There was practically no opportunity for a child to procure an education in
the days of the youth of James McCartney, although he did get a smattering of knowledge in the way of reading, writing and spelling at odd times when not at work on the farm. He was born in Jefferson county, Indiana, June 26, 1834. His parents were James and Mary Ann McCartney. They were both natives of Indiana, and were married in Jefferson county. The father of the former, also James McCartney, was a soldier in the War of 1812, and served throughout that struggle without even being wounded. In those days Indians were plentiful in southern Indiana, and many of them were hostile, and there when the grandfather went out to chop wood his wife accompanied him, carrying the ax, while he was armed with a gun.
The parents of the subject resided in Jefferson county between thirty and
forty years, and the mother died there in 1844, and is buried on the farm that was owned by her father-in-law. Her husband survived her many years, and married a second time, his bride being Emeline (Phillips) Wright, a widow. They remained in Jefferson county until the head of the family sold his interest in the farm, and they removed to Johnson county, where they rented a farm. There his second wife died, and is buried near Greenwood. Her husband survived her but a few years, dying about the year of 1883.
To the parents of James McCartney five children were born, he being the third in order of birth, and the only one of the family now living. There were eight children as the fruits of the elder James McCartney’s second marriage, only one of whom survives. Mr. McCartney remained at home until his mother died, when he hired out by the month as a farm hand. He finally drifted to Shelby county, coming there in the fall of 1855. On February 12, 1859 he married Elizabeth Woolley, who was born in Hamilton county, Ohio June 27, 1836, daughter of George and Mary (Lawrence) Woolley. Her father was born in England, and came to the United States when a mere boy. Her mother was a native of Ohio.
When James McCartney was married he and his wife moved onto a rented farm in Bartholomew county, Indiana, where they remained for two years, and then returned to Shelby county. He and his wife have passed through many hardships during their long lifetime, but they have been quite prosperous nevertheless. Mr. McCartney has had the misfortune to have been totally blind for the past three years, and therefore compelled to spend his time quietly at home. He is the father of three children, as follows: Ira E. of Bloomington, Indiana, poultry dealer, has a family of six children; Joseph E. of Shelbyville; his wife’s maiden name was Ada Weinland; he is bookkeeper in a furniture establishment; Charles E., deceased, married Emma Solomon, two children, both dead. Although he never actively participated in politics, the subject is a Republican. His wife is a member of the Methodist church at Flat Rock. Both Mr. and Mrs. McCartney enjoyed very good health, despite their great age.
Chadwick’s History of Shelby Co., Ind. pages 781-782
Submitted by Kathy Ridlen