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Tehama County









      A forceful example of a well spent life is afforded in the career of Alexander McKean McCoy, who has long been numbered among the leading attorneys of Tehama County, and at the age of seventy-eight years is still engaged in active practice at Bed Bluff, which has been the scene of his legal work for four and a half decades.  He was born in Clark County, Missouri, June 9, 1852, a son of Joseph and Jane (McKean) McCoy, and there pursued his education in the Pleasant Hill Academy, afterward attending La Grange College of that state. He was next a student of the Christian University of Canton Missouri, where he won the Bachelor of Arts degree in June, 1874, and later received the Master of Arts degree from that institution.  The year 1875 was devoted to post-graduate work at Canton and during 1876 he was a member of the faculty of Christian University, connected with the department of English literature and history.

      Coming to California in 1876, Mr. McCoy located in Red Bluff, where he taught in the public schools for two years, capably discharging the duties of principal.  Owing to failing health, he retired from the educational field in the summer of 1878 and sought an occupation that would keep him out of doors, taking up the sheep business at that time.  The change proved beneficial and while thus engaged he began the study of law.  Having mastered the principles of jurisprudence, he took the state bar examination and was licensed to practice in the spring of 1886.  His ability soon became recognized and in the fall of 1886 he was the popular choice for district attorney of Tehama county.  He thoroughly justified the confidence reposed in him and was re-elected to the same office for two successive terms, each time by an increased majority.  As a public prosecutor he was fearless, conscientious and efficient and secured a large percentage of convictions.  In January, 1893, he retired from the office and has since engaged in general practice.  With the passing years his prestige as a lawyer has steadily increased and he has frequently been called to other counties to conduct important ligation.  For some time he practiced under the style of McCoy & Gans—an association that was continued until January, 1927, when H. S. Gans became superior judge of Tehama County, and since then the firm has been McCoy and Wetter.

      In December, 1884, Mr. McCoy was married in Red Bluff to Miss Hattie Muth, who passed way in July, 1925.  They had three children, Joseph M., Ida May and Florence R., all of whom are graduates of the Red Bluff high school and also of the State University at Berkeley, California.  Mr. McCoy has long been a zealous and prominent member of the Christian Church, while his fraternal affiliations are with the Masons and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.  Industrious and energetic, he never feared that laborious effort which must ever precede ascendancy in all lines of endeavor, and his success is well deserved, for it has been worthily won.  He expects to retire from the practice of law in the near future and devote his leisure time to more general reading and study.  His has been a useful, well order, upright life, and he enjoys to the fullest extent the respect and confidence of his fellowmen.



Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: Wooldridge, J.W.Major History of Sacramento Valley California, Vol. 3 Pages 18-21. Pioneer Historical Publishing Co. Chicago 1931.

© 2010  Gerald Iaquinta.




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