The efficient Assessor
of Shelby county, Tilden McClain, is
the fourth of a family of six children whose parents, Fletcher and Mary E.
(Means) McClain, were of Irish and German descent, respectively, the father
born November 13, 1847, in Hamilton county, Ohio, and the mother in Shelby county, Indiana, in the year 1848. Of
the subjectís brothers and sisters all but one are living, their names being as follows: Jacob W., of Marion county, Indiana; Alexander, who lives in Shelby county; Precilla, whose home is in Ohio, and Mrs. Mary E. Brent, of Shelby county. The father
of these children resides in Shelby county, the mother having died on the 9th day of October, 1883.
The subjectís paternal grandparents, George and ---------- (Rubush) McClain, who were twice married, had two children, a son and a daughter, Fletcher and Angeline. Their second marriage, which took place under very peculiar circumstances, forms an interesting part of the family history, and is worthy of record in this connection. Some years after their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. McClain joined a community of Shakers in Ohio, a peculiar religious sect which discountenances the marriage tie as sinful, and enjoins all its members to lives of celibacy and chastity. After an experience of some years with these people, and becoming convinced that their manner of living was unnatural and contrary to the dictates of reason and common sense, Mr. McClain so represented the matter to the wife from whom he had been separated, and begged her to re-marry him and quit the community, which she declined to do. Upon her refusal to accede to his wishes, he severed connection with the society and in due time married another wife whose death shortly thereafter again left him a widower. Having faith in the scriptual adage that "It is not good for man to live alone," he subsequently took to himself a third companion, after whose death he repeated the experience until becoming successively the husband of two more wives, or five in all, four of whom he survived, to find himself again a single man. Sometime after the death of the fourth wife, this much-married individual again presented himself to his original spouse, who, up to the time of the visit had remained true to the teachings of the Shakers, and stood high in the esteem of the leaders of the community. Being old like her erstwhile husband, and no doubt yearning for his companionship, she was finally persuaded to abandon the society and join her lot with his for the remainder of her days, their second marriage following in due time. This record of five wives and six marriages caused wide comment, and the circumstance is perhaps without a parallel in the United States. Grandmother McClain, who lived to the ripe old age of eighty-three, was called to her final rest on the 13th day of December, 1907.
Tilden McClain was born in Shelby county, Indiana, November 14, 1876, and received his early education in the common schools, this training being afterwards supplemented by a course in the Central Normal College at Danville, where he made substantial progress in the higher branches of learning. He was reared on a farm and followed agricultural pursuits until his twenty-fifth year, when he became a clerk in a general store at London, Indiana. A position he filled for a period of five years, during which time he acquired a knowledge of the mercantile business and achieved success as a salesman.
In 1905, Mr. McClain was elected on the Democratic ticket Assessor of Moral township, and so ably and faithfully did he attend to the duties of his office that at the expiration of two years he was elected to the higher and more responsible position of County Assessor, in which he is now serving the second year of the term of four years, which expires January 1, 1911. Mr. McClain possesses well balanced judgment, and his familiarity with the relative values of property, both real and person, peculiarly fits him for the office which he holds. He is a member of Moral Lodge, No. 466, Knights of Pythias, at London, and also belongs to the Improved Order of Red Men, which meets at the same place, being a leading working in Lodge No. 227, besides holding important offices in the same from time to time.
On the 26th day of February, 1899, Mr. McClain was united in marriage with Maud Cayton, one of nine children of Burrell and Frances Cayton, of Shelby county, a young lady of many estimable traits, whose friends are as the number of her acquaintances. Mr. and Mrs. McClain have two sons, Harry Elmo, born December 25, 1899, and Robert Paul, who was born September 15, 1907, both bright and interesting children, in whom are centered many fond hopes for the future.
Originally Mr. McClain was a Baptist in his religious belief, but some years ago united with the Methodist Episcopal church at London, of which himself and wife are now members.
Excerpt from Chadwickís History of Shelby Co., Ind.
Copied by Cindy Jones.