McGANN, CAPT. JOHN K., retired farmer and real estate dealer, was born in Philadelphia, Pa., May 28, 1835. Edward McGann, his grandfather, was born and passed his life in Ireland; he was a wool carder and spinner. Edward McGann, Jr., father of Captain McGann, was born in Kildare county, Ireland. He received his education in his native county, and worked in the woolen mill with his father until he became of age, when he left Ireland for America. He made the voyage in a sailing vessel, accompanied by his young wife. They landed at Philadelphia, where he found work at his trade for one year. At the end of the year Mr. McGann removed to Lancaster county, Pa., and for fourteen years was employed in the woolen mills of N. K. Zook. He next removed to Dauphin county, locating in Lykens Valley, were for four years he carried on the business of carding and weaving on his own account. He then removed to Armstrong Valley with his family, and worked for six months at. his trade as a journeyman for his former employer, at Lancaster county, and he finally settled at Harrisburg, where he died March 3, 1870. His wife, Bridget (Kelly) McGann, died in the same city, about 1884. They were married in Ireland. They had seven children: John K.; Catherine, wife of C. McCarty, of Harrisburg; William C., of Harrisburg, in the employ of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company; Susan, wife of John O'Leary, hotel keeper in Harrisburg; James, deceased; Mary, widow of Alexander Boyle, Harrisburg; and Margaret A., deceased. Mr. McGann was a Democrat, a prominent man, and quite popular.
John K. McGann attended the public schools of Lancaster county, and also the Academy at Strasburg. In his younger days he worked in the mills with his father. After the removal of the family to Lykens Valley, he worked four years as a farm hand among the neighboring farmers. Then for two years and six months he was clerk and teamster for Jacob Buch, in Lykens Valley, and subsequently drove team for Mr. Buch to and from Pottersville. For several years after this Mr. McGann was engaged in huckstering. He taught school in Miller's school house four months, after which he was for seven months clerk in a store in Mahantango Valley, then taught again four months in Jackson township. Then he was clerk for six mouths in Powell's Valley, then taught four months at Jacksonville. In 1858 Mr. McGann spent nine months in Harrisburg, in the employ of the Northern Central Railway Company, as clerk; he then taught still another four months at Fisherville. He had fourteen acres of land which he farmed between other engagements.
On August 19, 1862, Mr. McGann enlisted in company H, One Hundred and Thirtieth regiment, Pennsylvania volunteers, as first lieutenant, under Captain Hoofacker and Col. H. J. Zinn. The Captain being on sick leave, Lieutenant McGann commanded the company. He participated in the battles of South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville. Being wounded at Fredericksburg, he was for a few days in the field hospital. He was discharged from the service May 20, 1862, and returned home. He continued teaching school, cultivating his farm, and working for other farmers. Upon the ordering of the draft, February 24, 1864, Captain McGann formed a company of forty-two men and joined company E, Ninth Pennsylvania cavalry. He was promised the command of the company, but. failed to obtain it. He fought in the battle of Cripple Creek, and throughout the campaign of General Sherman. On October 16,1864, he was made private secretary of General Kilpatrick, with whom he remained until the close of the war. He received his discharge at Lexinton, N. C., July 20, 1865. After returning home, Captain McGann continued teaching and farming. He bought more land, and has now eighty-five acres, which he has highly improved. He retired from active farming, and since 1876 has dealt in real estate, settled up estates, etc.
Captain McGann was married, in Jackson township, in 1857, to Miss Elspy, daughter of Colonel G. and May (Zimmerman) Fetterhoff, born in Jackson township, April 28, 1835. They have three children: Isaac H., Lutheran pastor, of Union county, Pa., was educated at the State Normal School, at Millersville, and the Missionary Institute, in Snyder county; was ordained to the ministry in 1885; married Annie Mattis, and has three children: Maud, Laura and Evaline; Ellen, married, in 1882, to James F. Gerberich, who was born in Jackson township; son of Amos and Julia A. (Keiter) Gerberich, attended school in Jackson township, was six years turnkey at Harrisburg lock-up, farms the homestead of his wife's father, has three children: J. D. Cameron, Annie Gertrude and Esther; Annie E., teacher in Jackson township, educated in the high school in Harrisburg, and graduate of Berrysburg, and Millersville State Normal School, has been teaching three years.
Captain McGann is a Republican. He was clerk in the county commissioners' office, county auditor, assessor and tax collector; he was also for several years justice of the peace. He was captain of a volunteer company formed before the Civil war. He is a member, and is chaplain, and has been commander of R. B. Miller Post, No. 392, G. A. R. He is one of the most widely known and most popular men of the county. He is esteemed for his virtues, and beloved for his good will and kindness to all.
Historical Review of Dauphin County
Transcribed by Joanne Nichols firstname.lastname@example.org for The Dauphin
County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Transcription Project -
Date of Transcription: 29 Jan 2001
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