Andrew B. McCormick

From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 425-426, a reprinted by Stevens Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
  Andrew B. McCormick has the honor to be one of the pioneers of Schuyler county, and it is fitting that an outline of his life should be recorded on these pages. He is a native of the Empire State, born April 7, 1828, near Albany, Rensselaer county.
  His father, Andrew McCormick, was born in Scotland, and is the only member of his family who emigrated to America; his youth was spent in Scotland. Emigrating to the United States he settled in New York city, where he was married. After that event he located in Rensselaer county, where he was employed in a rolling mill until 1836. In that year he removed to Illinois, coming via the Erie canal to Buffalo, thence by lake to Cleveland, thence by canal to the Ohio river; the journey was continued by the Mississippi and Illinois rivers to Beardstown, and thence by team to Rushville, where he arrived November 15, 1836; where he lived until the spring of 1837, and then settled on land in Woodstock township, where he built a log house, and began the task of developing the wild waste into a fertile farm. At the end of two years he disposed of the property and removed to Rushville, where he died, March 17, 1840. His wife's maiden name was Jane Hill; she was one of the girls participating in the reception of La Fayette at Sumbridge, assisting in strewing flowers. She was born in Dutchess county, New York, and was the daughter of David Hill, a native of Ireland, of Scotch ancestry. He emigrated to America a member of the British army, but after coming here his sympathies were transferred to the colonists, and he deserted King George's ranks, and took up the cause of the oppressed. When the war was ended he settled in Dutchess county, New York, and engaged in farming; there he spent the remainder of his days. The father of our subject was a strict Presbyterian; the mother in earlier life belonged to the same church, but afterward joined the Methodists. She was married a second time, and spent her last years in Rushville; she was the mother of four children, born of her first marriage: Andrew B., David, Jane E. and Samuel.
  Andrew B. was a child of eight years when his parents removed to the frontier, as Illinois was then considered. Since that day he has witnessed the wonderful transformation from a wild, almost uninhabited waste into one of the most productive and prosperous States of the Union. He was only twelve years old at the time of his father's death, and was then thrown on his own resources. He found employment on the farm by the month, and worked in this way for three years. At the end of that time he went to learn the cooper's trade, which he followed several years.
  When he reached his majority he received an inheritance from Scotland of 100 pounds, and with this he purchased the land on which he now resides; he then turned his attention to agriculture, and soon came to be recognized as a leading authority on many questions relating to husbandry.
  He was married February 15, 1849, to Miss La Master, who was born in Rushville township, Schuyler county, Illinois, a daughter of James and Nancy (Donahue) La Master; the father was born in Jefferson county, Kentucky, a son of Abraham and Orpha (Erwin) La Master (see sketch of Charles Kennedy), and came to Illinois with his parents in 1826; he resided in Rushville township for a time, and then removed to Bainbridge township. In 1850 he went to California, making the entire journey overland, and after an absence of three years returned to Illinois and to his home in Bainbridge township, Schuyler county; a year later he went to Fulton county and bought a fine farm two miles north of Lewistown, and there lived until death; his wife had died in Bainbridge township, many years previous to his own demise. Mr. and Mrs. McCormick are the parents of ten children, of whom four died in infancy and two boys after twenty-one. One daughter married, and died in 1881, leaving three daughters. David, Robert, Jessie and Della are living now.
  Mr. McCormick is one of the Representative early settlers. In his youth his opportunities were exceedingly limited; schools were taught on the subscription plan, and were conducted in primitive fashion. He has been a wide and careful reader, and through his own efforts has accomplished, in later years, what was denied him in his youth. Politically, he affiliates with the Republican party, and is an ardent supporter of its principles. He is a man of great integrity of character, and has the confidence and respect of the entire community.

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