Cover: Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties
1891 Portrait and Biographical Record:
Joseph H. McGuire


JOSEPH H. McGUIRE. Many families who reside in Illinois came to this section originally from Kentucky and Tennessee, and those who came from the eastern or mountainous portion of the latter State belonged to a class of people, who, like other mountaineers, were lovers of liberty. They removed their families from their native and beloved State in order that they might take them out from under the blighting influence of the institution of human slavery, and in doing so they brought to their posterity not only a moral and spiritual blessing, but also in locating them in Illinois advanced their material interests. Mr. McGuire, the Postmaster in Bethany, Moultrie County, belongs to such a family.

Our subject was born in Jefferson, East Tennessee, June 8, 1836, his worthy parents being Thomas and Rachel (Ashmore) McGuire, both of whom were natives of Tennessee. The family removed to Illinois in the fall of 1843, and made their first stop in Coles County, where the father was called from them by death, during the fall of that year. In 1853 the family removed to Moultrie County, and somewhat later on Mrs. McGuire married a second time, taking as her husband Mr. William Knight.

Thomas and Rachel McGuire were blessed by the birth of eight children, their offspring being equally divided between sons and daughters, and only one of those children being taken from them during childhood. Their family is as follows: James, who died in this county; William P., residing in Bethany; Elizabeth, wife of John Baukston, of Washington; Mary, who married D. A. Vaughn, died in this county; Joseph H., our subject; Michael, who died in childhood; Sarah, who is now Mrs. Thomas Mitchell, of this county, and Maggie, who is the wife of John Han.

The hardy life of a farmer's boy proved a good preparation for the hardships of a soldier's existence; and in 1861 our subject, following the training of his early life and with the love of liberty in his heart, enlisted under the Union flag to help subdue the war of the rebellion. He was mustered into service in Company E, Twenty-first Illinois Volunteers, and served for four years, six months and two days. He first saw active service at Fredericktown, Md., and took part in the siege of Corinth, and in the battles of Perryville, Ky., Murfreesboro, Tenn., Jonesboro, Ga., Franklin, Tenn., Nashville, Tenn., and numerous skirmishes in the Atlanta campaign. During all this long and arduous service he escaped both wounds and imprisonment. During the first part of his service he was Corporal, but in 1864 was made Sergeant.

When the "piping times of peace" had come our young hero, having been mustered out of service, returned to Moultrie County and resumed farming. In 1869 he removed to Bethany and engaged in the grocery trade, in which he continued for three years. He was then elected Justice of the Peace, and attended to the duties of that office for some sixteen years, during the latter part of which he engaged in the furniture business which he sold out in 1889, to accept the office of Postmaster. He is a loyal and stanch Republican in his political views and has ever adhered to that party.

Mr. McGuire was married May 15, 1866, to Mrs. Mary Crowder, nee Creltz, who was born in Germany and came to the United States when a little girl of ten years. She has become the mother of six children, namely: Ella, Rachel; Addie, who died in the spring of 1890; Anna, Laura and Dora. They have also an adopted son who bears the name of Finis Ewing. The Cumberland Presbyterian Church is the religious body with which Mr. and Mrs. McGuire are connected, and in its communion they find an abundant opportunity for Christian work. Mr. McGuire is prominently connected with the Grand Army of the Republic, and as an old soldier he has a deep interest in its methods of procedure and loves to meet his old comrades in its enthusiastic gatherings.

Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, 1891 - p. 677/678

Transcription copyright 2003/2007, Moultrie County ILGenWeb/USGenWeb