Biography of William W. McLelland
WILLIAM W. McLELLAND. Howell County, Missouri, is remarkably well adapted to the purposes of farming, and one of the most progressive followers of this calling is William W. McLelland, who is a native of the Old North State, born October 9, 1848.
His parents, Rufus and Almira (Percey) McLelland, were also born in that State, and when the subject of this sketch was about three years of age, came by ox-team to Oregon County, Missouri, and until after the war resided on a farm there. One year was then spent in Dade County, after which they returned to Oregon County, and some seven or eight years ago they came to Howell County, and have since been residents of West Plains. Although Rufus McLelland lost all his property during the war he has since made a comfortable fortune. He was forced into the Confederate service and took part in the Price raid much against his will. He is a man of honor and intelligence and for a good many years was circuit clerk of Oregon Township and had charge of the county records during the war. On learning that the soldiers were intending to destroy the courthouse, he took the records to a cave and hid them, where they remained undiscovered until the war terminated hostilities. He has been a lifelong Democrat, is a member of the A. F. & A. M., and for many years has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is well known and highly respected, and has been the only one of his people to come to this section of the country. His wife died in Oregon County in July, 1870, having become the mother of eleven children: William W.; Rufus, of Ellis County, Tex.; Wellington, who is president of the Bank of Thayer; Mary, wife of H. B. Harper, of Oregon County; John R., who resides in Memphis, Tex.; Eliza, wife of John Smith, of Thayer; George, of Springfield; Alfred, of Ellis County, and three that died in infancy.
The immediate subject of this sketch was reared principally in Oregon County, with very little schooling, and at the age of seventeen years began doing for himself. September 9, 1868, he was married to Mary Jane, daughter of William and Catherine Stogsdill, who came to this State from Tennessee. The father is still a resident of Oregon County, but his wife died in Howell County. Mrs. McLelland was born in Dade County, Missouri, and has borne her husband twelve children: Rufus, Pinckney (deceased), Martha (deceased), William A. (deceased), David (deceased), Wellington, Almira, Catherine, Mary, Festus L., Virgie and Erwin. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. McLelland resided a few years in Oregon County, two years in Dade County, five years in Howell County, five years in Oregon County, and since that time on the farm of 360 acres three and a half miles southeast of West Plains, which comprises one of the most fertile farms of the county. This property is the result of his own good management and foresight, for he started in life for himself with nothing, and in addition to tilling the soil he is quite extensively engaged in feeding and shipping stock and handles several hundred head of horses, mules and cattle each ear. In 1884 he was elected sheriff of Howell County, and during the two years that he served he gave excellent satisfaction. He is a member of the A. F. & A. M., Mount Zion Lodge No. 327, of West Plains, and is also a member of the chapter. He is a stanch Democrat but not a politician, although he is at all times interested in the success of his party, and he and his wife are worthy members of the Missionary Baptist Church.