McNAIR, Robert. — Scotland Township has within its borders a landmark which in no wise belies its name, but which, on the contrary, in its general appearance, and in the character and habits of its occupants, might be a bit of old Scotland taken from its historic settings and shifted across the water to the prairies of the central West. Reference is made to the old McNair farm, which has been in the possession of the family since 1861, and which now is owned and operated by three sons of the pioneer settler — Robert, Samuel and Andrew, all of whom are bachelors.
Robert McNair, the oldest of nine children, was born in Argyleshire. Scotland, in April, 1822, and is therefore eighty-five years old at the present time. His parents, Robert and Jeannette (Smith) McNair, both were born in Scotland, as were also his paternal and maternal grandfathers, Archibald McNair and Robert Smith. Robert was seventeen years old when the family emigrated to America, locating on a farm in the wilds of Ohio, where they lived until 1851. They then rented land in Industry Township, McDonough County, Ill., for three years, in the meantime improving and preparing for occupancy their permanent home In Scotland Township. In extent, the farm in those days was the same as at present, 240 acres, but great changes have been wrought upon its broad expanse, in all of which the three brothers have been moving factors. The father died in February, 1861, at the age of sixty-five, and the mother, July 16. 1881, at the age of eighty-seven years, and since then little has happened to mar the even existence of the men whose combined efforts have built up a fine and noble country property.
Mr. McNair is a Republican in politics, and during the administration of Abraham Lincoln was a Justice of the Peace. One of his strongest and most absorbing interests has been the Presbyterian Church, in which he has been an elder for many years, and towards the upbuilding of which he has liberally contributed both time and money. He has been one of the faithful, earnest workers of the world, and though naturally conservative, has lent a willing ear to such undertakings as appealed to his judgment and practical common sense.
Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, page 956, extracted 12 Sep 2019 by Norma Hass.
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