The life of the subject of this review has been such as to bear aloft the
high standard which has been maintained by his father, who was one of the
early residents of this section of the Prairie state, and whose life was
signally noble, upright and useful, one over which falls no shadow of wrong
in thought, word or deed. Such was the type of men who laid the foundation
and aided in the development of this state, and to their memories will ever
be paid a tribute of reverence and gratitude by those who have profited by
their well-directed endeavors and appreciated the lessons of their lives.
George A. McGahey, one of the leading grocers of Olney, Illinois, was born in this city, October 28, 1868, and decided to direct his life work along channels here, rather than seek uncertain advantages in other fields. He is the son of David Herman and Sarah E. (Swaim) McGahey, the former having been born near Palestine, Illinois, and the latter in Hamilton county, Ohio. The mother moved with her parents to Illinois when thirteen years old, settling near Olney on a farm in Richland county, where she grew to maturity. The father of the subject lived in Jasper county for a number of years, where he improved a farm. He later moved to Richland county where he married and bought a farm in Preston township, being among the early settlers here. About 1862 he moved to Olney where he lived until his death in 1897, at the age of sixty-two years. His wife, a woman of beautiful Chrisian faith, survives, living in Olney. They were the parents of two children, George A., our subject, and a sister, Mrs. E. W. Reef, of Carbondale, the former being the older. He was reared in Olney where he attended the public schools, graduating from the high school, having received a good practical education. He was assistant postmaster under J. C. Allen for some time, after which he went on the road selling wholesale groceries for a Cincinnati house, having been clerk in a grocery store for four years, during which time he thoroughly mastered this line of business, which he decided to make a life work. He was on the road for two years. In 1897 he purchased an interest in a grocery store in Olney under the firm name of Winans & McGahey, which firm successfully continued for three years. In 1900 our subject established his present grocery store, one of the largest in Olney or this locality anywhere. It occupies a space of eighteen by one hundred and seven feet, and a complete line of staple and fancy groceries is carried. A liberal trade has been built up within the city and surrounding country, and his customers are on the increase owing to the fair and courteous treatment that is accorded to all who visit this neat and well-kept store.
Mr. McGahey has never assumed the responsibilities of the married state, but lives at home with his mother and administers to her comfort.
In politics Mr. McGahey is a Democrat, having long taken an active part in the affairs of his party being a member of local Democratic committees, etc. He is a director in the Business Men's Association of Olney, which has done much to promote the interests of Olney. He was one of the founders of the same, and has been one of its leading advocates. In his fraternal relations he is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
In all the relations of life Mr. McGahey has proved signally true to every trust. He possesses a social nature and by his genial and kindly attitude to those about him, has won the respect and confidence of everyone. He has been very successful, being known as an able and careful businessman and one whose integrity of purpose is beyond question.
Extracted 26 Apr 2017 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 190-191.