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Howard McCune Biography
From History of Clinton County, Ohio: Its People, Industries, and Institutions (by Albert M. Brown (A.M.) (1915)

From pages 836-838


Back in the days when Wilmington, county seat of Clinton county, was a mere village, on the corner of Walnut and Main streets stood a large frame house known as the McCune home. It was occupied by the family of Samuel McCune, a well-known hatter of Wilmington during his generation and a well-educated, cultured and refined gentleman. He was the grandfather of Howard McCune, the subject of this sketch. The McCunes have always been a family of wide and liberal culture and of generous political views.

Howard McCune was born at Harveysburg, in Warren county, Ohio, on November 22, 1852, the son of William and Ann (Collett) McCune, the former of whom was born on November 1, 1824, at Wilmington, and died on June 17, 1870. William McCune was married on October 30, 1849, to Ann Collett, who was born on March 14, 1824, near Harveysburg. in Chester township, Clinton county, the daughter of Jonathan and Sarah (McKay) Collett. Sarah McKay was born on November 11, 1799, in Warren county, Ohio. The McKay family, which had come from Virginia originally, located in Clinton county in what is now Chester township, then a part of Warren county, as early as 1814. Sarah McKay was married to Jonathan Collett on April 30, 1823. Jonathan Collett was the son of Daniel and Mary (Haines) Collett, the former of whom was born on February 2, 1752, and the latter, October 10, 1753, both devout Episcopalians. Daniel Collett entered the army of the Revolution under Captain Wright, of Martinsburg, Virginia, serving at Valley Forge, White Plain and at the defeat of General Gates. He also rendered services when the Virginia volunteers were encamped in Pennsylvania and was at the battle of Monmouth. He resided in Virginia forty years and was, for many years, justice of the peace, appointed for life or during good behavior. He held his courts monthly, and it is said that there was more dignity and decorum in the justicesí courts in those days than is to be seen in the higher courts of Ohio today. To Daniel and Mary (Haines) Collett were born eight sons and one daughter, who, with the brother and sister of Daniel Collett, John and Sarah, are the ancestors of all the Colletts in Clinton and Warren counties. Daniel Collett was the son of Stephen and Elizabeth (Armstrong) Collett.

Stephen Collett, who was also the father of Moses, was born on November 17, 1718, and died in 1783. He was born at sea and was of French Huguenot descent. His mother, who was born on August 11, 1725, died on the voyage to America. Stephen and Elizabeth A. Collett were the parents of eight children.

Howard McCune's paternal grandparents, Samuel and Rachel (Sexton) McCune, were both born in Virginia, the former on September 16, 1790, and the latter August 17, 1793, the daughter of Judge Sexton, later one of the best-known and most influential residents of Xenia. Ohio. The Sextons, for several generations back, were members of the Friends church. The McCunes are of Scottish descent and were composed of the strictest Presbyterians. Samuel McCune and Rachel Sexton were united in marriage at Xenia, Ohio, on September 21, 1815, and, in 1819, moved from Clermont county, this state, to Wilmington, this county, where, for many years, they were active in all good works thereabout. Samuel McCune was first a Whig and later a Democrat. He and his wife both were Baptists, and their children were reared in that faith. There were nine of these children, namely: Joseph, born on July 9, 1816, who married Emeline Arbegust on November 2, 1837; Elvira, August 17, 1818, who married Thomas Caruthers on September 18, 1853; Mary Jane, August 1. 1821, who married Thomas Wilson on March 2, 1864; John. May 12, 1823, who married Mary T. Nugent on July 2, 1862; William, the father of the subject of this sketch; James, November 4, 1826; Lucinda, January 25, 1832, who married James Caruthers on September 13, 1855, and Catherine and Caroline, February 17, 1835, the former of whom married Robert Steele on March 17, 1853.

William McCune. the fifth child born to Samuel and Rachel (Sexton) McCune and father of Howard McCune, was educated in the common schools of Wilmington and was well informed for his day and generation. He was an adept at mathematics and was a rapid mental calculator. When a young man he learned the tannerís trade and operated a tanyard at Harveysburg, in Warren county. Ohio, working at that business until 1861, when he moved to a farm in Adams township, this county, where he spent the rest of his life. To William and Ann (Collett) McCune nine children were born, as follow: Oscar C., born on March 13, 1851, who married Laura Maltbie on September 4, 1879; Howard and Horace (twins), November 22, 1852; William C., February 11, 1856, who married Jennie Smith on February 2, 1887; Sarah and Rachel (twins), who died in infancy: Martha, January 18, 1860, single; Mary, February 3. 1862, who is the wife of Edwin Doster, and George E., January 10, 1864, who married Mattie Elston. Mr. and Mrs. McCune were members of the Baptist church, in which church William McCune was a deacon all of his married life, and their children were reared in that faith. William McCune voted the Republican ticket and served as justice of the peace for twenty years, during all of which time never was a decision of his reversed. Fraternally, he was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

Howard McCune received his elementary education in the schools of Harveysburg. He later attended the Hickoryville school and supplemented this course by attendance at the State Normal School at Lebanon, Ohio, for two years. After finishing his course, he returned home and taught school for eight years in Warren and Clinton counties and in 1882 entered Dennison University at Granville, Ohio, where he spent three years. In the year 1886 he was engaged in the real-estate business at Wichita, Kansas, and in 1887 returned to this county, locating on a farm seven miles east of Wilmington, in Richiand township, known as the Anderson Woods farm, which had been owned by General Anderson, who surrendered Ft. Sumter at the opening of the Civil War. Mr. McCune has been living on this farm ever since. It was purchased by his brother, W. C. McCune, and now belongs to the latterís widow. It consists of four hundred acres, being one hundred and sixty rods wide and four hundred rods long. Howard McCune has been engaged in general farming and stock raising during late years and ordinarily feeds about eighty head of cattle annually. He owns the old home place of one hundred and thirty-two acres in Adams township and has an interest in land adjoining. He also owns a saw-mill and lumber-yard at Melvin, which he operates during the winter for the employment of his teams and men.

In this county Howard McCune is well known for the skillful methods he employs in farming, and he is frequently engaged as a speaker in farm institute work in different parts of the state. He is vice-president of the State Corn Improvement Association and is a well-known judge of corn at corn shows in this and other states. Politically, Mr. McCune is a member of the Democratic party. He is a member of the Baptist church and has been a deacon since early manhood. At the present time he is a deacon in the First Baptist church at Wilmington and superintendent of the Sunday school. In Clinton county the name McCune stands for honor, integrity and good citizenship, and the subject of this sketch is no exception to this rule.

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