ANDREW JACKSON McCAN. Probably the choicest bottom farm in Young county is that owned by Andrew J. McCan on the Brazos river in Miller’s Bend, a tract of several hundred acres, rich and productive and commanded by the McCan bridge spanning the famous stream of liquid soil bearing the name of the Brazos. Mr. McCan settled in that community in 1876, passing the first year of the east side of the river, and buying land in 1877 on the Ratliff Survey and paying the exorbitant price of five dollars per acre. The products of the farm and pasture have yielded him abundantly and his efforts for twenty-nine years have been liberally rewarded.
For his first home he pre-empted a tract of hill land near his first purchase and upon this he erected a log cabin for the reception and protection of his family, and from that modest and simple fort he laid siege to dame fortune for ten years and won many victories so substantial as to enable him, from year to year, to ad to his domains and to extend its limits, ultimately to embrace nine hundred and sixty acres. From his present modest home, topping an eminence overlooking his broad and fertile valley to the northward, he has achieved much of the fame which attaches to him as a farmer, and when nearing his three score and fifteen years he has gotten his own consent to relinquish active labor and pursue a more quiet and less strenuous life.
Mr. McCan came into Young county from Dallas county and a pair of horses and a small bunch of cattle constituted the paraphernalia with which he started his career. He lived in Dallas county ten years, selling goods as Cedar Hill for four years and following the farm six. He went into Dallas county at the close of the war from Arkansas, where he had refugeed during that bloody strife to more safely care for and watch over his orphan children. He refugeed from Dent county, Missouri, whither he had taken his young family in 1856 from his Tennessee home, and there, when the rebellion was under way, he enlisted in the Confederate army and served until the death of his wife in 1863, when conditions at home induced the Confederate authorities to furlough him while looking after the necessities of his household. His command was Company C, Colonel Tom Freeman‘s Regiment, and his service was confined to the states of Missouri and Arkansas alone. The battle of Batesville was the chief engagement in which he took part and he was doing his duty as he saw it when misfortune overtook him at home.
Andrew J. McCan was born in Hickman county, Tennessee, August 24, 1832, a son of John McCan, who came to the United State from Erin’s Isle a young but a married man. The latter settled on Duck river in Hickman county, Tennessee, where he died. His wife was Nancie Ann Maycock and their children were: James, Polly and Elizabeth, all died in Hickman county; the first daughter as Mrs. John Arnold and the second as Mrs. George Jackson; Elijah served in the United States army in the war with Mexico and died at Memphis, Tennessee, on his way home; Thomas died in Arkansas during the rebellion; Andrew J. and Henry, who died in Sulphur Springs, Texas.
Andrew J. McCan obtained little education during youth and made a thorough acquaintance with hard work on the farm. He married first in 1854 Miss Mary Pickard, who left at death children, viz: Mary, wife of James Ramsey, of Cedar Hill, Texas; Joseph, who died at twelve years; Spencer, of Haskell county, Texas, married Mollie Dickson; Louisa married William Bryant, of Cedar Hill; Henry, of Young county, married Emma Porter. In 1867 Mr. McCan married in Dallas county Sarah Penn, who died in 1902. By this union Mr. McCan is the father of George, of Old Mexico, who married Miss Curtis; Andrew L., of Silverton, Texas, married Miss Higgins; and Maud, wife of Monroe Hughes, of Silverton, this state.
Mr. McCan has always felt an interest in local Democratic politics, but no ambition for the public service has ever consumed him. He is a demitted Mason from Profit lodge, and as the foregoing review discloses is one of the characters of the county he has helped to develop.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 312-313.