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JAMES M. MCGHEE. This gentleman, well known in Carter County, is at present the most efficient county clerk of the same. He came originally from Georgia, his birth occurring December 17, 1854, and he no doubt inherits much of his vim and enterprise from his Scotch-Irish ancestors.
His grandfather McGhee was an early pioneer in east Tennessee, and there John F. McGhee, father of subject, was born and reared. He was trained to the duties of the farm at an early age and received but a limited schooling, as his father died when he was young. When grown he moved to Georgia, and there married Miss Nancy Harris, a native of Georgia and a daughter of a pioneer of that State. About 1856 he and his wife moved to Wayne County, Missouri, and settled near where Piedmont is now located, buying a farm and making their home there until 1860. From there they moved to Oregon County, Missouri, and located in the southeast part of the same, where they made their home during the war. In 1865 they moved back to the old home in Wayne County, and in that county Mr. McGhee died in 1881 and his wife in 1884. During the war he was a lieutenant in the Confederate Army for a short time. After living on the farm in Wayne County for some time Mr. McGhee moved to Greenville, the county seat, and was elected to the responsible position of county treasurer. He served one term and was filling his second term when his death occurred. In politics he was a strong Democrat. He was well known all over the county, as well as his part of the State, and was a man possessed of much more than ordinary ability. He was a member of the Masonic lodge at Piedmont, and he and wife were earnest members of the Baptist Church for many years, he being deacon in the same. He was a good citizen, and a leader among men. He and wife were the parents of nine children, five of whom are living: Franklin P., an attorney of Texas; James M., subject; Sarah became the wife of John F. Rhodes, of Wayne County. Mr. Rhodes is a farmer and lumber-man, and a prominent man in the county, having held the offices of county clerk and reprsentative; Jennie, wife of William Warnock, collector of Wayne County: John L., a graduate of St. Louis Medical College, and now a practicing physician at Williamsville, Wayne County, Missouri; George, W., a twin brother of our subject, was killed in 1882, when twenty-eight years of age; and Martha, Mildred and Laura died young.
Our subject, James McGhee, received his education in the schools of his native county and graduated at the business college of Bryant & Stratton, St. Louis. Later he was bookkeeper and operated a store at Colemanville, Carter County, for Clarkson & Mason, and managed the same for three and a half years. After that he was elected county and circuit clerk of Carter County in 1882, and held that position for two terms. In 1890 he was elected county clerk and has now been in office for twelve years. He is a Democrat in politics, is chairman of the Democratic Central Committee, and has attended a number of State conventions. Mr. McGhee is a Mason, a member of Van Buren Lodge, has been master of the order several times, and is now holding the position of district deputy grand master and lecturer of the order for the district He has also represented the lodge in the Grand Lodge. Mr. and Mrs. McGhee are members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and he is clerk in the same.
Mr. McGhee selected his wife in Miss Zillah J. Dalton, daughter of Dr. Dalton, formerly of Wayne County. Four living children have blessed this union: Myrtle; May died when two years of age; Julia; Fred; William died when two years of age; and Nellie. Our subject is an extensive real estate owner in both farming and timber lands in Carter County. He has ever been one of the foremost men of the county, and he and wife stand high in the community. He is now engaged in the real estate and abstract business.