John S. McClain is the Great Grandfather of Mamie (McClain) Guthrie.
REF : Memorial and Biographical History of McLennan, Falls, Beli and Coryell Counties, Texas, (Chicago: The Lewis Publishing company, 1893), pp. 685-687 John S. McClain.
"John S. McClain, one of the oldest settlers of McLennan County, Texas, was born in Adair county, Kentucky in 1827, son of Isaac and Catherine (Stepp) McClain, natives of South Carolina and Kentucky, respectively.
The McClain family originated in Scotland. Andrew McClain, the great-grandfather of John S., was a native of Edinurgh. He came from Scotland to America during the colonial period and settled at Charlestown, South Carolina, where he reared his family. He served in the war for Independence. In his family were sons: John, Andrew and Daniel. John and Andrew came West, Andrew located near Knoxville, Tennessee; but John, without unloading his wagon, continued his way on to Kentucky and settled in what is now Adair county. Andrew passed the residue of his life near Knoxville, and there reared a family of thirteen children, some of whom came to Texas and are now living in McLennan county. John was the grandfather of the subject of this sketch.. He continued to reside in Kentucky till 1838. That year he and all of his family, except the eldest son moved to Pike county, Illinois. He lived to a good old age and died in 1844, his wife surviving him only a short time. Following are the names of their twelve children: Joseph, who died in Kentucky, leaving three children,; Isaac, the father of the subject of our sketch; Robert, who died in this state in 1890; John Jr., a resident of Pike County, Illinois; Daniel, who died in Missouri in 1891; Margaret, deceased wife of J.P. Naylor; Malissa and Mary, twins, the former, wife of Robertson Medaris, and the Latter, wife of L ouis Hitch; James died in Pike County, Illinois, leaving a wife and one child; Sarah, wife of Ashal Hindman of Illinois; Chesley died in Pike County, Illinois, leaving a wife and four children; Edwin W., died in McLennan County, Texas, in 1891.
Isaac McLain had married in Kentucky and his son, John S. was six years of age in the time the family all moved to Illinois; consequently the early settlement of Pike county is very familiar to our subject. Isaac McLain came overland to Texas in 1853, bringing his family and settling in McLennan county. John S., however, did not come till 1856. His father purchased some 2,000 acres of land and engaged in farming and stock-raising, carrying on stock-raising on an extensive scale until the time of his death. He was born in 1803 and died in 1861. His first wife died in 1839. Of their five children; Samantha, John S., Robert W., William B., and Sally all have passed away, except John S. By subsequent marriage to Miss Eliza Ayars, of New Jersey, he also had five children, namely: James E., of Jones County, Texas; Hannah M., wife of R.O. Brazelton; Catherine, wife of Jacob Setzer of Jones County, Texas; Daniel M., of Moody; and Louis, deceased. Mrs McClain, now in her eighty-second year, is a resident of Moody.
John S. McClain, received his education in Pike County, Illinois. At the age of twenty-one he commenced to do business for himself beginning as a farmer and stock-raiser and continued his operations in Pike County till 1856, at which time, as already stated, he came to Texas, the overland trip consuming six weeks. He settled on the farm he now owns and occupies, being then employed as overseer for his uncle, D.C. McClain. After his arrival here the Indians made no attacks on settlers, but the year before they had been troublesome.
In July, 1862, Mr. McClain joined Company B, Colonel Gurleys Regiment, and was in the Trans-Mississippi Department. He was in poor health and was at home much of the time, and consequently never participated in any battles.
In 1868, he purchased his present farm of 320 acres, of which seventy-five were under cultivation, it at that time being the largest farm in the county. Up to 1888, he continued farming and stock-raising, though previous to that year he had moved his horses farther west, raising large numbers of both horses and mules each year. He disposed of his cattle for $3,000 in 1882. Since 1888 he has devoted his attention exclusively to farming. He has bought and sold considerable land, and at this writing owns 680 acres, 400 of which are highly cultivated.
Mr. McClain was married, November 8, 1853, to Miss Eleanor A. Mohannah, a native of Illinois, and a daughter of William and Eliza (Brooks) Mohannah, Natives of Pennsylvania. The Mohannahs came from Ireland and, like the McClains, were early settlers in America. The great-great-grandmother of Mrs. McClain was the first white girl baby born in Virginia. From there they moved to Pennsylvania. It is said that her grandmother, while residing in Virginia, was one day making soap in the yard, when a number of Indians came up and were going to carry her away. With that heroic bravery, so characteristic of the pioneer woman, she sought to protect herself and did so by scalding them with hot soap. Their yells attracted the attention of her husband and family, who were working in the field near by. They came to the house as soon as possible and succeeded in Killing three Inidians. The Mohannah family were well represented in the Revolutionary war. AAron Brooks, grandfather of Mrs. McClain, came to this country and settled in Pensylvaina with his father. He was a surveyor and was one of the founders of Pittsburgh, at one time, owning much of the land on which that city is now located. The Mohannah family went to Illinois from Pennsylvania in 1836. Mrs. McClains father born in 1801, died in Pike County, Illinois, in August, 1844. His wife, born in 1805, died in 1849. Following are the names of their children: James W., John S., Mary M., Elizabeth, Elanor A., Rachel, Surilda and Samuel B.
To Mr. and Mrs. McClain have been born nine children, viz: Mary E., wife of John J. Ayers, died leaving three children; Catherine, wife of M.E. Park, died, leaving four children; William died and left a wife and two children; John S., Jr., deceased; Surelda E., wife of W.C. OBryan; Emma H., Dena E. Wife of E.D. Ashbey; Maggie B. and James I.
Mr. McClain and his wife are members of the Missionary Baptist Church."
It is of interest to us to know that among the first groups to settle at Perry , many were Baptists. William Hancock, the leader of the first group of settlers, (in 1852), was a staunch Baptist. The McClain (Issac McClain) family which followed the next year, was also Baptist and was destined to play a great part in establishing the work of Christ, not only in Perry , but in surrounding communities.
The first of March 1855, the Perry Baptist Church, Perry, Texas, was ogainized, making it the first Baptist Church in Texas. The town of Perry was forced to re-locate to Col. Moody's townsite nearby to connect with the Santa Fe Railroad. The Church was moved to what became Moody, Texas.