DR. JAMES McCANN is one of the successful practitioners of Normal, and has made that his home since 1879. He
was born in Connersville, Fayette Co., Ind., May 24, 1832. The parents of our subject, James and Barbara (Dary)
McCann, were natives of Fayette County.
In 1818, the parents, accompanied by Daniel Yantes, founder of Indianapolis, took passage on a flatboat down the Ohio River for Cincinnati, whence they removed to Fayette County, Ind., and the same year, accompanied by Mr. Yantes and twenty other men, went to what is now Indianapolis. There, all except Mr. McCann were taken down with the ague, and as soon as they recovered he (being the only cook and nurse), becoming displeased with the locality, returned to Fayette County to his family, where he followed farming and stock-raising during the remainder of his life.
He was very successful in a financial point of view. Religiously, he was a member of the Christian Church, and was one of a number of those who organized a congregation of that denomination at Connersville.
Mr. and Mrs. McCann became the parents of twelve children, one of whom died in infancy, and eleven lived to attain the age of man and womanhood, and of that number six (all the younger) are living at the present time. Isaac is a farmer and lives in the neighborhood of Connersville, Ind.; James, our subject, was the seventh in order of birth; Sarah is the widow of Lewis Oliver, and is living at Connersville; Julia is the wife of Andrew Fowler, and they reside at Goshen, Ind.; Mary and Martin Barker were married, and are living at Connersville, Ind.; the youngest sister, Ellen, married Thaddeus Scofield, of Connersville, Ind., and they are now residents of Bloomington, Ill.
The subject of this notice lived on his father's farm until he was sixteen years old, when he entered the State University at Bloomington, Ind. [Indiana University], and was there a classmate of Judge J. Q. Gresham. He remained in the University for four years, and then going to Connersville, the same State, entered the office of G. R. Chetwood, and under his preceptorship began the study of medicine. Subsequently, in 1856, he graduated from the Medical College of Cleveland, Ohio.
He then located in his native town, and after a few weeks' residence there came to this State and entered upon the practice of his profession at Joliet, where he resided for ten years. At the commencement of the late Civil War he was appointed U. S. Examining Surgeon of Pensions, and stationed at Joliet. He was successful in business while a resident of Joliet, built two store buildings, and was looked upon as one of the enterprising young men of that place.
In 1866 he removed to El Paso, where he was re-appointed as U. S. Examining Surgeon for that locality, and where he continued to practice his profession until 1879, holding his Government appointment for seventeen consecutive years.
During the year last named Dr. McCann came to Normal, where he succeeded T. S. Mills in the drug trade. Subsequently, in 1885, he purchased his present location, paying $1,000 for the ground, which is 22 x 75 feet, and on which he has erected a two-story brick business house, 22 1/2 x 60 feet in dimensions, the lower floor being used for the drug business, and the upper one for a residence. The Doctor was Secretary of Will County Medical Society four years, and is a consistent and respected member of the Baptist Church, and in politics Republican. He has never consented to be a candidate for any political office, but has devoted his entire time to the practice of his profession and his drug business.
Dr. McCann was married at Joliet, Nov. 15, 1866, to Martha Isabel, the fourth child and third daughter of James C. Kercheval, now deceased. She was born in Will County, Ill., and they now have three children, one boy, Berte H., and two daughters, Bessie and Emma.
In 1880 Dr. McCann was one of a committee of five on organization of the Illinois State Pharmaceutical Association, and this committee memorialized the State Legislature, and had the present Pharmacy Law enacted. The clause in said act imposing a fine of $50 for any adulteration of medicine was especially commended by Dr. McCann, and no part of the law has been more praised than this. The Doctor is an exceedingly sociable and courteous gentleman, and endowed with the happy faculty of making and retaining friends, and by honorable dealing and true manliness has gained a front rank among the respected citizens of McLean County.
Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 433. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.