Cover: Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties
1891 Portrait and Biographical Record:
Robert McClung


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 of Independence.

Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, 1891 - p. 368/369

Transcription copyright 2003/2007, Moultrie County ILGenWeb/USGenWeb