JOHN DANIEL McCLUSKEY
BIOGRAPHY and GENEALOGY
Franklin, Lawrence County, Alabama
John Daniel McCluskey was a lawyer, legislator and Democratic politician in Alabama. He was born in Newburg, Franklin County, Alabama, Aug. 6, 1841. He has been for many years a leading attorney at the bar of Vernon, Alabama, where he was mayor in 1878-79. He served in the State legislature in 1892-93 and in 1902-1906.
Capt. McCluskey was the son of James and Amanda Fitz Allen (Chiles) McCluskey, both of whom died before 1904. James McCluskey was born in Londonderry, County Derry, Ireland, in 1798, and on coming to America resided in Richmond, Va., and subsequently, in Norfolk, and in 1828 he moved to Franklin County, Alabama. He was a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, and was an optician, a merchant, and a farmer. He was a son of Bartholomew and Mary (McLeod) McCluskey, of Londonderry, Ireland. His wife, the mother of John D., was the daughter of Samuel and Fannie (Hewlett) Chiles, who lived at Bowling Green, Virginia. Samuel Chiles’ father, Henry Chiles, lost an arm during the American Revolution, in a brush with the British while engaged in earning dispatches from Washington to LaFayette.
John Daniel McCluskey was educated in Lawrence and Franklin counties, in the country schools, and at LaGrange college, receiving his legal education in the Lebanon (Tenn.) law school. Being left an orphan early in life, his boyhood was a continuous struggle against poverty, and his education was obtained only at the cost of much personal sacrifice. Before beginning to practice law he spent two years in the law office of R. E. Houston and then opened an office in Aberdeen, Mississippi, from which place he afterward moved to Vernon.
In Vernon, he has been most successful. He joined the Baptist church at Bethel church, Lawrence County, in 1856, and was an influential member of the Vernon Baptist church. He was an Odd Fellow since 1868, and filled all the chairs in that order; in Masonry he was equally prominent, being a Master Mason, and has filled all the chairs in his lodge.
When the Civil war broke out Captain McCluskey enlisted as a private in the Thirty-eighth regiment of Tennessee volunteers, and served with this regiment until after the battle of Perryville, and then, being incapacitated for further infantry service, he enlisted a company of cavalry, of which he became captain and which he led, as a part of the Fifth Alabama cavalry, until the close of the war. His war record is most creditable. He enjoyed during the war the friendship and confidence of Gen. N. B. Forrest and was with that gallant general in many of his raids. He led the charge, with Maj. William Wrenn, at Athens, Alabama, and alone at Newnan, Georgia.
Captain McCluskey married Aug. 9, 1874, Matilda Catherine Kuykendall, daughter of William and Leodicia (Springfield) Kuykendall, who lived in Monroe County, Mississippi. Both the Springfields and the Kuykendalls were early settlers of South Carolina, the Kuykendalls coming originally from Germany, and the Springfields from England and Scotland.
Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. McCluskey: Fannie Fitz Allen McCluskey, who married Prof. Charles V. Thompson, resided in Vernon, and had three children— Daniel Blackston Thompson, Matilda Kate Thompson, and Grace Thompson; Thommie Pocahontas McCluskey, who married William Zach Huggins, and resided with him in Egypt, Mississippi; their two children are Eugene Huggins and William Zach Huggins, Jr.; and Johnnie Dave McCluskey, the youngest daughter, unmarried in 1904, who lived in Vernon with her parents.
1.Notable Men of Alabama: Personal and Genealogical, Volume 1 edited by Joel Campbell DuBose
2. Alabama Official and Statistical Register