ROBERT McCLUNG. Among the old residents of Moultrie County and numbered
among her brave boys who were sent forth to defend the flag of our Union we are
pleased to name the progressive and intelligent farmer, whose prosperity we here record. Mr. McClung
resides on section 30, Lowe Township, and his residence in the county dates from 1859, during
which year there were but seven voters in the township and of that seven our subject is the only
one now remaining within its bounds.
This gentleman was born in Union County, Ohio, July 12, 1836, his respected parents being
Thomas and Elizabeth (Danderson) McClung, who had their birth in the Old Dominion and the Buckeye
State respectively and who met and married in Perry County, Ohio. The first wedded home
of this couple was established in Logan County, that State, where they were early settlers before
moving to Union County.
"Westward the star of Empire takes its course," and following this beacon the family undertook a
removal with team and wagon from Ohio to Iowa. Arriving there in 1844 they prospected for a while,
but being dissatisfied with the Hawkeye State they turned back as far as Vigo County, Ind., where
they remained for some time and where the mother died in 1846. She had been the mother of eleven
children of whom seven grew to years of maturity. The father eventually returned to Ohio where he
remained for several years, but his final end came in Vigo County, Ind., while he was making a visit.
The early orphanage of our subject by the death of his mother when he was ten years old led to his
making his home with an uncle and both at his father's and at his relative's he was thoroughly
trained in farm duties and prepared for a practical life, but in various ways his schooling was interfered
with and his book education was limited. His first coming West was in 1852 and his first
settlement was at Monticello, Ill., where he made the acquaintance of the Piatt family with whom
he made his home and served as a farm hand. In 1859 he left this family (for whom the flourishing
county of Piatt was named) and came to Moultrie County where he rented a farm, but his patriotic
impulse did not permit him to remain here following the pursuits of peace. He enlisted in 1862
and was mustered into service in Company A, One Hundred Twenty-sixth Illinois Infantry under
command of Capt. Van Fleet. This company served through three years of fatiguing marches,
severe engagements, numerous skirmishes and gained for themselves an enviable renown.
After the war our subject returned to Moultrie County and purchasing eighty acres of rich but
unbroken prairie soil started in to make his fortune. In his effort he has been unusually successful
and now owns four hundred and eighty acres of as fine land as can be found in Moultrie County
and upon it he has placed an excellent farm residence, good barns and all the appurtenances which
belong to a first-class farm. Stock farming has been the department of agriculture which he has
pursued and which has proved profitable to him. The happy wedding day of our subject was July
7,1872, and his bride, Cordelia Gaul, who was born December 15, 1837, is a daughter of Jacob
Gaul who came to Moultrie County in 1865 and settled upon section 4, Jonathan Creek Township.
The father of Mrs. McClung is a native of the city of Philadelphia where he was born June 9,
1811, being the son of John T. and Dorothea Gaul, natives of Germany, who came to America
in an early life and were married in Pennsylvania. They made their home in Philadelphia the remainder
of their lives. The mother completed her three-score and ten years and the father lived to
the advanced age of eighty-six. John T. Gaul was twice married, his first union bringing him
eight children and his second giving him four children — Simon, Adam, Jacob and Sarah. The
son Jacob learned the trade of a basket-maker which he followed in his native city before removing
West. He removed to Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1852, and subsequently resided in Chicago for
some eighteen months, after which he followed farming for a short time in Clermont County,
Ohio. In 1865 he came to Moultrie County where he had previously purchased land and where he
now owns a handsome farm.
The mother of Mrs. McClung bore the maiden name of Rebecca Clarke and was a native of New
Jersey. Her marriage to Mr. Gaul took place in Philadelphia in 1835 and her death occurred in
Moultrie County, Ill. She was the mother of five children, namely, Susannah, who married Samuel
Smith and died in Cincinnati, Ohio; Cordelia, the wife of Robert McClung; Edmund; Rebecca, who
who married William Merritt and Jacob who died in Moultrie County. The mother of these children
was an earnest and active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Mrs. McClung has three children with her in this life and one who has passed before to the
spirit land. The living are Isaac, Rebecca and Myrtle A. The political views of Mr. McClung
have led him to affiliate with the party whose most notable exponent was the author of the Declaration
Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, 1891 - p. 368/369
Transcription copyright 2003/2007, Moultrie County ILGenWeb/USGenWeb