LaSalle County


"Honest John McLauchlan," as he is familiarly called by his numerous friends and admirers, is now acting as a representative in the state legislature from the twenty-seventh senatorial district of Illinois. He is a man who comes from the ranks of toil and whose proudest boast is that he is of and for the working men. By his own exertions and indefatigable energy he has educated himself, becoming well informed upon the great questions of the day, and by his intimate acquaintance with the problems and needs of the toilers and masses is enabled to speak with authority in their behalf.

The ancestors of our subject, upon both the paternal and maternal lines, were purely Celtic in origin. His parents, Daniel and Elizabeth (McCrae) McLauchlan, were natives of Scotland, the former coming from the agricultural class and the latter's relatives being more given to mechanics and trades. The paternal great-grandfather of our subject operated the second blasting engine ever used in Scotland in the smelting of iron. In his early manhood Daniel McLauchlan was engaged in agriculture, but later he turned his attention to iron-mining and devoted himself to that line of business for over a quarter of a century. Both he and his wife died in their native land, where they had led worthy, upright lives.

John McLauchlan, whose birth occurred January 27, 1840, is one of seven children who attained maturity, and is the only representative of the family in America. He attended school until he was ten years of age only, and was then obliged to begin learning how to mine iron ore. He worked industriously at this calling in Scotland until 1869. when he came to the United States, hoping to better his condition and to enjoy the blessings of a free country. At first he made his home in Pennsylvania, whence he came to Illinois early in the '70s, and since the Centennial year he has dwelt in LaSalle. with the interests of which community he is actively identified. For five years after coming here he was, as formerly, occupied in mining. In the spring of 1881 he was elected a supervisor of LaSalle township, and has served in that capacity ever since. He is strongly in favor of the principles of the Democratic party and is a believer in free silver. In 1894 he was elected to the legislature, and upon the expiration of his term was honored by re-election in 1896, and again in 1898. As may be surmised, he is particularly active in labor organizations and in all movements which he believes will benefit the laboring class.

Before leaving his native land, Mr. McLauchlan married Miss Sibelle McBeth, who died in Pennsylvania in 1871. The only child of this union, Daniel McLauchlan, is now living in Indian Territory. In 1873 our subject was married, in Illinois, to Miss Mary Arbuckle, who was a native of Glasgow, Scotland, and whose death occurred in 1891. She left three sons and a daughter to mourn her loss, namely: Robert, James, Andrew, and Katie. In 1893 Mr. McLauchlan married Elizabeth Fleming, who was born in England and came to the United States with her parents when two years of age. Her father, William Fleming, was an early settler and a successful farmer of Dimmick township.

Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 372-373

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