JAMES A. McCLEAN. - In a volume devoted to the lives and achievements of representative men of Wyandotte county it is appropriate that mention should be made of that good citizen and enterprising business man, James A. McClean, who is connected with the Kansas City interests of the Fowler Packing Company in a responsible capacity. In Mr. McClean are mingled several elements, for while at present one of the most loyal of Americans, he is of Irish stock, and was born in England, from which country he emigrated when a child. The date of Mr. McClean's birth was December 4, 1861, and his birthplace in the "right little, tight little island" was in Kent county. His parents, Archibald and Elizabeth (Ferris) McClean, were born in Ireland and subsequently took up their residence in England. The father, who was a packing house man, came to this country in 1872 and located at first in Indianapolis, Indiana. Both he and his wife are now deceased, but their six children, of whom the subject was the third in order of birth, all survive. Archibald McClean was a respected and industrious citizen, a member of the Presbyterian church and a Republican in his political conviction.
When young James was a lad about five years of age his parents moved from England to their native Ireland and it was in the public schools of the Emerald Isle that he received his elementary education. He was eleven years of age when his parents answered the beckoning finger of opportunity from the shores of the new world and crossed the Atlantic to claim their share of it and to found a home of greater independence and possibility for their children. Mr. McClean finished his education in the schools of Indianapolis, where the family took up their abode, and as soon as he arrived to years of usefulness he followed in the paternal footsteps and entered the packing business. He continued in this field until 1880, when he removed to Chicago and in that western metropolis engaged with the Fowler Brothers in the packing business. Some two years later, in 1882, Mr. McClean removed to Kansas City, Kansas, where he became associated with Jacob Dold in the packing of meats and subsequent to that he again accepted a position with the Fowler Brothers. He learned the business in all its details and in 1900 was elevated to the position of superintendent of the Kansas City, Kansas, business.
Mr. McClean is known not only as an enterprising business man, but he is also very prominent in Masonic circles, being a thirty-second degree member of that ancient and august order. He is affiliated with Wyandotte Lodge, No. 3, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, and with Caswell Consistory, No. 5. He is also a popular member of that merry organization, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. In politics he gives heart and hand to the men and measures of the "Grand Old Party," as its loyal adherents are pleased to call it.
On October 26, 1882, Mr. McClean laid the foundation of a happy household by marriage, his chosen lady being Miss Kittie Hanaford. Mrs. McClean was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and is the daughter of Geo. and Harriet A. Hanaford, both of whom reside in Chicago, the former home of Mrs. McClean. She is one of a family of six children. The subject and his wife share their pleasant and hospitable home with a quartet of promising young children, namely George, Gertrude, Eleanor and Irma. A daughter, Harriet A., died when seven years and four months old, in Chicago, and Herbert James died when seven months old in Kansas City, Kansas, in old Wyandotte.
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