Researched by Stephen Williams
Excerpted from A HISTORY OF NORTHWEST MISSOURI v. III, p. 1739 (1915) Walter Williams, Editor
John T. McElwain grew up on his father's farm in Ohio, lived with his parents until twenty-four, and soon after the outbreak of the war between the states enlisted (October 17. 1861, in Company D) of the Forty-eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Capt. F. M. Posegate's company. He saw eighteen months of active service, and was twice wounded. He was in the great battle of Shiloh on the memorable Sunday, the first day of that struggle, and while fighting was struck by a bullet in the jaw, breaking the jaw bone. He carried that bullet for seven days before it was extracted. He was sent home on a thirty-day furlough, and then rejoined the army in time to take part in He siege of Corinth, marched through Tennessee to the city of Memphis. where he was stationed five mouths, and then followed Sherman on his first attack against Vicksburg. He fell back with the troops to Arkansas Past, and there was again wounded by the sine kind of bullet which struck him at Shiloh, this time in the right band. Mr. McElwain still keeps as relicts of his military experience these two halls. On account of his wounds he received an honorable discharge in May, 1863, at Mound City. Illinois. and then returned home, being incapacitated for labor for nearly a year. Mr. McElwain for his services as a soldier received at first a pension of four dollars per month, and it has gradually bent increased with inereasing years until he now gets twenty-seven dollars a month.
His years were spent in farming in Ohio until he moved to Missouri, and in the fall of 1871 located in Rochester Township of Andrew County. His business interests have liven gradually expanding, and at the present time he owns two fine farms, one comprising eighty acres and the other 125 acres, while his wife owns a place of 120 acres. All three of these farms are in Rochester Township. About five years ago Mr. McElwain and wife left the country and have since lived retired in the village of Helena, where they own and occupy an attractive and comfortable home. Mr. McElwain has always affiliated with the republican party since the war, but has never sought nor held public office. He and his wife are members of the Long Branch Christian Church, in which-he has served as deacon for away years. He was active in the Grand Army Post until it was disbanded.
On October 17, 1867, Mr. McElwain married Mary J. Harris. Mrs. McElwain was born in Clinton County. Ohio, March 14, 1838, a daughter of Lewis and Clarissa (Patten) Harris. Her father was bon, in Kent- tucky and her mother in Ohio, and both died in the latter state. Mr. and Mrs. MeElwain are the parents of two children: Harry and Frank Martin. The latter was born April 1. 1877, and died January 12. I896. The son Harry is now a merchant at Helena. He married Stella Zimmer- man, and they are the parents of Seven children, named Beulah, Lola. Pearl, Bernice, Thelma, Margaret and Opal Fern.