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 Robert W. McClary

Robert W. McClary

Orange County, North Carolina, USA
Death 17 Apr 1866 (aged 72)
Polk County, Tennessee, USA
Burial Polk County, Tennessee, USA
Memorial ID 5560575 · View Source
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Son of Andrew McClary and Elizabeth Lynch.
Husband of Mary Karnes m. June 22, 1819

Robert W. and Mary (Polly) Karnes (Carnes) McClary
Robert W. McClary was born in Orange County, North Carolina 15 July 1793 son of Andrew McClary and Elizabeth Lynch the daughter of Thomas Lynch of Hillsboro, NC. Robert's father, Andrew, was a Revolutionary War soldier (Widow's Pension W 7417) and one of the founders of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. The family migrated to Claiborne County, Tennessee ca. 1798 where they built grist mills, farmed, and in 1806 Andrew was one of the signers of the Dearborn Indian Treaty in Washington.
Robert was evidently a venturous young man for he fought in the War of 1812 holding the rank of Second Sergeant in the company of Capt. William Houston of Mounted Volunteers in the Regt. of Col. Samuel Bunch from East Tennessee in 1813-1814. In 1855 he claimed warrants for his service receiving land Bounty Warrants No. 133.382 and 45.480.
Robert W., looking for more land, headed south to Grainger Co. He met and married, 22 June 1819, Mary (Polly) Karns of Knox Co., b. 16 Jan. 1801 d. Ap0r. 1895. She was the daughter of Charles Karns (also spelled Carnes and Karnes), b. Botetourt Co., VA., ca. 1770 and Hannah Kerns.
The McClarys soon moved to McMinn County where most of their children were born. When the Ocoee Land District was opened he "entered' and bought land moving his growing family to Polk County. The only other McClary to come to Polk County was Robert W.'s brother, Thomas, a Deputy United States Marshall, who stayed for a short time before moving on to Middle Tennessee and then to Texas.
Robert W. and Thomas McClary were maned by Goodspeeds History – 1887 as being "First Settlers".
Robert W. McClary was a member of the first Grand Jury in 1840, served as County Register of Deeds in 1841-2 and when the Ocoee Academy was organized in 1844 by act of the State Legislature, he was named one of the trustees. He and his brother, Thomas, worked for the state selling lots in the town of Benton and did some surveying when the lots were laid out.
General Gamble purchased the Robert W. McClary farm on the Hiwassee River north of Benton containing 1100 acres. Robert then bought sizable acreage on the Ocoee River at Cookson's Creek where he lived until he died.
Mr. McClary was a member of the State Legislature, serving in the 29th General Assembly, 1851-53, representing McMinn, Monroe and Polk Counties as a Democrat. At the time he was a farmer in the 1st Civil district of Polkk County and a Trustee of Ocoee Academy being active in its affairs as late as 1858. Later his son, Jacob Lake McClary, his son-in-law Warren J. Copeland and two grandsons, Flint DeCosta ("Cot") Copeland and Return Meigs Copeland were members of the Legislature.
When the War between the States broke out, being a strong believer of States Rights, age did not stop him from organizing a company of which he was elected Captain. It held several designations but was Co. D (later E.) of the 5th Cav. (McKinzie's) Tenn. Some of his sons served in his company as well as sons from other Polk County families. In March 1862 several of these companies were attacked by the Federals, lost their horses and equipment and subsequently went into the infantry service, thus reducing the Regiment to a Battalion. In 1862 under reorganization, T.M. Carder was elected Captain. Mr. McClary was allowed to keep his designation as Captain. After the Federal occupation they were in the battle of Chickamauga joining Gen. Wheeler until the end of the war. They were among the last units to surrender in NC. Robert W. was not truthful about his age. His first muister card listed his age in 1861 as 60 when in fact he was 67 (he was born in 1793) and his last card in 1865 says he was 68.
Robert W. had not been home long when he was thrown from his horse against a tree and died 17 April 1866. Mr. McClary was a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and a member of Ocoee Lodge 212 of FAM. A memorial from the Lodge was published in the Cleveland Banner as was his obituary. He was survived by his wife, Mary "Polly" Karns McClary, who applied for and received his War of 1812 pension. Her first payment was $8.00 per month on 9 March 1878. Both Mr. and Mrs. McClary are buried at Cookson's Creek Cemetery.
Their children were: Jacob Lake McClary, b. 31 Mar 1820 d. 31 March 1903, m. 1840 Louiza Boyd, b. 23 May 1823, d. 23 Oct. 1887, Five children. Buried Benton Cemetery; Charles M. McClary, b. 1823, d. 13 May 1870, m. Jane Isabella Biggs, Migrated to Plano, TX. Seven children; Prior Lee McClary, b. 1824, m. (1)Sarah A. O'Neal, (2) Manerva Price, Sixteen children, Migrated to TX; Andrew Preston, b. 7 Oct 1825, d. 25 Sept 1867, m. (1) Rachel Morris, b. 22 Oct 1833, d. 25 May 1852, (2)Harriett Shamblin, Buried Benton Cemetery; Thomas J. McClary, b. 1828; Robert F. McClary, b. 2 June 1831 d. 21 Nov. 1881, m. Julia Fetzer, b. 25 Oct 1833 d. 22 Apr. 1919. Buried at Cookson's Creek Cemetery. Robert F. was Minister of and organized Chestuee Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Six children; Onie McClary, b. 12 March 1833, d. 27 Apr 1912 m. (1) Dr. Nathan Pendergrass (2) Dr. Warren Jones Copeland, b. 27 Dec 1835, d. 17 march 1916. Buried Cookson's Creek Cemetery. Ten children; Julius Caesar McClary, b. 5 May 1834, d. 27 April 1919 m. (1) Angelina Peck, (2) Kate Sims. Migrated west; Mary Jane McClary, b. 1837, m. William A. (Coon) Denton, Nine children. Buried Cookson's Creek.
Descendants of this line are eligible for membership to Daughters of the American Revolution through Patsy Crox Underhill, number 527882. Also eligible for membership in Daughters of War of 1812.
Proofs. "History and Lineage of the Crox, Baldwin, Eldridge and McClary Families with Supplement to the Magna Charta through the Fleming and Lee Families", by Patsy Crox Underhill. The McClary and Boyd Chapters and supplement. Copies in Cleveland, TN Library and Library of Congress; "Ducktown Back in Rahts Time" by R. E. Barkley; Issues of the "Polk County News"; "Biographical Directory of the Tennessee General Assembly". McBride,1975; Widow's Revolutionary War Pension No. W 7417.

This article was submitted by Patsy Crox Underhill to "The History of Polk County, 1839-1999", published by The Polk County Historical & Genealogical Society, 1999.


age 72 yr 9 mo 2 da