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RINGGOLD COUNTY ANCESTORS of JACKSON POLLOCK

Probably the most controversial artist to appear on the American scene in the last fifty years is Jackson POLLOCK. His art which is incomprehensible to most Ringgold county people, was based on the idea that the artist could portray his feelings and emotions in abstract form as a medium of art. He was a moody, stormy, rebellious person and his art reflected this. Be that as it may, a painting of his a few years ago was sold to the Museum of Modern Art for $300,000.00. His work is in great demand and it has been predicted that some time a Jackson POLLOCk original will bring a million dollars.

Jackson POLLOCK was not a native of Ringgold county but his parents were born in our county and lived to adulthood in the Tingley area. His father was born LeRoy McCOY, son of Alexander and Rebecca McCLELLAND McCOY.

Alexander McCOY was bone poor. Said to be Scotish-Irish, they lived in the old Eugene Presbyterian neighborhood located on the west side of Tingley township and the east side of Jefferson township. Death was an early and frequent visitor in the pioneer home and the McCOY family was no exception. First to go was a daughter, then the mother was taken. Mr. McCOY struggled along with Mrs. McCOY'S mother assisting him in caring for his three sons. A neighbor, "Matt" POLLOCK, lost a child and offered to make a home for young LeRoy McCOY, then 3 years old. The offer was accepted and ReRoy was taken into the POLLOCK home and became LeRoy, or as better known, Roy POLLOCK. His father died very shortly leaving only the two older boys and the aging grandmother. She was Elizabeth McCLELLAND and is also buried in the Eugene Cemetery in Jefferson township.

NOTE: Elizabeth McCLELLAND, wife of T. McCLELLAND, was born February 14, 1801, and died August 12, 1886. Rebecca H. (McCLELLAND) McCOY died at the age of 35 years, 4 months and 24 days on April 22, 1878. Nina J. McCOY, daughter of Alexander J. and Rebecca H. (McCLELLAND) McCOY died at the age of 4 years, 1 month and 19 days on February 28, 1879. They are all interred at Euguene Cemetery.

Alexander J. McCOY died at the age of 77 years, 9 months and 14 days on November 25, 1874. He was interrred at Tingley Cemetery.

Roy POLLOCK attended High School in Tingley, graduating in the same class [1895] with Ralph TIDRICK, distinguished missionary, and Dan McGUGIN, famous Vanderbilt football coach. Later Ralph TIDRICK and Roy POLLOCK drived the the Mississippi River together. Roy then returned to Iowa, BEALL'S Ringgold County Directory has Roy POLLOCK working for Walter EDIE in Section 17, Tingley Twp. Later he was to marry Stella McCLURE who also attended the Tingley School.

TINGLEY HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES, 1895
Thomas ARCHBOLD, Mary BUTLER, Webster HANCOX, Stella May McCLURE (mother of artist Jackson POLLOCK), Daniel Earle McGUGIN, Mae PALMER (seated to far right), Roy POLLACK (father of artist Jackson POLLOCK), Ralph TIDRICK

NOTE: Records list only 8 graduates yet there are nine graduates in the photograph.
photograph courtesy of Janet Ann (PALMER) PROCTOR BRAWNER,
granddaughter of Nellie Mae (PALMER) PROCTOR

Stella McCLURE was one of seven children of John and Cordelia SPECK McCLURE and was born [1875] in Liberty township. At the time of her birth the McCLURE family was living in Section 30. Their home was located on the knoll northwest of the Highway 169 Walnut Creek Bridge on land now [1975] owned by Richard DRAKE. The McCLURE farmily was originally from Ohio and the SPECK family was early residents of Union township. Later John McCLURE moved to Tingley where he became a mason. He was an excellent workman as attested by the many basements and structures in the Tingley area built by him and still in active use.

Roy POLLOCK and Stella McCLURE were married around 1900. They moved to Wyoming where most of their children were born. Besides being a housewife and mother, Stella McCLURE POLLOCK was a seamstress and an excellent cook.

Pollock Family.jpg
At Right: The POLLOCK Family eating watermelon, Arizona, 1914
L-R: LeRoy, Frank, Charles, Jackson, Jay, Sanford, Stella

NOTE: John R. McCLURE was born in 1849, and died April 4, 1917. Cordelia J. (SPECK) McCLURE was born in 1848, and died in 1941. Stella (McCLURE) POLLOCK died in 1958. They were interred at Tingley Cemetery.

LeRoy "Roy" POLLOCK died on March 6, 1933.

Roy's adoptive father, James M. POLLOCK was born in 1835, was a Civil War Veteran and died November 28, 1909. Roy's adoptive mother Elizabeth "Lizzie" POLLOCK was born in 1838, and died in 1906. They were interred at Tingley Cemetery.

The information in this article [outside of vital and interment information] has been provided by Clair HEYER of Tingley and Leslie McCLURE, retired Tingley Lumberman, who is a brother of Stella McLURE and uncle of Jackson POLLOCK.

  • Biography of Jackson POLLOCK

    SOURCE: Ringgold County Tour Bulletin. Ringgold County Historical Society. July 27, 1975.

    Transcription and notes by Sharon R. Becker, September of 2011

    To submit your Ringgold County biographies,
    contact Sharon R. Becker at srbecker@windstream.net.
    Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.


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