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Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 2. Biographies
by Major A. J. Roof. 1913
William McCarthy, the owner of an excellent farm of two hundred and forty acres on sections 24, 25 and 26, Jackson township, Livingston county, is entitled to be ranked as a pioneer, for he has wrested his valuable property, upon which he has made all improvements, from the wilderness, having come to this county in 1866. Born in Pennsylvania, August 20, 1858, he is a son of William and Margaret (Shaner) McCarthy, the father upon his arrival in this state purchasing a farm in Jackson township. William McCarthy, Sr., had the distinction of three years' service in the Civil war, during which great conflict he was seriously wounded and at the end of which he was honorably discharged. His political faith was with democratic party and he passed away in 1890, well known and well beloved in these parts, and is buried in the Catholic cemetery at Chillicothe, in which city his wife is now residing. The family is of Irish descent, the father having been born in that country.
In the acquirement of his education William McCarthy attended public school and the Catholic parish school in Chillicothe, Missouri, laying aside his text-books at the age of twenty years. During his vacation time and in other leisure hours, however, he assisted his father with the duties on the home place and gave his entire time to the work on the homestead until twenty-two years of age. He then purchased two hundred acres of land, of which he subsequently sold forty, and afterward bought another tract of eighty acres. He devotes his land largely to general agricultural purposes but specializes in raising horses, cattle, swine and also mules, employing progressive methods and having become an expert in stock breeding. Beside his important farming interests he is also a stockholder in the Bank of Chillicothe.
On March 29, 1883, Mr. McCarthy was united in marriage, in Jackson township, this county, to Miss Louisa Nothnagle, a daughter of Michael and Elizabeth Nothnagle, the former a prominent farmer and well known mechanic in Livingston county, who passed away in 1872, his wife following him in death twenty years later. They are buried side by side in the Curtis cemetery of Sampsell township. Mrs. McCarthy's family is of German extraction, the father having come to Livingston county at an early day. Mr. and Mrs. William McCarthy are the parents of six children, namely: Alva R., giving his time and attention to the old home place in Jackson township; Lena, a student of the Kirksville State Normal School and a school teacher; Howard, assisting his father with the work of the farm; Chester F., who is also attending the Kirksville State Normal School; and Lilly and Grace, both residing at home and attending school.
The success Mr. McCarthy has attained along agricultural lines must be entirely attributed to his good judgment, his hard work and his progressive methods, although he personally gives great credit to the efforts of his faithful wife. The family home is a handsome residence which Mr. McCarthy erected some time ago, as well as all the other buildings on the farm and such improvements as he considered necessary to up up-to-date agriculture. Being progressive in every sense of the word, he has installed such equipment as would result in better financial returns and facilitate the labor on the place. In his political affiliations he is a democrat and, always interested in the issues of the day and public matters, he has for ten years served efficiently as township trustee. His fraternal affiliations, are with the Masonic body, in which organization he is a member of the blue lodge. Interested in general progress, he has not only been a witness of the changes that have occurred but a helpful and cooperant factor in the general advancement and has become recognized as a forceful element in the locality, his activities having been of constructive value in raising the standard of agricultural methods.