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JOHN EUCLID McLAIN - b. 1856, d. 1933

Served two terms as Nebraska State Representative in 1902 and 1904.

[from book “History of Seward County Nebraska and Reminiscences of Territorial History” by W. W. Cox, page 116]

Hon. John E. McLain

An Illinois boy, born in Henderson County, November 14, 1856, where they had the usual experiences of a farmer boy in the common schools and working, just as all worthy boys do, at all kinds of farm work. He remained in Illinois until his removal to Seward County, in 1886. In 1877 he married to Miss Marietta B. Taylor, a native of the old Keystone state. They had six children.

The young people settled on a farm just northeast of Seward and have opened and improved a nice farm. Mr. McLain has taken a decided interest in public matters at his new home. For many years he has been master of Oliver Lodge No. 38 of the A.F. and A.M. and is also a member of the Woodmen of the World and the Modern Woodmen. Was for some years treasurer of his township. He is a full-fledged republican and his party made him standard bearer for representative in the fall of 1902, and elected him, and his faithful committee work and close attention to business insured his renomination in 1904. He is a wide-awake, valuable citizen and has rendered valuable service to the county and state. He was elected to succeed himself.

[Bio written by his daughter Frances McLain, a Nebraska teacher for 42 years, from the book “Seward County 1982 by The People of Seward County”]

John and Etta McLain

John McLain, wife Etta, and three children came to Seward County in 1886 from Illinois, bringing furniture, a cow and team of horses in a box-car. They settled on a farm near Germantown (Garland) moving to the Willard Downing farm east of Seward. Ray, Jeff and I were born there.

In 1898, we moved to the Jones-Wake farm. Jeff and I attended school at the Ellis District two miles west. Lelia Thomas and Ella McKale were our first teachers. Clyde, Myrtle, Joe and Ray attended school at the Leahey district.

Jeff and I rode Old Daisy to school until spring farming began, then we walked. We carried our lunch in a gallon molasses pail. It was my job to pack the lunch, but one morning I forgot, so when Jeff opened the lid he found only leftover crusts. The teacher and pupils shared theirs with us, homemade bread, and jelly sandwiches, cookies and top layer of teachers cake, which Jeff ate after giving me a bite. The school had no well, so water was carried from the neighbors in a water pail and we drank out of a common dipper.

Jeff's chores were to carry in cobs and water. Before the corn was shelled old cobs were picked up in the pig pen. Father did custom shelling, so our corn was the last to be shelled. What a nice clean smell the cobs had now! If the windmill didn't run he pumped the water by hand. Sometimes he helped fill the stock tank by pumping.

My most memorable ride with Jeff was in a two wheeled cart, hitched to Daisy's colt, with twine string lines. All went well until Platte saw his mother in the field. Out the gate he ran, leaving us in the dirt and the cart in pieces.

Our Father was a State Representative, 1902 and 1904. While serving he sponsored the bill to bring North Western Bell Telephone into Nebraska. A line was built fromSeward to Germantown and we were on the party line. We called the neighbors by cranking out their number of rings. Ray was one of the linemen and brought the gang to our house for their noon meal at 50 cents a plate. Dad had signed the will with a "fountain ink pen" which he gave to Clyde. When Clyde retired from the Bell Company he gave the pen to the Bell Company Museum in Des Moines, Iowa.

Clyde and Ray started in Seward with the Northwestern Bell, Clyde transferred toIowa and Ray to State Railway Commission during the time the State Capitol was being built. He later became an Appraisal Engineer for Lincoln Telephone, retiring in 1941 because of poor health. Clyde retired in 1940 as the oldest member of Iowa's Council of Pioneers of America.

Joe, Jeff, and Myrtle Wolvin were Seward County farmers. I worked my way through the University of Nebraska and taught forty-two years in the state, eight years in Seward County.

John McLain

John Euclid McLain

John Euclid McLain was my great grandfather.  
– John McLain

16 Mar 2011: Submitted John McLain


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© Mar 2011 for NEGenWeb Project by John McLain, T&C Miller