Biography of A. C. McElwee
A. C. McElwee. The township of St. Joseph has some of the best farms in Champaign County, and one that at once attracts attention by its well tilled fields and splendid improvements is the Elder Row Grain and Stock Farm, the proprietor of which is A. C. McElwee.
Back in 1856, more than sixty years ago, his grandfather, C. J. McElwee, acquired 120 acres. It was raw and unimproved and largely became a farm under his efforts. That was the foundation and nucleus of the Elder Row Grain and Stock Farm. Oddly enough, the land has not been retained in the family possession by the usual method of inheritance, but always by purchase from one member or one generation of the family from another. Thus what one generation developed has been taken by the next succeeding and every year has witnessed increasing value and care and management.
Mr. A. C. McElwee, the present proprietor of this fine farm, was born in Fountain County, Indiana, December 27, 1864, a son of Leonard C. and Anna M. (Simmons) McElwee. Leonard C. McElwee was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, November 3, 1837. His wife was born in Ohio, and they were married in Fountain County, Indiana. Leonard C. McElwee for many years combined the vocation of school teacher with that of farmer, teaching country schools in winter terms. He and his wife had a family of six children, three sons and three daughters, A. C. being the youngest son. The latter was educated largely in the Bowers District School in St. Joseph Township, his parents having moved to that township in 1874. The mother died there in 1899, and the father survived until 1915.
On May 13, 1890, A. C. McElwee married Miss Julia A. Green, who was born three miles east of Danville, Illinois, a daughter of William and Sarah (Davidson) Green. Both her parents were natives of Illinois, the Green family having come from Ohio and the Davidsons from Virginia. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. McElwee settled on the J. S. Kilbury farm not far from Burr Oak Grove. They lived there eight years, leasing land and farming. At the end of that time Mr. McElwee bought the old home place from his father. His mother in the meantime had died, and his father desired to leave the farm. Here the young couple have made their permanent home, and with industry and intelligence have done much to improve their lot in life and better the circumstances of the family in general. The Elder Row Grain and Stock Farm now comprises 248 acres. Mr. McElwee has constructed a fine and commodious home, a large assortment of fruit trees has been set out, and the place indicates even to the casual observer the evidence of intelligent farming. Mr. McElwee has found mixed farming the most profitable plan and combines the raising of grain crops with good stock. He keeps graded Shorthorn cattle, Belgian horses, and his chief field crops are oats, corn and some wheat and clover. Some years he threshed as much as 6,000 bushels of oats and gathered 8,000 bushels of corn.
Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. McElwee: Floyd L., Florence Ruby (deceased), Harry G. and Albert C. The education of these children was carefully looked after both at home and in the local district schools. The son Floyd L. is a successful young farmer and lives on part of his father’s estate. He married Lucile Warnick of Bloomfield, Indiana, and they have two children, Rowena Laverne and Dorothy Florence. Mr. McElwee very wisely provided location and opportunity for his son, and their interests are mutual and each is assisting the other in the work. Thus Mr. McElwee not only has the satisfaction of having his son near him, but also in seeing his grandchildren grow up around him. Mr. and Mrs. McElwee are active members of the United Brethren Church of Union in Ogden Township, and Mr. McElwee is one of its trustees. In politics he is an ardent supporter of the Republican party, and it is his firm belief that this party has done more for the welfare of the country than any other organization. Mr. McElwee is interested in the local schools, has served as school director for fourteen years, and has also been ditch commissioner. He and his wife have contributed not a little to the upbuilding and growth of Champaign County during the many years of their residence here.