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John Clugston

CLUGSTON, John Byers.--Although the retirement from active life of John Byers Clugston took place as long ago as 1870, his services as saddler, venireman, and groceryman are recalled as important to the communities in which he lived, and more especially to Macomb, with which he has been connected since 1862. Mr. Clugston comes of a fine old Irish family, established in this country by his paternal grandfather, Robert Clugston, who was born in Belfast, Ireland, and to whom ambition spoke in no uncertain tones of the greater opportunities existing on the other side of the Atlantic. This courageous sire made settlement in Franklin County, Pa., and when the thirteen American Colonies revolted against tyrannical English rule and asserted their independence, he enlisted under the banner of Washington at the beginning of hostilities in 1775, and served until the surrender of the main British army at Yorktown in 1781. Thomas Clugston, who was a farmer by occupation, died in his native State, and when John Byers was twelve years old he was brought by his mother to Trumbull County, Ohio, where they remained two years. At the age of fourteen John Byers learned the trade of saddlery, and from 1852 until 1862 engaged as a journeyman saddler, traveling with his kit of tools through Tennessee and Kentucky. Upon leaving the road he located in Macomb and worked at his trade for Jerry Haskins, and a few years later went to Pittsburg, Pa., where he was employed by the Government on saddlery work for a year and a half. Returning to Macomb in 1865, he worked as a venireman for a couple of years, and in 1868 established a saddlery business from which he permanently retired in 1870. The following year he engaged in the grocery business with Thomas Farley, and at the end of a year bought out Mr. Farley and continued the business alone for another year. Since then he has lived in a comfortable home at No. 421 South Lafayette Street. On January 8, 1851, Mr. Clugston married Alice T. Reed, a native of Pittsburg, Pa., and of the union five children have been born: Laura E., wife of C. P. Mustain; Emma W., wife of Frank L. Watson; Charles R., Fannie, wife of Judge J. Ross Mickey, and Lilly Dell, who died at the age of two years. Mr. Clugston is popular with his associates, and he has an extensive and interesting fund of information concerning the early history of the town of which he is an honored and genial citizen.

Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907.

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