Biography of Nelson Monroe McCorkle
(Transcribed by Nancy T. Green)

NELSON MONROE McCORKLE owns and occupies a well-developed farm, located on Section 10, Marion Township, which consists of one hundred and twenty acres, and is tillable throughout its entire extent. Since it came into his possession he has by well-directed efforts brought it to a good condition, it being supplied with neat fences, good stock of various kinds, and all the needful machinery used in its cultivation.

The father of our subject, Alexander McCorkle, was born in Kentucky October 3, 1793, and participated in the Mormon War. His wife, who, prior to her marriage, was Miss Elizabeth Fristo, was also a native of the Blue Grass State, the date of her birth being July 29, 1798. The young people were married in that state, and in 1818 made their way to Missouri, locating for a short time in Cooper County. Thence they removed to Clay County and in 1833 were numbered among the earliest settlers of Buchanan County. Their neighbors were few and far between and the family were aften troubled by the Indians who came to their cabin begging. Deer, turkeys and fish were very plentiful near their home, and thus the larder was always supplied with fresh game in its season.

Alexander McCorkle was very poor when locating here, and in that early day disposed of his pork at $1.50 per hundred pounds. His wheat when marketed, brought him forty cents per bushel, oats ten cents, corn ten cents, and potatoes sold for the same amount. It will thus be seen that in addition to clearing his place and battling with the many hardships which came to the pioneers, it was very difficult to get along, to say nothing of laying by a sum sufficient to clear his place. He was very industrious and economical however, and at the time of his decease, eighteen years later, possessed one of the best estates in his township. His wife died in September, 1855.

Of the parental family of twelve children, the following are living: Barbara Ann, Mrs. Hartman, Urial J., A. Marion, Catherine E., Mrs Wiles, our subject, Cynthia, Mrs. McIninch, and John L. The elder Mr. and Mrs McCorkle were consistent members of the Baptist Church and were greatly beloved by all who knew them.

On the death of Alexander McCorkle, his son Urial, closed up the estate and found among his tax receipts $3.65 to be the highest ever paid. The home place included four hundred and sixteen acres, all of which was excellently cultivated with the exception of eighty acres. The father was very prominent and influential among his fellow agriculturists and was ever ready to do his share in building up his community.

Nelson M. McCorkle was born April 18, 1835, on his father's estate in the southeastern portion of this county, had but little opportunity for obtaining an education as the schools of the neighborhood bore little resemblance to the model temples of learning at the present time, and then the teacher often knew but little more than the pupil. Mr. McCorkle was given a thorough training in farm work and when a lad of seventeen, in company with his brother Urial, crossed the plains to the Golden State, the trip consuming four months and twenty four days. There the brothers worked in the mines at Mud Springs for eleven months, and when ready to return home came back by the Nicaragua route. In 1855 Mr. Mc Corkle drove six yoke of cattle to Salt Lake City and on his return trip brought the first mail from that city to Independence, and while en route witnessed the battle of Ash Hollow on the North Platte.

January 1, 1857, Mr. McCorkle and Miss Rebecca, daughter of Washington Toland, were united in marriage. Her parents, who are now deceased, were among the earliest settlers of Clifton (sic) County, this state, where they were well to do farmers. Mrs McCorkle was born in Montgomery County, Ky., November 11, 1836. After his marriage Mr. McCorkle located on land near the old homestead, where he remained for two years and then removed to St. Joseph. During five years of the twelve he made his home in that city he was engaged in freighting from St. Joseph to Denver, Colo., and Nebraska City. Returning again to rural life, Mr. McCorkle farmed for three years on property just south of the city of St. Joseph, and in 1873 located on his present beautiful estate. As before stated, it comprises one hundred and twenty acres, from which he reaps bountiful harvests. In 1887 he erected a commodious residence at a cost of $2,500.

Mr. and Mrs. McCorkle have never been blessed with children of their own, but have taken into their hearts and home seven little ones, viz: Lizzie McClure (now deceased), Andy Erringston, Allie, Dora, Hugh and Julia Lucket (the last four brother and sisters), and Pearl Morgan. Mr. McCorkle has been Deacon of the Christian Church for twenty years, of which organization his good wife is also a devoted member. He has been very much interested in Sunday school work and for the past two years has served as Superintendent. In politics he is a staunch Democrat, and has been sent to the numerous conventions of that party. As a member of the School Board he rendered efficient service for seven years as a Trustee.

Peter Toland, a brother of Mrs. McCorkle, was a soldier in the Confederate Army during the late war. He was a color bearer, and while on duty at the battle of Helena, Ark., was killed.

From Portrait and Biographical Record, Buchanan and Clinton Counties, Missouri, containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, together with Biographies and Portraits of all the Presidents of the United States. Chicago; Chapman Bros., 1893, pages 366-367


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 Revised Jan 12, 2012