This venerable defender of the flag on many fields of blood is one of the substantial citizens of Nez Perces County, residing two miles south from Southwick, and in his private life, as in the service of his country, he has manifested the true courage born of principle, and has been dominated by the wisdom that has materialized the enterprises of business into a goodly competence for the golden years of his active and well spent life.

James W. McFadden was born in Venango County, Pennsylvania, on December 5, 1838, being the son of John and Mary McFadden. James W. grew up on a farm, received a good education and when the Civil war broke out enlisted in Company H, Fourth Pennsylvania Cavalry.

Three years later, when his time had expired, he reenlisted in the same company and served until the close of the war – ten months. He was in the battles of Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, besides many others. His regiment participated in seventy-five battles and skirmishes. Being honorably discharged at the close, Mr. McFadden returned to his home, having the satisfaction of knowing that, although he had suffered almost untold hardship, serving under Sheridan and others in active and vigorous warfare, the country was safe; he had rendered the patriot’s offering and is now entitled to the patriot’s honors and rewards.

On January 29, 1869, Mr. McFadden married Miss Hannah, daughter of John and Hannah (Weakley) Foster, natives of Pennsylvania, and the father was a veteran of the war of 1812. Mrs. McFadden was born in Mercer County, Pennsylvania, in April, 1833, and though now in her seventieth year she has no silver threads of age and is hearty and active after a pioneer’s life of labor. This marriage occurred in Mercer County and Mr. McFadden took up his residence in Venango County until 1876, then took train October 2 and came to San Francisco, thence to Portland by steamer, then up the Columbia by boat to Wallula, thence to Walla Walla, and there after a short stay a team was purchased and they went to Whitman County, where they took up a soldier’s homestead. In 1881 they sold that property and came to their present place. A preemption was taken and as much more land was added by purchase later, and since that time they have labored on together and have been attended by the prosperity that comes to wise industry. Mr. McFadden was forced to go to Lewiston and Moscow for all supplies, and often paid twenty cents per pound for sugar and other things in proportion. The nearest neighbors were some miles away, and they labored with zeal and determination to make their valuable and handsome estate. Three hundred acres are brought under tribute to produce annual fruitage, and thirty acres are devoted to a valuable orchard. Two imposing barns grace the estate, outbuildings in abundance, and a nine room residence of modern architectural design is the comfortable and tasty home.

Mr. and Mrs. McFadden are deserving of great credit for the wisdom and labor they have shown, and they are accorded the same in generous measure. They are both members of the Presbyterian Church and are devout in the faith. Four children have been born to them, John P., married to Esther Mathew, in Nez Perces County; James M., married to Bertha Guernsey, near Peck; Clyde E. died eight years ago, aged twenty-one; Bernice, wife of Lee Mathew, in this County. The eldest son has three children, the second two, and the daughter is the mother of one child.

Back to: Nez Perce Biographies

Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903