Volume 7, Number 6 - Winter 1981

Dr. Thomas Jefferson McCord
Stone County Pioneer
by Helen V. (McCord) McCoy

Dr. Thomas Jefferson McCord was one of the most important factors in the industrial, commercial and financial growth of Stone County, as well as being a prominent physician of Galena for many years.

He was born in Johnson County Arkansas, March 4, 1843, the son of William and Charlottle (Ring) McCord. His father was a native of Illinois who came to this section of Missouri in 1836. His uncle had entered the land upon which Neosho now stands, the town having been established in 1839. Dr. McCord’s father died in 1856, while his mother lived until 1894. His boyhood years were spent on his father’s farm in Arkansas, remaining there until he was about 17 years of age. He had very little education, only attending school about six months when the Civil War began and he ran away from home and went to Springfield, Mo., where he joined the Union Army. He remained in the Army throughout the war. After the conflict was over he went to Ann Arbor, Michigan where he worked his way through college, continuing his studies until 1868 when he graduated. He came directly to Galena, Mo., where at one time he owned practically the entire town, having acquired the land on which the town is now located. He was a member of the Southwest Missouri Medical Association since its organization. At one time he owned 1500 acres of valuable farm land in Stone County.

In 1889 he organized the Bank of Billings of which he was president for a number of years. In 1905 this institution was merged with the Bank of Galena.

On January 14, 1872, Dr. McCord married Miss Nancy Carr, daughter of Frank M. and Martha (Baker) Carr, natives of Tennessee, who came to the Galena area in the early 1830’s. Dr. & Mrs. McCord were the parents of eight children; Fred (father of Helen McCord McCoy) Charles A. (husband of May Kennedy McCord); Vennie, (who married Eli Ashcroft); Roy G., Thomas J. and 2 children who died young.

Dr. McCord will long be remembered for his long years of service to Stone County, not only as a doctor but a merchant, druggist and county official. He died at his home in Galena, November 18, 1919.


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