Albert Galatin McClure biography

ALBERT GALATIN McCLURE. Since 1874 the subject of this review has been a citizen of Texas, first settling in Cooke county and passing a period of five years, then passing two years in Shackelford county and since, as a prominent cattle man and a leading citizen he has resided in the county of Jack. From first to last and for thirty-one years he has pursued the stock business and some of the substantial results which he has achieved are seen in his ranch of 3,850 acres with its six hundred head of cattle. The results he has achieved and the success, in a financial way, which marks the efforts but exemplifies the trite old saying, “the constant dripping of the water wears the solid rock away.” His tenacious and persistent hammering on the door of fortune finally swung it back and the reward of his years of industry finally came.

Mr. McClure represents distinctively a Revolutionary family of the United States. His remote forefathers were sons of Erin and Scotland, and his great-grandfather, Samuel McClure, distinguished himself and brought honor upon his posterity by serving in the Colonial army during our Independence war. Samuel McClure was born in Virginia in 1748 and died in Clark county, Illinois, in 1845. He was a large man of rugged build and of wonderful endurance and great physical strength and courage. His nature seemed to crave the open air and the wild scenery and dangers of the frontier, and after the war, he started with his wife and two children to the romantic and untamed region of Kentucky. In those times the red man roamed at will along the Ohio river country, dominated Kentucky and Ohio completely and slew settlers without distinction at every opportunity. On the occasion of his journey the Indians came upon the McClure tent and in their haste to bag its contents, shoved the tent over and covered the father in its folds but carried off his wife and children. The latter were murdered but he recaptured his wife and they subsequently moved into the territory of Indiana and established themselves at Fort Vincennes. While he was probably a farmer the old patriarch adopted the custom of the frontier and dressed himself in leggings and moccasins and never ceased to love the sports of that time. He killed deer when he was eighty years old and it would seem that he passed out of the world merely to make room for other generations.

Andrew McClure, a son of Samuel, was the grandfather of our subject and was born in Kentucky. His business life was passed around Vincennes, Indiana, where he grew up and married a Miss Hogg (afterward the name was corrupted to Hogue) and, in time, moved over into Clark county, Illinois, and died on his farm and is buried beside his father five miles north of Marshall. His children were: Samuel, father of our subject; Polly, who married Robert Ashmore; and two other daughters. By a second wife Andrew McClure had a son William, who died in the Federal army during the rebellion.

Samuel McClure (the second) was born at Fort Vincennes, Indiana, in 1813 and married in Clark county, Illinois, Caroline Kitchen, who died in Cooke county, Texas, in 1877. Samuel McClure acquired a good education for his day and commenced life as a teacher of the old-time country school. He subsequently got into politics and was elected justice of the peace, sheriff and treasurer of the county. On account of his public service it will be seen that he was a leading citizen of this county, but during the war his sentiments were southern and his business life was not a success. He lost his property and it was for the purpose of recuperating his finances that he crossed the plains to Nevada just after the war, was connected with the hay business and was killed by a hay-press in 1869 and is buried at Elko. Of his children, Jane and Andrew, deceased, the former unmarried; John, of Cooke county, Texas, vice president of the Good Roads organization of the state; Susan married Washington Clapp, of Henry county, Missouri; Wilson, of Colwich, Kansas; Albert G., of this sketch; Eliza, who was killed by lightning in Cooke county; Mary of Jack county, widow of William Snedicker, and Caroline married George Pierce and died in Ohio.

Albert G. McClure sat on rude benches in a log schoolhouse while trying to get an education back in Illinois and remained a part of his mother’s domestic establishment until he left for Texas in 1874. We see him starting into the cow business in Cooke county with a bunch of seventy head of cattle and when he had accumulated some four hundred head he began buying Texas land. He saw the future of the cow man without land, as wire was strung around pasture after pasture, and after his return to Shackelford county he settled on Hog Eye prairie, in the edge of Wise county. There he pursued his favorite vocation, with also a little farming, until 1892, when he came to the locality north of Cundiff, where he now resides, and bought 2,300 acres on the Guadalupe-Cardenas survey and fenced, stocked and improved the whole.

Having mentioned Hog Eye prairie as the place of Mr. McClure’s former residence, some interest would perhaps attach to the locality by reason of its name, and curiosity be aroused as to its origin. The story goes that in the first settling of the Prairie a fiddler was among the lot and the only tune he could play was “Hog Eye” and at every dance every set called to the floor danced “Hog Eye.”

Mr. McClure married in Cooke county, Texas, January 31, 1879, Kate, a daughter of Reuben Creel, who migrated to the Lone Star state from Pettis county, Missouri, where Mrs. McClure was born October 10, 1856. One child is the result of their marriage, Maud, the wife of C. W. Fonville, of Okema, Indian Territory; Hubert Galatin Fonville is the only grandchild.

Aside from his stock and farming interests Mr. McClure has aided in the promotion of the Jacksboro National Bank and is a director of the institution. His liberal attitude toward other matters which make for the general good of his county and state is also in evidence. Politics has not known him except as a voter and the real battle of life has been his burden and chief concern.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 387-388.