Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens

JAMES G. MAGILL. Some people seem to forget that a fertile soil is a living, breathing thing, well fed by nature or by the hand of man, with the natural mineral elements and the organic matter necessary for the use of the soil bacteria in the manufacture of plant food, and for a delightful environment in which they can live and work. James G. Magill, a farmer of Center township, Greene county, has not overlooked this fact, and consequently he is making his farm produce good crops annually and is living comfortably as a result of his able management.

Mr. Magill was born in Carroll county, Arkansas, March 31, 1853. He is a son of Hugh and Rebecca (Scott) Magill, and as the name would indicate, the family is of Irish descent. Hugh Magill was born in Greene county, Tennessee, where he spent his boyhood and attended, school, removing to Arkansas when a young man, and lived in Carroll county a number of years, and there he died. The family came to Greene county during the latter part of the Civil War. Hugh Magill served in a militia regiment in the early part of the war, but was discharged on account of disability, and died as a result of the sickness he contracted while in the service, his death occurring on White river in 1862, and he was buried there. His widow is still living, having thus survived him over a half century, being now ninety-two years of age; she is one of the oldest citizens of Greene county, and makes her home with her son, our subject. Politically, Hugh Magill was a Republican and he was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. His family consisted of seven children, namely: John, who was a member of Company I, First Missouri Volunteer Infantry, served three years in the Union army and died before the close of the war; Mrs. Emaline Redfearn is deceased; Mrs. Rachel Wade lives in, Christian county, her husband being now deceased; Frances died in early life; James G., subject of this sketch; Mrs. Nancy Carter lives on a farm in Greene county; Hester is the wife of George West and they reside a mile west of the village of Plano, this county.

John Scott, maternal grandfather of our subject, was born in Tennessee, where he spent his early life, and from there removed to Arkansas, thence to Missouri. He was living in Springfield at the time of the Civil war. He devoted his active life to general farming. He enlisted in the Union army and died while in the service. His family consisted of eight children, four of whom are still living, namely: Mrs. Rebecca Magill, mother of the subject of this sketch; Mrs. Susan Laslay lives in Christian county; Samuel is a carpenter and resides in Springfield; Mrs. Polly Mondy lives in Monett.

James G. Magill grew to manhood on the home farm, where he worked hard when a boy, and he received his education in the public schools. He was married in Greene county, in January, 1882, to Sarah West, a daughter of Josiah J. West, a native of Tennessee. His wife was known in her maidenhood as Angeline M. Mason. Mr. West devoted his life to farming. He emigrated to Missouri in the early forties, being among the first settlers in Greene county, and here he spent the rest of his life on a farm, his death occurring on March 18, 1905, at an advanced age. He was buried in the cemetery at Prospect church. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. His wife's father, Josiah Mason, was born in Tennessee, where he resided until about 1837, when he immigrated to Greene county, Missouri, among the pioneers. He was a blacksmith by trade, also following farming. He spent the rest of his long life in this county, dying in 1900, and was buried in the Squibb cemetery.

The following children were born to Josiah J. West and wife: Mrs. Ellen Mills is living five miles north of Republic, this county; James lives at Milton, Oregon, where he holds the office of deputy sheriff; William is farming in Greene county; Sarah, wife of the subject of this sketch; Rosalia, who married a Mr. Hendrix, is now deceased; John is engaged in farming in Greene County; Mrs. Lou Redfearn lives in Greene county; three other children died in infancy.

James G, Magill was twelve years of age when he removed with the rest of the family to Greene county. He has devoted his active life to farming. His father dying when he was young, he had to assume part of the responsibilities of supporting the family, and he knew what hard work meant from the time he was large enough to wield a hoe or axe or hold the plow handles. He located on his present farm in 1910, and has made many good improvements since buying it. He is carrying on general farming and stock raising successfully. He has charge of the Magill Central Telephone switchboard. He has no children. Politically, he is a Republican, and he is a member of the Baptist church.


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