HENRY W. McCOY, M. D., who conducts a lucrative practice in Golconda, the city of his birth, is recognized as a physician whose learning and professional standing entitle him to a place among the foremost of the representatives of the medical fraternity in his native county. He was born in one of the early homes of Golconda, and is a descendant of one of the first families to penetrate the wilds of Illinois in territorial days. His father, Joab W. McCoy, was born in Virginia in November, 1807, and was a son of Ezekiel McCoy, who, as far as known, was a native of the same State. He resided in the Old Dominion until 1807, and then boldly set out from his old home for the Western frontier, where he thought to start life anew under more favorable conditions. He was accompanied by his family, and the journey was made with teams. At that time Illinois was a part of the Territory of Indiana, and was practically uninhabited except by Indians.
Ezekiel McCoy selected a tract of Government land as the site of his new home, said land being located in what is now Hardin County, and not far from Shawneetown, and when it came into the market he secured his title to it. He busied himself in hewing out a farm, and was a most useful pioneer. His community lost one of its most worthy citizens at his death, November 20, 1840, at the age of sixty-three years. His wife, whose maiden name was Nancy Davis, died March 27, 1854, aged seventy-eight years and ten months. They reared nine children, named as follows: Matilda, Ellen, Betty, Mary, Nancy, Joab W., James, Thomas and William.
The father of our subject was born while his parents were en route to Illinois, and he was reared under primitive pioneer influences in this State. He early evinced an enterprising business spirit, and commenced when a young man to deal in horses and mules, which he took down the river for sale, and was thus profitably engaged until 1837, when he came to Golconda to establish himself in the mercantile business, in which he was interested until his death, which occurred about October, 1883. His memory is hold in honor as a pioneer merchant of Golconda, and as one whose citizenship was valuable in promoting the growth of the town. His wife, to whom he was married in 1837, survives him, at a venerable age. She bore the maiden name of Eliza A. Richey, and was born in Tennessee February 27, 1819. Her father, Dr. William K. Richey, was a native of Virginia, whence he removed to Tennessee, and from there to Illinois, and was a pioneer physician of Pope County, where he practiced his profession until his demise. He married Eleanor Mathews, who was born in Virginia, and died in Pope County December 28, 1843, aged fifty-nine years. The following are the names of the eight children of the parents of our subject: Thomas W., Mary I.. Henry W., Charles R., Alonzo, Dora, Kate, and Eliza, the fifth child, who died at the age of fourteen.
The subject of this biographical sketch had the advantages of a good home training in his boyhood and every opportunity to secure & liberal education. After leaving the public schools of Golconda, he entered McKendree College, where he laid a substantial foundation for his medical studies, which he commenced at the age of eighteen years. He subsequently became a student at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, one of the leading institutions of the kind in this country, and was graduated therefrom in the Class of '64. He had the further advantage of practical experience in his profession at the hospital in Philadelphia, where he remained eighteen months. Returning then to his native village, he has been in active practice here ever since, and the bright promises of a career of honor and usefulness in his i)profession have been amply fulfilled. The people who have known him from birth, and those with whom he grew up, have watched his course with pride, and value his services as a wise and careful physician}who gives each patient the benefit of his utmost skill and learning, and has been uniformly successful in coping with disease in the various forms that have been presented to him for treatment.
The Doctor's high reputation won him the appointment of physician and surgeon of the Southern Illinois Penitentiary at Chester, in December, 1883, but he declined the position, preferring to continue his private practice. He is a member in high standing of the Southern Illinois Medical Society. He is also prominent in social circles as a member of Golconda Lodge No. 292, I. O. O. F.; and of Lodge No. 1864, K. H. His politics are of the Republican order.
Dr. McCoy was married September 9, 1869, to Miss Christie E. Sin, a native of this county, born two and a-half miles from Golconda, and a daughter of Captain Alexander Sin. Her husband finds in her a congenial companion and a devoted wife, her children a tender mother, and the Presbyterian Church an earnest and active member. Five children have blessed her marriage with our subject: Theodore S., Bertie, Mabel H., Daisy V. and Owen S.
Extracted from Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, published in 1893, page 196
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