Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
GEORGE LAFAYETTE McELHANY. Few residents of the western part of Greene county are so well and favorably known as George Lafayette McElhany, the enterprising farmer and representative citizen whose life history is briefly told in the following lines, and none stand higher than he in the esteem and confidence of the community in which he has spent his entire life and for the material, civic and moral advancement of which he has devoted both time and influence. During his residence here of over three score years he has noted wonderful changes and talks interestingly of them. He is of Scotch-Irish descent, and the family of which he is an honorable representative has been known in America for many generations, especially has the name been a familiar one in various portions of the state of Tennessee, but wherever they have dispersed the McElhanys have been known as enterprising and public-spirited citizens.
Mr. McElhany was born in Brookline township, Greene county, Missouri, March 13, 1852. He is a son of Warry and Jane (Robertson) McElhany, both natives of Tennessee, the father born in Granger county, August 3, 1820, and the mother's birth occurred in Rome county, February 24, 1826. Our subject's great grandfather was a Scotchman, and his wife was a native of Ireland. The father died when Warry McElhany was three years old and the latter spent his boyhood in Tennessee, being seventeen years of age when he made the overland journey to Missouri with his mother and stepfather, the family stopping a mile and a half southwest of Springfield, and cultivated the old Eperson farm, in October, 1837, where they remained a year, then moved on the north side of the James river in Wilson township on the old Edwards farm, where they remained a year, then moved to Brookline township and entered one hundred and sixty acres from the government, near where the town of Brookline is now located. Warry McElhany assisted his stepfather, Joel Phillips, clear and develop the land into a good farm. In 1839 and 1840 he carried the mail between Springfield and Neosho. In the fall of 1845 he went to Texas, where he remained a few months, later returning to the home farm in Greene county.
Warry McElhany married, December 23, 1847, Jane Robertson, a laughter of Linsey and Delilah Robertson, and to this union the following children were born: Mary, who married Reuben Rose, is deceased, but he is living in Brookline township; Delilah first married W. T. Adams, now deceased, and later she married Charles Lloyd; George L., of this review; the next child died in infancy.
The father of the above named children settled on the farm now owned by George L. McElhany, in Section 15, in 1850, and here the subject of this sketch was born and spent his life, working on the place during the summer months when a boy and attending the neighboring schools in the winter time, mostly subscription schools. He was nine years of age when the battle of Wilson's Creek was fought, of which he has a very vivid recollection and tells many interesting things, also tells of the days when the Indians still occupied this part of the Ozarks, when his father was hired by the government to assist in removing the red men from the vicinity of Springfield to below Cassville. The death of Warry McElhany occurred July 20, 1889, and his wife preceded him to the grave, December 8, 1885.
George L. McElhany was married twice, first to Alice Garton, August 9, 1874. She was a daughter of J. W. and Elizabeth (Rainey) Garton, and to this union eleven children were born, namely: Henry H. lives in Brookline township; Myrtle is the wife of P. F. Shelton of Republic township; Jane is the wife of G. T. Norman of Brookline township; Lucy is the wife of W. A. Wiley, of Kansas City; Maggie is the wife of G. W. Ward and they live in Christian county; Charles and Warry both live in Brookline township; Robert makes his home in California; Bessie and William Bryan both live at home; Alice died in infancy. The mother of the above named children passed away January 6, 1901, and Mr. McElhany was again married July 1, 1907; his last wife, Mrs. Emma Manley, widow of C. B. Manley, deceased, a native of Greene county, is a daughter of Ben and Barbara (Fleming) McCormick, who were residents of Illinois, and in that state Mrs. McElhany was born. She was one of ten children, all now deceased but two--Mrs. McElhany and the oldest child, Mrs. Mary Ramsey, who is now seventy-four years of age, and is living in Woodbine, Iowa.
Politically Mr.; McElhany is a Democrat. He has served as school director of his district for a period of twenty-five years. Fraternally he belongs to the Masonic order and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church at Brookline.
Mr. McElhany is one of the best farmers of Brookline township. His well-tilled and well-kept place contains two hundred and eighty acres, all under cultivation but about sixty acres. His holdings were formerly much greater but he has given his children forty acres each as a start in life. His place is known as "Springdale Farm" and is one of the most desirable in the community. It is a rich red loam soil with a red clay sub-soil a foot or more under the surface. He has made a pronounced success as a general farmer and stock raiser, especially in hogs and mules.
Springfield-Greene County Library