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Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of Kent, Ontario
Neil A. McGeachy


NEIL A. McGEACHY, a successful farmer and dairyman of Harwich township, residing on Lot 3, Concession 3, was born in that township on the same Concession, December 1st, 1844, a son of John and Flora (McNauten) McGeachy, old pioneers of the county.
 
John McGeachy was born in Scotland in 1800, a son of Neil McGeachy, who died in Scotland.  Flora McNaughten was a daughter of John and Johanna McNaughten, who came to Harwich township from Scotland and settled on Lot 10 about 1838.  Neil McGeachy had three daughters, Margaret, who married Peter Longwell, and is now deceased; Catherine, who married Peter McKerrell, and settled in Chatham township; and Mary, who married Edward McTaggert, and settled in Virginia, where she died leaving two sons, of whom Edward McTaggert is now a resident of the State of Washington, and Archibald lives on the old homestead in Virginia. 
 
John McGeachy and his wife were reared and married in Scotland, and in 1840 came to Canada via New York on a sailing-vessel, the trip taking six weeks.  They settled in the dense forests of the County of Kent and suffered all the hardships incident to pioneer life, but by steadfast industry they brought peace and plenty out of the wilderness and became very prominent people in their locality.  John McGeachy died at his home in 1862, and his wife survived him until 1898.  Both were founders and consistent members of the St Andrew Presbyterian Church of Chatham.  Politically Mr. McGeachy was a Reformer, but he never aspired to municipal office.
 
John and Flora McGeachy had eight children, and Mr. McGeachy had three children by a former marriage, namely:  Mary, the widow of Robert Duff, of Chatham; and Anna and Jennett, both deceased.  The children born to the second marriage were as follows:  John born in Scotland, is unmarried and lives at Chatham; Jane, born in Scotland, married the late D.W. Huff, of Dresden, Ontario, and died leaving no family; Catherine, born in Harwich township, is unmarried and lives in Chatham; Duncan and Neil A. are twins; the former married Mary Huff, of Harwich, is a farmer of Howard township and has four children, Arthur, Edwin, Jennie and Agnes; Daniel died in young manhood; Flora, born in Harwich township in 1850, married Albert Fields, resides in Harwich township and has four children, Grace, Victoria, Stanley and Nellie; Peter, born in the homestead in 1854, still makes his home there, and he married Isabella Bradford, of Canada (they have no children).
 
Neil A. McGeachy, like all of the family was educated in the common schools of Harwich township, and learned farming on the old homestead, where he remained until his marriage, in 1874, to Miss Agnes E. Everett, daughter of William and Jane Everett, prominent pioneers of the County of Kent.  Mrs. McGeachy was born in January, 1842, at her father's homestead.  After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. McGeachy settled on Lot 12, Harwich township, but after a year purchased 200 acres in Thamesville, on which he erected a large brick house and made many improvements; in 1889, however, he sold this property and purchased a $13,000 farm in Harwich township, known as the Indian Creek farm, and there he and his family still reside.
 
In addition tohis other interests he has long been one of the leading dairymen of Chatham, having thirty-five cows, and carrying on all of the business according to the newest and best methods, and he owns much valuable farm and dairy machinery.  His cattle are short horn thorough breeds.  He has been very successful, and his prosperity has been acquired through intelligent effort, hard work and good management. 
 
Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. McGeachy, two of them dying in childhood.  William A., born in 1875, was graduated from the high school and business college of Chatham, and is at present manager of the Fruit Growers' Association, holding full direction in the Northwest.  John A., born in 1879, was educated in Chatham, and is unmarried, residing at the homestead.  Religiously Mr. and Mrs. McGeachy are members of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church at Chatham, of which he is one of the elders, and in which both are very prominent factors.  Politically Mr. McGeachy is an Independent, and served as a member of the board of trustees for a number of years.  He is also one of the trustees of the Fruit Growers' Association of Harwich township. 
 
p. 309, 310

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