series Volume II, Notes and Queries  - CXX, p. 229 ;  William McHargue’s Revolutionary War Testimony to a Court in Laurel County, Kentucky
2 Wayland F. Dunaway, The Scotch-Irish of Colonial Pennsylvania. 1944 by The University of North Carolina Press Chapel Hill, North Carolina Reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. Baltimore, 1979, 1981, 1985, 1992 p. 213
3 Barbara Sue McHargue.  History and Genealogy  The Family of McHargue in America Printed by Westbrook Printing Co. Corbin, Kentucky 1938 p. 3
4 T.M. Devine. Scotland’s Empire 1600-1815 Allen Lane of Penguin Books, New York  2003 p. 21
5 T.M. Devine. Scotland’s Empire 1600-1815 Allen Lane of Penguin Books, New York  2003 p. 19
6 Dane Love. Scottish Covenanter Stories Tales from the Killing Times Neil Wilson Publishing, Glasgow 2000  p. xv
7 T.M. Devine. Scotland’s  Empire 1600-1815.  Allen Lane of Penguin Books, New York 2003.  p.153
8 James G. Leyburn  The Scotch-Irish A Social History The University of North Carolina Press  Chapel Hill, North Carolina p. 185
9 Wayland F. Dunaway, The Scotch-Irish of Colonial Pennsylvania. 1944 by The University of North Carolina Press Chapel Hill, North Carolina Reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. Baltimore, 1979, 1981, 1985, 1992 p.54
10 William McHargue. Revolutionary War Pension Application, 1833.  A copy of  the original document can be found  in the documents section of this website.
11 Dr. William Henry Egle  Egle’s Notes and Queries of Pennsylvania 1700s-1800s Third Series Volume II, Notes and Queries - CXX, p. 230
12 Barbara Sue McHargue.  History and Genealogy  The Family of McHargue in America Printed by Westbrook Printing Co. Corbin, Kentucky 1938 p. 3
13 Dr. William Henry Egle  Egle’s Notes and Queries of Pennsylvania 1700s-1800s First and Second Series Volume I, Notes and Queries - -XV, P 95
14 Dr. William Henry Egle  Egle’s Notes and Queries of Pennsylvania, 1700s-1800s First and Second Series Volume II, Notes and Queries -- II p.9
15 Marriages of Rowan County Compiled by Brent H. Holcomb indexed by Karon Mac Smith Genealogical publishing Co. Inc. Baltimore 1981
16 James G. Leyburn  The Scotch-Irish A Social History The University of North Carolina Press  Chapel Hill, North Carolina p. 217
17 A History of Old Fourth Creek Congregation 1764-1964 Now the First Presbyterian Church of Statesville, North Carolina.  Published on the Occasion of The Bi-Centennial of The Formal Organization of the Congregation p.15
18 Dr. William Henry Egle  Commemorative Biographical Encyclopedia of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania containing Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, and Many of the Scotch Irish and German Settlers.   J.M. Runk and Company, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 1896. Chapter Six
19 The Pennsylvania State Archives, Land Records, Harrisburg, Dauphin, Pennsylvania
20 The Will of Alexander McHargue, proved in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, in 1789.  Orphans Court Dockets Dauphin County, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
21 Information from an historical marker at the site of the church.
22 Homer M. Keever. Iredell:  Piedmont County Brady Printing Company  Statesville, North Carolina November 1976 p. 42
23 James G. Leyburn  The Scotch-Irish A Social History The University of North Carolina Press  Chapel Hill, North Carolina p. 192
24 Homer M. Keever. Iredell:  Piedmont County Brady Printing Company  Statesville, North Carolina November 1976 p. 45
25 Iredell County Deed Abstracts Book A and B 1788-1797 Book B p. 194 July 7, 1794
26 "A History of Old Fourth Creek Congregation 1764-1964", published on the Occasion of the Bicentennial of The Formal Organization of the Congregation by the First Presbyterian Church of Statesville, NC
27 Abstracts of The Minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, Rowan County NC 1763-1774 4:55 5 November 1774 Transcribed by  Jo White Linn 
28 Revolutionary Army Accounts  S115.45, Volume A  pp. 150-151 of John McHargue #4881, Salisbury District, Rowan County, North Carolina
29 The research of Mike and Eva Alford given with consent to this writer.
30 The North Carolina Marriage Collection 1741-2004 through
31 The research of Mike and Eva Alford, given with consent to this writer.
32 Jeffrey, Alice. Georgia Tax Index 1789-1799. [database online] Provo, UT, USA. The Generations Network, Inc. 1998
33 1809 Tax Digest transcribed by Sheila Forester and Faye S. Poss
35 The research of Mike and Eva Alford given with consent to this writer.
36 Georgia Land Lottery, 1827.  [database online].  Provo, UT, USA. The Generations Network, Inc. 1997
37 The research of Mike and Eva Alford given with consent to this writer.
38 The research of Mike and Eva Alford given with consent to this writer.
39 transcribed by Lisa Graham
40 "Rowan County Settlements (County Settlements through 1800) Treasurer’s and Comptroller’s Papers, North Carolina Archives" Abstracts;  "1759-1768 Rowan County Sheriff’s Accounts"
41 Marriages of Rowan County compiled by Brent H. Holcomb indexed by Karon Mac Smith, Baltimore, Genealogical Publishing Company 1981
42 Iredell County Heritage, The Genealogical Society of Iredell County, Statesville, North Carolina 1980.  p. 97
43 Rowan County, Land Grants, Book 51 p. 86
44 Statesville Landmark, Statesville, North Carolina, May, 1886
45 Statesville Landmark Statesville, North Carolina, September 5, 1886
47 This information about Walton comes from David Carmichael, a descendent of John P. McHargue.
48 The names of John P.s wives were provided by Dave Carmichael, a descendent of John P.  They are both buried in Smallwood Cemetery, in Jackson County, Indiana.
51 William McHargue. Revolutionary War Pension Application, 1833.  A copy of  the original document can be found  in the documents section of this website.
52 Marriages of Rowan County compiled by Brent H. Holcomb indexed by Karon Mac Smith Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc. Baltimore 1981
53 State of North Carolina, Iredell County, Survey for Warrant number 1708 entered 3 February 1779 for William McHargue.
54 State of North Carolina, Iredell County, Survey for Warrant number 1709 entered 3 February 1779 for William McHargue.
55 Homer M. Keever. Iredell:  Piedmont County Brady Printing Company  Statesville, North Carolina November 1976 page 45
56 William McHargue. Revolutionary War Pensions Application, 1833.  A copy of the original document can be found in the documents section of this website.
57 State Records of North Carolina, Vol. XVII, 1781-1785, published 1899, p. 1056
59 William McHargue, Revolutionary War Pension Application 1833, Laurel County, Kentucky, A copy of the original document can be found in the documents section of this website.
60 Letter from Ira Stansbury in 1867 to Malinda and Bill Stansbury. Letters compiled by Dan Stanberry.
61 Iredell County Heritage - North Carolina.  Published by the Genealogical Society of Iredell County. Statesville, NC 1980 p. 409
62 Stansbury/McHargue Letters compiled by Dan Stanberry, 1979. p. 277
63 Statesville Record and Landmark, Statesville, NC. November 14, 1955.  "Down in Iredell"
64 The names of the children have been taken from James II’s will. Nancy Adaline McHargue married Henry Weatherman and appears on the 1900 census records as having been born in January of 1821.  Her mother Nancy, died two months later, in March, 1821.
65 Iredell County Heritage - North Carolina.  Published by the Genealogical Society of Iredell County, Statesville, NC 1980 p. 107
66 John Preston Arthur. A History of Watauga County North Carolina with sketches of prominent families.  Richmond: Everatt Waddey Co. 1915  pp. 167-173
67 Rhoda Elmeda McHargue Walker in the White House Blue Room
68 Search Elmeda Walker, Sarah Nelson, Elmeda McHargue Walker
69 US Census, Iredell County, NC, 1910
70 The Landmark. Statesville, NC. December 21, 1900.
71 Franklin Templeton, The C.L. McHargue Family. Published by Franklin Templeton, Statesville, North Carolina.  2001 p.6
72 Portrait and Record of Montgomery, Parke and Fountain Counties, Indiana: Containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens, together with biographies and portraits of all the presidents of the United States. Chicago: Chapman Brothers. 1893. p. 239
73 Barbara Sue McHargue. History and Genealogy The Family of McHargue in America Printed by Westbrook Printing Co., Corbin, Kentucky 1938
74 Letter from David Stansbury written in 1867, to his parents Malinda and William Stansbury.  Letters compiled by Dan Stanberry.
75 Letter from Elizabeth McHargue written in 1858 to Malinda and William Stansbury in Missouri.  Letters compiled by Dan Stanberry.
76 Letter from Ira Stansberry written in October 1869 to his parents Malinda and William Stansbury in Missouri.  Letters compiled by Dan Stanberry.
77 Letter from Elizabeth McHargue written in  1859 to Malinda and William Stansbury. Letters compiled by Dan  Stanberry.
78 Portrait and Record of Montgomery, Parke and Fountain Counties, Indiana: Containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens, together with biographies and portraits of all the presidents of the United States. Chicago: Chapman Brothers. 1893. p. 239
79 Letter from Elizabeth McHargue written in  1859 to Malinda and William Stansbury. Letters compiled by Dan  Stanberry.
80 Portrait and Record of Montgomery, Parke and Fountain Counties, Indiana: Containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens, together with biographies and portraits of all the presidents of the United States. Chicago: Chapman Brothers. 1893. p. 239
81 Dan Levinson. "Mississippi Rag".  With permission of Dan Levinson who was a protégé of Rosy McHargue.
82 Letters  from William McHargue in Oregon to Luke Watkins June 5, 1869 copied by Billy Stansbury in 1874 to his mother Malinda Stansbury in Missouri. Letters compiled by Dan Stanberry.
83 Letter from Luke Watkins in 1868 to William and Malinda Stansbury in Missouri.  Letters compiled by Dan Stanberry.
84 Catherine Louise McHargue Hume in an interview with Leslie Haskins for a WPA project. Lebanon Genealogical Society. Lebanon, Linn County, Oregon.
85 The Willamette Farmer Willamette, Oregon, May 21, 1875
86 Letter from William McHargue in Chariton County, Missouri to James McHargue in Calapooia, Oregon Territory, January 22, 1853.
87 Letter from William McHargue, Brownsville, Oregon in January, 1854  to Luke Watkins,  copied by William Stansberry, Jr. to his mother, Malinda Stansbury in 1873.  Letters compiled by Dan Stanberry.
88 Letter from William McHargue to Luke Watkins, 1854.  Letters compiled by Dan Stanberry.
89 Letter from William McHargue, Brownsville, Oregon to Luke Watkins in November, 1865, copied by Billy Stansberry to his mother Malinda Stansberry in 1873.  Letters compiled by Dan Stanberry.
90 Letter from William McHargue, Brownsville, Oregon to Luke Watkins in October, 1859 copied by William Stansberry, Jr. to his mother, Malinda Stansberry in 1876.  Letters compiled by Dan Stanberry.
91 Bessie Ford McHargue’s Memories.  Grundy County Library, Missouri.  1941 
92 Letter from William McHargue to Luke Watkins in 1869, copied by Billy Stansberry to his mother Malinda Stansberry in 1874.  Letters compiled by Dan Stanberry.
93 Letter from Ira Stansbury in 1867 to Malinda and Bill Stansbury. Letters compiled by Dan Stanberry.
94 Letter from Luke Watkins, Jr. in 1868 to Malinda and Bill  Stansbury. Letters compiled by Dan Stanberry.
95 Barbara Sue McHargue.  History and Genealogy  The Family of McHargue in America Printed by Westbrook Printing Co. Corbin, Kentucky 1938 p. 24
96 Letter from David Stansbury written in 1867 to his parents, Malinda and William Stansbury. Letters compiled by Dan Stanberry.
97 Barbara Sue McHargue.  History and Genealogy  The Family of McHargue in America Printed by Westbrook Printing Co. Corbin, Kentucky 1938 p. 30
99 Soloman Stansbury. From his travel diary in the collection of letters compiled by Dan Stanberry. 1846
100 Judy Derry Mahoney
101 The Mirror, Mercer, Missouri, July, 16, 2008.
102 Dr. William Henry Egle. Egle’s Notes  and Queries of Pennsylvania, 1700s-1800s.  First and Second Series Volume I,  Notes and Queries  - XXIV p. 164.
103 Luther Reiley Kelker. History of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania with Genealogical Memoirs.  Lewis Publishing Company. New York. 1907
104 Beers, J.H. and Co., Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania. J.H. Beers & Company, Chicago. 1893 p. 923
105 US Census, 1880, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania
106 "San Francisco Call" San Francisco, California.  November 2, 1902
107 Marriage Records as Published in the Iron River Pioneer 1903-1908  Bayfield County, Wisconsin; From
108 Mathias Wilson McAlackney, History of the Sesquicentennial of Paxton Presbyterian Church (Dauphin County, Pennsylvania) Harrisburg Publishing Company.  Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. 1890
109 History of the Hain Family: descendents of George and Veronica Hain, Reading, PA, Reading Eagle Press,1941 p. 23 through Heritage Quest Online