WILLIAM P. MCLERAN.
To those accustomed to the roar of the city streets, it sometimes seems that lives spent in the country must lack something of the variety and change which makes life interesting. But they forget that for what she takes away, Nature gives generous compensation. They forget the marvelous changeableness of nature, the hourly shifting of scene in cloud and earth that becomes a glorious panorama to eyes that can see. The man whose daily bread is dependent upon the cultivation of the soil, must inevitably imbibe into his own life and being some of the beauty and strength of his surroundings, but some are able to do this in greater degree than others. For this and other reasons, the man whose name forms the caption of this sketch rises above the average, and is therefore entitled to proper mention in the present volume.|
William P. McLeran was born on January 20, 1867. in Bureau county, Illinois, the son of William and Betsy (Blanchard) McLeran, both natives of Caledonia county, Vermont, the former born on October 14, 1824, and the latter on December 5, 1829. After their marriage, which took place on March 10, 1853, they migrated to Bureau county, Illinois. and settled four miles south of Neponset. No splendid mansion was theirs. They built a modest little home on a choice spot of their prairie farm, and began farming, living there for twenty-five years, at the end of which time they came to Audubon county, where they purchased land in section 30, Leroy township, one and one-half miles west of Audubon. That was in March, 1880, and in the following year they built their new home, and improved the land, residing there until 1895, in which year they retired from the farm and moved to Audubon, which has since been the family home. Mrs. McLeran died there on October 28, 1909.
The elder McLeran has always been considered a good farmer. When a young man, however, he varied his occupation by doing railroad work in Pennsylvania and Vermont for about six years. Although an enthusiastic Democrat, he has never sought public office, preferring to do his daily work in his chosen calling. He is a member of the Presbyterian church, as was his wife, and their children were reared in that faith. These children were eight in number, namely: Abbie, the widow of E. D. Van Court, of Omaha, Nebraska, whose children are Blanche and William T., the latter living in Omaha, Nebraska; Simeon, who died in 1906, was a farmer living at Louisville, Nebraska, for twenty-five years, during part of which time he was engaged in the real estate and pottery business; Helen, the wife of F. A. Chiddester, of Aurora, Nebraska, and the mother of two children, Bessie and Elsie; Elsie, who died at the age of twenty-nine; William P., the subject of this sketch; George R., in the life insurance business in Chicago, married Ola Ogden, and has one son, Donald; Herbert, a farmer living on part of the old home place in Leroy township, married Clara Evans, and has two children, Lewis and Elsie, and Charles, of Audubon, who married Bertha Musson and has two children. Thomas and Helen.
William M. McLeran was educated in the schools of the county and cooperated with his father in their agricultural pursuits until the former retired from active work. On November 3, 1892, William P. McLeran was married to Rosetta Schwartz, of Green county, Pennsylvania, and to this union six children have been born, Florence E., Blanche M., William and Warren ( twins ), George and Margaret. Mr. and Mrs. McLeran are members of the Presbyterian church, in the faith of which their children have been reared, and are held in high esteem by all who know them.
Mr. McLeran, like his father, has built up a splendid reputation as a good, conscientious, successful farmer and stock raiser. His Poland China and Duroc-Jersey hogs and draft horses are among the finest in the county. He feeds as many as ninety head of hogs a year. Both he and his father are well read, and are progressive in their ideas. The father, though along in years, is strong and hearty, and well preserved. Their farm is a matter of pride to the neighborhood, so well is it kept and so scientifically is it managed. Such a family is a power in any neighborhood, for their lives go to make up that part of the community by which it is known, composed of the people whom the world does not forget when they are gone. William P. McLeran is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and stands high among his associates in that popular order. He is a Democrat and takes an intelligent interest in the political affairs of the county, being regarded as an excellent citizen.
Transcribed from History of Audubon County, Iowa Its People, Industries and Institutions With Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens and Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families, by H. F. Andrews, editor, Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen & Company, 1915, pp. 604-606.