Joseph E. McGurty is one of the successful business men of Champaign, where in the past seventeen years he has built up a large livery enterprise and also a well conducted automobile business. He comes from the country district and was a farmer prior to his business career.
Mr. McGurty was born at Colfax, Illinois, December 11, 1869, a son of Hugh and Sarah (Reagan) McGurty. Both parents were natives of Ireland. His father when six years of age went with his parents to Canada, locating near Montreal, where he grew up, and about 1859 he came to Illinois and soon afterward located on a farm in Champaign County. In 1861 he enlisted in the Union Army, in Company E, Ninety-seventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and served three years and six months. He lived a long, useful and honorable life and died at Champaign, June 2, 1897. The widowed mother is still living in Champaign. There were six children: Anna, of Champaign; Catherine, at home; John, deceased; Joseph E.; Agnes, at home; and James, deceased.
Joseph E. McGurty grew up on the farm, was educated in the local schools, and was a practical farmer on the old homestead until he was twenty-five years of age. For three years he had some mercantile experience in the department store of F. K. Robeson, and then engaged in the livery business at Champaign. In 1909 Mr. McGurty put up a large barn, 60×130 feet, and two stories. It contains a complete equipment of horses and he has gradually perfected a first class automobile service.
Mr. McGurty is a Republican in politics and was for two years street commissioner of Champaign under O. B. Dobbins. He and his wife are members of the Church of the Holy Cross, and he is affiliated with the Knights of Columbus, the Woodmen of the World, the Royal Arcanum, the Sons of Veterans and the Mystic Workers. He was married August 12, 1902, to Miss Anna McGraw, a native of Champaign County. Her parents, James and Ann (McGraw) McGraw, were both born in Ireland and are both now deceased. Her father was for many years employed as a machinist and boiler maker in the Big Four Railway shops.