JOHN LAFAYETTE MAGEE
SURNAMES:: MARCH, THARP, HURTT, SCOVILLE, THROOP, FOREMAN, ALLEN, WOODWARD, GORDON
Success has crowned the efforts of John Lafayette Magee, who for many years concentrated his labors and attention upon farming, but is now retired from the active fields of life, while he is enjoying the fruits of his former toil, occupying a pleasant home at 195 Viola Street, San Jose. He was born on a farm near Macon City, Mo., February 12, 1841, a son of Samuel Lewis and Mary Jerusha (March) Magee, both natives of Bourbon County, Ky., removing to Missouri about 1835, where the family engaged in farming for a livelihood. In 1850 he crossed the plains to California, remaining till 1851 when he returned home via Panama intending to bring his family to California, but was taken sick and died at Mound City, Ill., on the trip from New Orleans to Iowa.
When John L. was twelve years of age, his mother removed to Davis County, Iowa, and settled on a farm near Bloomfield. There he received his education, his spare time being in helping his mother on the farm. Although married and farming, in February, 1864, he enlisted for service to his country in Company E, Third Iowa Cavalry, under Captain Spencer, and served in the Army of the Cumberland. He was trained for a short time at Keokuk, Iowa, and was then sent to Benton Barracks at St. Louis. In the spring of 1864, his regiment was sent to Gravelly Spring, Ala., then to Macon. Ga., and at South Selma, Ala., were in an engagement; also were in the battle at Columbus, Ga., one of the last of the Civil War. In the pursuit of General Price, at the present site of Pleasanton, Kas., they had a battle and Mr. Magee's horse was shot from under him. The battle was fought on a flat piece of prairie with an unobstructed view of both the Federal and Confederate lines, which resulted in the capture of the Confederate officer, General Marmaduke. The town of Pleasanton, named for General Pleasanton, who was in command of Federal forces, was afterwards built on the site of the battle. After his discharge at Davenport, Iowa, he returned to his home, where he engaged in farming until 1869, when he moved to Saunders County, Nebr., and took up a homestead, also purchased eighty acres in addition. He remained on the farm until 1888, when he sold his property and removed to Valparaiso, the same county, where he established a general merchandise business, which occupied him for eleven years.
In 1899 Mr. Magee removed to California and retired from active business life. He has made nine trips across the continent, visiting his old home and renewing old friendships. The first marriage of Mr. Magee occurred January 19, 1863, and united him with Miss Nancy A. Tharp, a daughter of Abner and Sarah Tharp, born and reared in Davis County, Iowa. Her father was a farmer and an early pioneer of Iowa. They were the parents of nine children; Flora L., now Mrs. Hurtt, residing at Huntington Park, Cal., is the mother of four children—Weaver, Roy, Floy and Stanley. The grandson, Weaver Hurtt, has a wife and three children—Merle, Helen and Bruce. Roy Hurtt has a wife and two children—Ty (named after Ty Cobb, the famous baseball player) and the baby; Floy Hurtt is married and has two children—Florine and a baby; Stanley Hurtt is married and has one child—Robert; Oliver N. first married Annie Scoville and they had one daughter, Rosalie. His second marriage united him with Miss Nellie Throop and they had five children—Harold, Ethel, who is Mrs. Foreman and has a son, Richard; Elmer, Helen, and Woodrow Wilson, the latter born the day Woodrow Wilson was inaugurated president. Harold Magee is married and has two children. Oliver N. Magee passed away in 1918. Carry Bell is the wife of Charles Allen, a member of the Board of Education of San Jose, and they are the parents of three children—Marie, now Mrs. Woodward, living at Watsonville; Edith, and Charles Sumner. Lewis J. married Miss Price and they have four children—Wallace, Kenneth, Doris and Rosalie, and the family reside in Idaho; Edwin E., a clothing merchant of Scotts Bluff, Nebr., married Miss Edna Meserve and they were the parents of two children—John Bruce, and Edwin, Jr. By his second marriage he had two children—Martha Elizabeth, and Lloyd George. Mary L. married Mr. Brown of San Jose, and they are the parents of one child, Forest; Abner Bruce passed away at the age of nineteen years. James L. of Long Beach is the father of four children—Mary, deceased. John Paul, Eleanore, and Louise. Anna Helen is now Mrs. Gordon of Los Angeles, Cal. Mr. Magee's first wife died in Valparaiso, Nebr., in 1894.
The second marriage of Mr. Magee occurred at Reno, Nev., April 29, 1902, and united him with Miss Martha T. Hunter, born in Renfrewshire, Scotland, a daughter of John and Jean (Faulds) Hunter. Her father was a merchant in Scotland. Mrs. Magee came to America when a young woman and settled in San Jose. Fraternally Mr. Magee is a member of the Modern Woodmen, and has been identified with this order since 1890. In national politics, he is a Democrat; is also active in G. A. R. circles, being a member of the Sheridan Dix post of San Jose, and is past commander, having served in 1915. Mrs. Magee is a member of the Ladies of the G. A. R. and the Relief Corps of San Jose. Among the most valued of keepsakes of the family are the letters written to his first wife during the Civil War. Mr. Magee's years of activity on the farm and in business have told on him and although he had always been strong and hearty in 1915 he was stricken with paralysis but he is able to be around and his mind is alert and he is surrounded by his family of whom he is very. proud. He has ever manifested the deepest interest in questions of public concern and the three greatest public movements•he has engaged in during his life and which all won the day are the emancipation of the negro. woman's suffrage and the placing of the Eighteenth Amendment as a part of the Constitution of the United States, making a success of Prohibition, of which he has always been such a staunch supporter.
Transcribed cferoben, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California, published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 734
SANTA CLARA COUNTY PIONEER BIOGRAPHIES
SANTA CLARA HISTORY