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James McClung

Fayette, Seneca Co., NY



Source: Biographical Sketch from Centennial Historical Sketch of Fayette, Seneca Co., NY 1800-1900 by Diedrich Willers [Press of W.F. Humphrey, Geneva, NY, 1900; reprinted by W.E. Morrison & Co., Ovid, NY, 1982], p. 36-37.


      "James McClung, son of John and Sarah McClung was born in Penn's Township (afterwards Buffalo Township) in Cumberland (afterwards Northumberland) County in the State of Pennsylvania Nov. 4, 1744. His parents were of Scotch-Irish birth who came to this country from the north of Ireland. Nothing is known of his childhood or youth. He served honorably in the Revolutionary war in the regiment commanded by Col. James Potter-the portion of the State in which he resided being also open to Indian raids, which required the interposition of military force to repress and punish. It is known that Mr. McClung served in the memorable battle with the British and Hessians t Trenton, N.J., Dec. 26, 1776 and in other engagements.

      In December, 1775, Mr. McClung married Jane Strain residing her Philadelphia in his native State.
      When the tide of emigration from Northern Pennsylvania set in for the Genesee Country, as Western New York was then called, Mr. McClung in 1795 removed with his family to that portion of Romulus, now in Fayette. The county records show that in February, 1796, he purchased from John Rumsey 300 acres of land, part of Military Lot No. 23, at the east end of said lot and nearly one mile from Seneca Lake, which he cleared and improved, and where he resided until his death.

      In April, 1799, Mr. McClung was elected an overseer of highways for the town of Romulus and when the Town of Washington (Fayette) was organized in 1800 he was elected its first supervisor and was re-elected the following year.

      Mr. McClung continued to enjoy the confidence and esteem of his townmen and held public positions as long as he would consent to serve. In 1802 and again in 1806 he was named by town meetings, as one of the committee selected in those years to petition the Legislature in relation to the desired location of the north boundary line of Fayette. He was also repeatedly elected to serve as overseer of poor, assessor and commissioner of highways and in other public positions.

      He was the father of six children, three sons and three daughters, who grew to mature years, and most of them emigrated to western States. The names of his sons, John, Robert, and James, appear upon the records of the Town as early officials. One of his sons-in-law, Henry McCartney, served with the Fayette Rifle Company in the war of 1812. A grandson of the same, Prof. Livingstone McCartney, recently held the position of city superintendent of schools at Hopkinsville, State of Kentucky.

      After a life, bounteously lengthened out to merely a century, honored and remembered by his country, which he had served in its darkest hours, and enjoying the repeated endorsement of his fellow citizens, Mr. McClung died in the hope of a blessed immortality, August 16, 1839, in the ninety-fifth year of his age.

'Sleep soldier! still in honored rest,
Your truth and valor wearing;
The bravest are the tenderest,
The loving, are the daring!' "

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