Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
JACK McELROY is one of the richest
property owners of Adams county and a leading citizen and stockman of eastern
Washington. He resides about twenty miles south from Sprague and
owns a great many sections of land. He has a thousand acres devoted
to wheat and five hundred producing hay and many thousands of acres of
pasture. At the present time, he is handling about five hundred head
of choice well bred cattle besides about one hundred head of horses.
His home is one of the most beautiful in the entire country. It is
a two story six room structure of modern architectural design, well furnished
and supplied with all conveniences, as bath, hot and cold water and so
forth. He has plenty of running water in his orchard while the beautiful
lawn that surrounds his house, gives an air of taste and thrift which make
his rural abode a place of real comfort.
Jack McElroy was born in Maine, on January
1, 1840, the son of Henry and Elizabeth McElroy. The father was born
in Maine in 1812, followed ship carpentering and died in Sprague, in 1893.
His ancestors were patriots in the Revolution. The mother was born
in Maine, in 1817 and died in Adams county, in 1891. Jack McElroy
was never favored with a school education and gained his training from
association in the world and careful study by himself. At the age
of fourteen, he went to sea and continued almost uninterruptedly until
1868 on the salt way, traveling all over the world. He was on the
United States steamship Mississippi, under Captain Laughlin Smith, First
Lieutenant George Dewey, now the famous Admiral Dewey. He was in
the blocade at Galveston, Mobile, and at the mouth of the Mississippi river.
He partcipated in the general engagements at Forts Jackson, Philip and
Hudson. At the latter, his ship was sunk and he was wounded, being
taken prisoner. He was confined at Shrevesport and Jackson for eleven
months, then was paroled. On January 31, 1864, he was discharged
from service and immediately enlisted in the Second New Jersey Cavalry,
serving until he was discharged on July 3, 1865, the work having ended.
He immediately returned to sea and finally came around Cape Horn to San
Francisco, in 1868. He remained in California until 1872, working
for wages, then came to his present place, it being then included in Whitman
county, and here he has labored with almost unbounded success since.
In 1891, at Palouse City, Mr. McElroy married
Miss Mina Frazer, a native of Arlington, Illinois. Her father, Branson
Frazer, was born in Randolph county, North Carolina, and was an instructor
in various colleges during his life. He also lectured on chemistry
for two years. He died in Indiana. Her mother, Martha A. (Thomas)
Frazer, was born in Randolph county, North Carolina, and died in Morrow,
Idaho. When Mr. McElroy started in the Big Bend country, he had very
little means and everything that he now possesses has been the result of
his labor and business ability since that time, and he is to be classed
with the very best farmers and land owners in the state of Washington.
Fraternally, he is affiliated with the I.
O. O. F. and with the Masons, having passed the blue lodge and the chapter.
During the NezPerce Indian war, Mr. McElroy
was scout for General Howard and was especially active at the Camas prairie