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History of Adair
County, Iowa, 1915.

Biographical.  Volume 2.


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William Henry McClure.

William H. McClure

There were no brilliant or dazzling chapters in the life record of William Henry McClure, but his history is that of substantial worth, of wisely directed energy, of honorable purpose and of successful accomplishment.  In a word, he was of that class of citizens who constitute the real strength of the nation, men who are active in public affairs, who are cognizant of their duties and obligations to their fellowmen and to the community at large and who in ever phase of life maintain that even balance of character that produces public stability.  Mr. McClure was born in Dundee, Illinois, on the 15th of November, 1859, and was a son of William and Maria (Wesson) McClure.  The family was of Scotch-Irish descent, the grandfather, General George McClure, being a native of Ireland.  Coming to the new world, he served as a soldier in the War of 1812.

William H. McClure attended the public schools although he was largely a self-educated man, continually promoting his knowledge through reading, experience and observation.  During his boyhood he worked alternately as a printer and painter, but at length concentrated his efforts along the former line and in 1886 purchased a half interest in the Audubon (Ia.) Republican, being connected with that paper until 1894, when he sold out.  He was then employed for four months on the Creston Advertiser and in July, 1894, became editor and proprietor of the Fontanelle Observer, so continuing until his demise.  He made this one of the leading country papers of the state, its large circulation indicating that it was highly satisfactory to the public in its methods of treating matters of general and local interest, while in mechanical construction the Observer showed the results of the speedy adoption of the latest improved equipments of the newspaper office.  In addition to his business as a newspaper editor and owner Mr. McClure was a stockholder in the First National Bank of Fontanelle of which he served as a director for several years.

On the 16th of October, 1879, at Maquoketa, Iowa, Mr. McClure was united in marriage to Miss Kate Pratt Holmes, a daughter of W. H. and Electa D. Holmes.  The father, who served as state treasure of Iowa from 1860 to 1865, is now deceased, while the mother lives in Sioux City.  Mr. and Mrs. McClure became the parents of three sons and a daughter:  Scott H., who married Bertha A. Warner and is living in Pomeroy, Iowa;  Mary W., the widow of Otto J. Kaemmerer, of Fontanelle;  and Don D. and Edgar R., who are now owners and publishers of the Fontanelle Observer.  The last named married Lena M. Talcott.  There are also six grandchildren.  The family circle was broken by the hand of death when on the 13th of August, 1915, Mr. McClure passed away at his home in Fontanelle, after a three years' illness, with a complication of organic troubles.

For many years Mr. McClure was connect with the Knights of Pythias, but has demitted several years before his death.  He belonged to the Presbyterian church while at Wyoming and at Audubon.  In politics he was a strong and active republican and was largely instrumental in molding public thought and action in Adair county.  In 1897 he was called to the office of postmaster, which position he filled until 1914.  Within that period he served for two years, in 1902-03, as state representative from Adair county.  Throughout his entire public life he was faultless in honor, fearless in conduct and stainless in reputation, and Adair county numbered him as one of its most valued citizens.



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