This biography was printed in the Biography and History of Chester County, 189?, p. 293-296. This history included many similar subscription biogaphies, in which the subscriber paid a subscription fee, and in return, had their biography included in the work.

John Russell McClurg - Landenberg Physician

JAMES McCLURG, of Newton Stewart, County Galloway (now Wigton), Scotland, was the father of Dr. Walter McClurg, a surgeon in the royal navy, who married and settled at Hampton, Virginia, prior to 1746, and who resigned, lived, and died there in 1783. His only son, Dr. James McClurg, M.D., was born at Hampton, Virginia, in 1746, graduated from William and Mary college, 1762; as M.D. University of Edinburgh, 1770; and studied in Paris during 1771-2. He was urged to locate in London, but was prevented by his strong Americanism. Returning to Virginia in 1773, he located at Williamsburg, Virginia. Elected a member of the American Philosophical society of Philadelphia, 1774. Appointed a surgeon in the Virginia navy, 1776, and later in the year physician general of hospitals of the southern department, at Williamsburg. Appointed professor of anatomy and medicine in the William and Mary college, 1779. Declined the chair of medicine in the University of Pennsylvania. Removed to Richmond, Virginia, in 1783. In 1787 was appointed a member of the Federal convention, sitting in Philadelphia, to frame a constitution for the United States. He here acted with the Washington-Madison group. Duty called him home before the final adoption. Received a grant of land and back pay for services during the revolution. His only son, Walter, died in 1810. Was thrown from his carriage, severely injured, and died July 9, 1823. Thus the elder line became extinct.

James McClurg's younger son, John McClurg, was born at Newton Stewart, Scotland, November 14, 1726. Came to Hampton, Virginia, in 1752, and thence to Chester county, Pennsylvania. On the 20th of October, 1752, he was granted by the Pennsylvania proprietaries one hundred acres of land in Londonderry (now Lower Oxford) township, Chester county, Pennsylvania, for 15 l0s., with the yearly quitrent of one half penny sterling for every acre thereof. One hundred and nineteen and one-half acres were surveyed November 10, 1752, and settled by him. In the county records of 1754 he is rated as "a land owner and taxpayer." In 1753 he married Eliza Jackson, (daughter of Samuel Jackson, who had come to Chester county prior to 1737, and who was a prominent land owner and elder in the Presbyterian church,) and their children were: Samuel; William, who "went west," to Pittsburg, it is believed; Elizabeth, no record; and John, who removed to Slateridge, York county, Pennsylvania, where he married and died, leaving two children, William and Mary, the former of whom was killed by a horse, and the male line is extinct.

John McClurg died in Lower Oxford township, Friday, July 12. 1799.

Samuel McClurg, oldest son of John and Eliza McClurg, was born on his father's farm in Lower Oxford township, Tuesday, July 9, 1754. He removed to Slateridge, York county, Pennsylvania, and purchased a farm. In 1787 he married Agnes Foulis, of Lower Oxford township, Chester county, daughter of Archibald and Mary Foulis. It is told how this devout Presbyterian couple would, on each communion Sunday, ride on horseback by way of McCall's Ferry, Susquehanna river, to Oxford, a distance of at least thirty miles. He died Wednesday, April 4, 1810 of chronic pnuemonia, resulting from exposure.

Agnes Foulis was born Tuesday, May 24, 1763, in Scotland. Her father, Archibald Foulis, and James Patton, both loved Mary Wilson, who married the latter, and before he died, in 1760, bore him eight children. Archibald Foulis, meanwhile lived in Belfast, Ireland, having left Scotland when rejected, and now returned and married the widow, Agnes being their only child. They soon went to Chester county, Pennsylvania and in 1772, his name is on the list of "land owners and taxpayers."After the death of her husband , Agnes, with her children, removed to a homestead near Oxford, Pennsylvania, where, in 1811, her name appears on the church records, among the heads of families. Died at Oxford, Saturday, December 8, 1849. Their children were: Mary, married James Reyburn; Elizabeth, married William Osmond; Archibald; Jane, married Joseph Kelso; Rachel, married George Irwin; Nancy, married John Pollock; John, born Thursday, January 27, 1803, and died Monday, December 20, 1869 - and who married, first. Martha Moore – second, Nancy Jane Mclntire; and Sarah, married James Smith. Archibald McClurg, elder son of Samuel and Agnes McClurg, was born at Slateridge, York county, Pennsylvania, on his father's farm, on Tuesday, March 25, 1794. Removed in 1810 to Lower Oxford township. Was a farmer, and assisted in building the then large bridge over the Susquehanna river, at McCall's Ferry. On February 27, 1819, he bought forty acres of land near Oxford, Pennsylvania, from his mother. On Thursday, November 25, 1819, he married Sarah Russell, of Russellville, Chester county, Pennsylvania. In1825, he bought a tract of land at Mill Creek Hundred, Delaware, which he soon sold. In 1839 he bought "a plantation of one hundred and fourteen acres in West Nottingham township, Chester county, Pennsylvania, (near Glenroy), subject to the payment of the original patent." In religion he was a Presbyterian, in politics, a whig, and later a republican; and in his earlier life, was an enthusiastic militiaman. Died on his farm, at West Nottingham, Saturday, May 8, 1864, of acute gastroeonteritis. Sarah Russell, his wife, was born Thursday, April 10, 1797, at Russellville, and died at her home, in West Nottingham, Chester county, Pennsylvania, on Sunday, January 4, 1852. Her father, John Russell, esquire, was born in Chester county, in 1759, and died Wednesday, May 16, 1804. Her mother, Margaret McNeil, was born in Chester county in 1770, and died at Russellville, Friday, December 9, 1814. The children of Archibald and Sara McClurg were: John Russell; Nancy, born 1822, married Edward Lloyd; Samuel, born 1823, died unmarried; Margaret, born 1825, married Marshal Wright; Sarah Elizabeth, born1828, married William Wright; Jane, born 1839, unmarried; James Hervey, born 1832, married Elizabeth Grier - two children, Blanche and James Patterson; William, born 1834, bachelor; Mary, born 1836, died unmarried; Archibald Alexander, born at the Battle of Fredericksburg, Va., December 13, 1862; and Hanna Euphemia, born 1844, unmarried.


John Russell McClurg, M. D., was the oldest child of the foregoing; and born in Lower Oxford township, Chester county, Pennsylvania, Saturday, September 23, 1820. Reared on his father's farms, and educated at the public schools, and the New London, Pennsylvania, and Newark, Delaware, academies. He taught in the public schools and in the Newark academy. Studied medicine under Dr. David W. Hutchinson, of Oxford, Pennsylvania, and graduated from the Jefferson Medical college, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as an M.D., March 14, 1846. Located at Chandlersville (now Landenberg), Chester county, Pennsylvania, and there practiced his profession until 1858. Removed to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1859. After a successful examination before an army medical board, he was commissioned major and surgeon, United States volunteers, October 4, 1862. His record of service was: Temporary duty at Jefferson barracks, St. Louis, Missouri, November 11 to November 21, 1862, when he was ordered to establish and take charge of a United States general hospital at Cleveland, Ohio. This duty was performed in such a thorough and expeditious manner, as to win him much commendation from his superiors. While stationed here, he delivered a course of lectures on military surgery at the Cleveland Medical college. He was commended by Governor Brough, of Ohio, for arming a number of convalescents in the hospital and sending them to enforce the draft. Was presented with a sword by the inmates of the hospital as a token of their appreciation. Was ordered, September 4, 1864, to Jackson, Michigan, as inspector of recruiting, and here unearthed many frauds, and on December 8, 1864, to similar duty at Detroit, Michigan. On December 17, 1864, was ordered, by telegraph, to Louisville, Kentucky, and established and took charge of the transfer general hospital. On March 25, 1865, was ordered to the charge of the "Joe Holt" United States general hospital, together with the eruptive hospitals, at Louisville, Kentucky, and Jeffersonville, Indiana, aggregating about three thousand beds. On July 29, 1865, ordered to the additional duty of president of an examining board for assistant surgeons. On August 7, 1865, was ordered to close all hospitals, destroy infected stores, etc. On September 19, 1865, ordered home. Breveted lieutenant colonel, United States volunteers, October 6, 1865; and honorably mustered out October 7, 1865. In November 1865, located at West Grove, Pennsylvania, and practiced his profession there until May, 1870, when he removed to West Chester, Pennsylvania, where he has since resided and successfully practiced his profession. A perminent member of the American Medical association, a member of the Chester County Medical society, of the Oxford Medical society, honorary member of the Lancaster city and County Medical society, of the biological and microscopical section of the Academy of Sciences, of Philadelphia, an associate member of' the Victoria Institute, or Philosophical society of Great Britain, a founder of the Philosophical society of West Chester, Pennsylvania, a member of the Bi-Centenial executive committee, 1876, and a companion of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion. Was married on January 1, 1851, at Montgomeryville, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, to Ruth Ann Higgins, daughter of the Rev. George Higgins and Mary (born Landreth), his wife. They have two children, Walter Audubon; and Frank Layard, born March 7, 1857.

Ruth Ann Higgins was born at Milton, Northumberland county, Pennsylvania, Wednesday, March 2, 1831. She was the daughter of the Rev. George Higgins, a noted Baptist clergyman, born at Philadelphia, Monday, December 16, 1799, died at Montgomeryville, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, Tuesday, March 9, 1869, and Mary Landreth, his wife, born at Philadelphia, Monday, August 20, 1804, and died at Philadelphia, Thursday, April 6. 1848. The only child of George Higgins, a native of England, who married Margaret Trimble, at Philadelphia, in 1799, and died the same year at Cape May, New Jersey, of the yellow fever. Mary Landreth was the daughter of Cuthbert Landreth, who married Pelatiah Burroughs, at Philadelphia, Saturday, May 25, 1793.

Walter Audubon McClurg, eldest son of the foregoing, was born Wednesday, February 4, 1852, at Chandlersville (now Landenberg), Chester county, Pennsylvania, educated at the public schools, Cleveland, Ohio, Military academy, the Kennett Square academy, and the Millersville State Normal school; studied medicine under his father, and graduated as an M.D. on Saturday, March 9, 1872, from Jefferson Medical college, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Practiced his profession for nearly two years at West Chester, Pennsylvania, then passed a successful examination before the Naval Medical Examining board, and was commissioned an assistant surgeon, United States navy, (ranking with Ensign), February 8, 1874. Promoted to passed assistant surgeon (lieutenant J. G.), November 2, 1877, and to surgeon (lieutenant), January 25, 1889.

Record of service: Naval hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 12 to November 18, 1874; Flagship Pensacola, Pacific Station, and Tuscarora, Pacific Station, November 18, 1874, to September 14, 1876; Steamer Plymouth, North Atlantic Station, January 26, to July 7, 1877; Store-ship New Hampshire, Port Royal, South Carolina, December 10, 1877, to January 6, 1879; Naval Hospital, Washington, January 6, to December 2, 1879; Flagship Tennessee, North Atlantic Station, December 2, 1879, to December 2, 1882; Naval academy, Annapolis, December 7, 1882, to May, 1883; Practice-ship Dale, May to September 2, 1883; Naval academy, September 1, 1883, to October 7, 1884; Naval hospital, Philadelphia, October 7, 1884, to January 6, 1886; Steamer Tallapoosa, South Atlantic Station, January 6, 1886, to March 7, 1889; Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Navy department, Washington, June 1, 1889, on special duty.