Transcribed by Teresa Kesterke from: Biographical Review of Des Moines County, Iowa: Containing Biographical and Genealogical Sketches of Many of the Prominent Citizens of To-day and Also of the Past, Hobart Publishing Company, Chicago, 1905.


The great Mississippi valley, with its broad prairies and rich lands, furnishes splendid opportunities to the farmer and stock-raiser, and Des Moines county is an attractive district of this great region for him who would win success in the raising of stock or in the cultivation of cereals. Mr. McClurkin is to-day a prominent representative of the former department of business, and has a valuable tract of land in Yellow Springs township. He was born in Louisa county, Iowa, Aug. 29, 1846, his parents being Matthew and Eliza Ann (McClure) McClurkin. The mother died in Louisa county when her son John was only six years old. The father went to California during the gold excitement on the Pacific Coast, making his way to that far-off country in 1849, but he died within a day and a half's travel of the mines, his remains being interred there.

After the death of his parents, John C. McClurkin went to live with an uncle in the paternal line, and remained with him until he attained his majority. He was educated in the district schools, was reared to the occupation of farming, and has always followed that pursuit. He came to Des Moines county about 1863, when a young man of seventeen years of age, and was here employed as a farm hand for some time, working persistently and earnestly in order to acquire a sum of money that would justify him in the purchase of land.

Mr. McClurkin enlisted in Company H, Forty-fifth Iowa Infantry, at Morning Sun, and was mustered into service at Keokuk. They went down the Mississippi River, and from thence to Corinth, where they were stationed to do guard duty at the railroad bridge over the river at Moscow. He served with his regiment until he received his honorable discharge from service at Keokuk, the time of his enlistment being for one hundred days.

About 1875 he bought a farm of T Reed, and he now owns two hundred and forty acres of valuable land in Yellow Springs and Washington townships, eighty acres being in the former and one hundred and sixty acres in the latter township. Here he raises and feeds from one to three car-loads of cattle each year, and he also has upon his place about seventy-five head of hogs of the Poland China breed. He is an excellent judge of stock, and is thus enabled to make careful purchases and profitable sales. He finds that the branch of business which he has chosen as a life work gives him ample opportunity for the exercise of his business talents and industry.

March 11, 1880, Mr. McClurkin was married to Miss Malvina Louisa Reed, a daughter of David and Helena Jane (Carithers) Reed, a native of Indiana. Six children have been born of this union: Anna Jane, David Roy, Mildred Eliza, Leila Myrtie, Lizzie Viola, and John Calvin. Mr. McClurkin has spent his entire life in Iowa, covering now a period of almost sixty years. His attention and interests have been concentrated upon agricultural pursuits, and he is now a prominent representative of stock-raising here. His business methods will bear the closest investigation and scrutiny, and the extent of his operations have made him prosperous.

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