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.
JAMES A. McAVOY resides about
three miles northeast from Tipso, where he owns a half section of fine
farming land, which he devotes both to grain and fruits. He was born
in Patchgrove, Wisconsin, the son of John F. and Katherine (Smith) McAvoy,
natives of Ireland. The father came to Pottsville, Pennsylvania when
eight years of age, and there learned shoemaking. He followed this
until 1848, then enlisted in the Mexican War and fought under John Taylor.
Following the war, he went to Wisconsin and engaged in farming. He
was one of the pioneers of that state. Although not desirous of personal
preferment, yet in political matters he was always influential and held
various offices of public trust. The mother came to this country
with her parents when eleven years of age. Our subject was educated
in the public schools and in an academy. In 1875, he went to Colorado,
where he followed blacksmithing and mining, having learned that trade.
He wrought all over the state then engaged with Ellis Brothers cattle company.
In 1883 he left Leadville, searching for a location which he found the
same year where he now resides. Mr. McAvoy took a preemption first
and later a homestead and a portion of the land lies on the banks of the
Columbia river, being especially adapted to fruit raising. He has
a fine orchard of all kinds of fruit adapted to this country. Mr.
McAvoy started in life at fifteen years of age and has seen plenty of hardship
and toil. When first here, he used to go twenty-two miles for his
mail, Brents being the postoffice, in the winter making the trip on snow
shoes. He had one horse and would ride the animal to Spokane to buy
provisions and come back on foot to his place, packing the provisions on
the horse. He continued this until able to produce something from
the land. They planted hull-less oats and ground them in the coffee
mill. Mr. McAvoy has good improvements on his place and is very prosperous
at this time.
In 1889, Mr. McAvoy married Miss Bessie, daughter
of Michael and Mary (Hammelton) Casey, pioneers of Wisconsin. The
father was a veteran in the Mexican War. Mrs. McAvoy was born at
Patchgrove, Wisconsin, and was reared in the same neighborhood as our subject.
Mr. McAvoy has one brother, John F., and two sisters, Maggie and Mrs. Mary
E. Gallager. The latter is deceased.