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Biography of W. C. McLain

W. C. McLain, farmer; P. O. Charleston; one of the very oldest settlers of Coles Co., Ill., being born in Ashmore Tp., Coles Co., Jan. 12, 1829; his father, Matthew McLain, emigrated from Indiana in the year 1828, and located in the above township, at the above date, where he lived until 1846, when he removed to Wisconsin, and the year following both he and his wife died. The subject of this sketch emigrated to Wisconsin with his parents, and after their decease returned to Coles Co. and was employed as farm laborer until 1851, when he rented land and farmed one year, and on March 28, 1852, started with three other ox-teams overland to California, going via St. Joe, Mo., Fort Kearney and Fort Laramie, crossing the Rocky Mountains via the Sweetwater Gap, arriving at Placerville, Cal., Aug. 16, of the same year, being nearly five months upon the road; here be engaged in freighting for several months from Sacramento City to Placerville, a distance of forty-five miles, and late in the fall engaged in mining upon Weber Creek until the spring of 1853, when he went to the North Yuba River, and engaged in mining during the summer of 1853, when he and his company, among which were two of his brothers, opened a mine, sinking a shaft 140 feet, which they named Galena Hill, and which has since proved to be one of the best deep diggings in California; working this mine until the dry season set in, when they worked seven months and flumed the North Yuba River, after taking the water out of the...

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