Many were the boys of tender years who entered the service of the Union during the civil war, when the loyalty, bravery and courage which they displayed were as marked as that shown by many old veterans twice their years. Mr. McPherson was one of these boy heroes, who at the call for and "donned the blue" and went to the south to strike a blow in defense of the cause of freedom. He is now an honored resident of Doniphan county, where he is successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits.
As his name indicates, he is of Scotch lineage. His father, James McPherson, was a native of Maryland. He was married in the Keystone state to Miss Mary M. States, a lady of German descent. In 1858 they removed with their family to Carroll county, Missouri, locating near Coloma. Leaving Coloma during the latter part of the civil war, the family came to Wathena, Doniphan county, Kansas, where the father was accidentally killed, at the age of fifty-seven years. His wife, surviving him for some time, passed away on the 13th of July, 1898. By trade he was a shoemaker, and followed that pursuit throughout the greater part of his business career. His political support was given the Republican party, and he was a man of industry, energy and honesty whose well-spent life commanded the respect of those with whom he came in contact. In his family were ten children, namely: Jane Anne, Margaret, Elizabeth, Mathias, William Thomas, Robert, Lovena, Alice, Belle and Georgia. Two of the sons, Robert and William Thomas, were soldiers during the civil war. The latter, who served for two and a half years, was a member of Company G, Thirty-third Missouri Infantry, and died in Wathena, Kansas.
Robert McPherson was born in Pennsylvania, on the 27th of November, 1849, and was, therefore, but nine years of age at the time of the removal of the family to Missouri. He was reared in Carroll county, of the latter state, and acquired his education in the, public schools there. When a boy he represented his father by proxy as a member of Tom Reed's Utica Black Horse Guards, a troop of the state militia, and on the 4th of June, 1863, when only fourteen years of age, he enlisted in Company F, Eleventh Missouri Cavalry, for service in the civil war. He. remained at the front until the close of hostilities, and was honorably discharged at New Orleans on the 27th of June, 1865. For some time he was stationed at Benton Barracks, at Rolla, and he also participated in several important battles and skirmishes, including the engagements at Batesville, Duvall's Bluff and Little Rock, Arkansas. His command was with the troops under Generals Steele and Reynolds. While at Little Rock, Arkansas, he suffered from sunstroke, but he bore all his sufferings with the fortitude of a soldier and his bravery equalled that of many men of twice his years. He may well be proud of his military record, for it was ever a creditable one.
In April, 1866, Mr. McPherson was united in marriage to Miss Anna Buchenan, a daughter of John Buchenan, of Wathena, and their union has been blessed with six children, of whom five are now living, namely: Kate, the wife of Oscar Anderson; Mary, the wife of Duglass Chambers; Bertie, the wife of Charles Groh; Elva, the wife of Sam Cook, and James R., who served as a soldier in the Spanish-American war from June 18, 1898, until February 10, 1899. The mother of this family was called to her final rest on the 7th of September, 1883, and on the 10th of October, 1895, Mr. McPherson was again married, his second union being with Miss Anna Ruth Eckhart, daughter of John Eckhart, of St. Joseph, Missouri. They had one child, William Thomas, who died February 22, 1900, at the young age of two years, five months and fourteen days. Their home is pleasantly located on a farm a mile and three quarters from Wathena, where they have lived since 1880. Mr. McPherson is a practical and enterprising farmer, whose well-tilled fields and substantial improvements indicate his careful supervision and progressive methods of prosecuting his business.
A recognized leader in the ranks of the Republican party, he does all in his power to promote its growth and insure its success. He is a charter member of Nathan Price Post,. No. 283, G. A. R., of which he has served as the commander, and he also belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is now in the prime of life, a man of good business ability, of genial disposition and cordial manner, and the circle of his friends is extensive.