Mr. and Mrs. H. E. McCLURE of LeGrand who are numbered among the few of the real pioneers of the state. Mr. McCLURE last Thursday passed his eightysixth milestone and last July the couple celebrated their sixtyfourth wedding anniversary.
Pioneer, 86, Crosses
Lived on as Death Hung Near
Special to the Republican- 1923
LeGrand, Sept. 8- On September 6,
H. E. McCLURE, of LeGrand, passed
eightysixth milestone, and on July 7, of this year, he and his wife
celebrated their sixty-fourth wedding anniversary. Born in Sebastian county, Arkansas, of southern Colonial stock which originally came from Scotland to settle in Georgia. Mr. McCLURE kept alive the pioneering spirit of his forebears by "crossing the plains" when but a boy of sixteen. He arrived at Stockton, September 18, 1852, when it was but a teeming frontier town-- a commercial stop gap between the mines of Tuolumne, Calaveras, Stansilaus and Mariposa Counties, and the seaport, San Francisco. He saw Fresno when it was only a handful of rough dwellings set down in a a barren plain. He farmed in Sonoma county at the time the bandit Joaquin Murietta was terrorizing the villages of upper San Joaquin and lower Sacramento valleys. He worked in mines at Princeton (now Mt. Bullion) when blackberry pies cost a dollar a piece, and eggs were an almost unobtainable luxury; and his first job in the state was that of camp boy helper in the eating house kept for miners by Captain "Bill" HOWARD at Mormon Bar in Mariposa county, when the hydraulic mines on Mariposa Creek were being worked full blast.
In 1859, at the age of 22, he took for his bride Miss Frances HELM, daughter of Allen HELM-- another pioneer who had crossed the plains in a "prairie schooner, and who was himself a grandson of a southern Revolutionary patriot. The ceremony, which took place on the HELM ranch, was a social event of that day, being a double wedding at which the late T. J. E. WILCOX, of White Rock, and Miss Melinda HELM, a sister of McCLURE's bride, were also married. While the grooms were of mature age-- according to our present standards-- the brides would today be considered mere children. Mrs. WILSON being but 15, and Mrs. McCLURE two years her junior.
With his young bride, McCLURE settled on a ranch near the Mariposa Creek a few miles from the present site of LeGrand. Here their children,
George W, Louisa E, Mrs. Nancy Jane RANSOM, Emily F, and Mrs. Minnie COUGHRAN of San Francisco, were born. And, there the family resided until January 1, 1877, when they joined the migratory movement to White Rock and became pioneer homesteaders in that portion of Mariposa County. Here Mrs. Leona E LAIRD of Modesto, their youngest child, was born. This McCLIURE ranch, in the lower Sierra foothills, was for more than a quarter of a century known the length and breadth of Merced and Mariposa counties for its unfailing, old fashioned hospitality. And, it was here that the aging couple raised not only their own children, but also two grandchildren--Mrs. Viola RANSOM WOOD, of South San Francisco, whose short story work is becoming wee known in the magazine world: and Mrs. Georgia McCLURE LIGHTY, of Dinuba.
In spite of advancing years. Mr and Mrs.
McCLURE are still surprisingly
active staunch christians affectionately called "Uncle Henry" and "Aunt
Bea" by relatives and friends, they represent the sturdy unassuming type of Americans that are the very salt of the earth.
submitted by Carol Lackeyemail@example.com
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