Randolph  County,  Indiana

John  Winchester  Macy

            In the death of the late Judge John Winchester Macy, Randolph county lost one of its most remarkable men, a man who, although denied educational advantages in youth, yet by close application, studious habits and industry became more than a local leader in public affairs and a writer of fluency and perfect language; exhibiting a mind that for retentiveness, accuracy and volume was but little less than marvelous. Beginning life as a laborer, and amid humble conditions, his successful public career is an inspiration, tending as it does to prove the opportunities that await those who persevere. Many of the high public positions he filled were unsought by him, coming as they did as a recognition of his integrity, ability, untiring industry and loyalty to friends. Not Only did he leave an honored public and professional career as a legacy to his family, but his record as a soldier during the Civil war, is a precious heritage. The love for him of his comrades in arms proves that he had the mettle of which true warriors are made-warriors who fight for right and principle, not gain or glory. No less than his public and military record is his private and domestic life, for he was devoted to his family and friends, and in this respect leaves a memory that will not be forgotten.
            Judge Macy was born in Henry county, Indiana, June 12, 1843. He was a son of David and Priscilla (Lewellen) Macy, the father a native of Tennessee and the mother of Virginia. During the early boyhood of Judge Macy the family resided for a time in Howard county, Indiana, and unto his latest years he carried in his memory a vivid picture of the primitive conditions and hardships of social and industrial life in central Indiana at that early period. In 1854, with his parents, he removed to Randolph county, locating in the vicinity of Farmland. Here he grew to manhood, and nothing which concerned the prosperity of that neighborhood or the welfare of its people ever ceased to be of interest to him. Although a man of marked characteristics and strongly marked individuality, he had perhaps no trait of character more marked than his undying love for the friends and scenes of his youth and early manhood.
            On August 2, 1862, Mr. Macy proved his courage and patriotism by enlisting in Company A, Eighty-fourth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, in which he served faithfully and gallantly until the close of the war, and was adjutant and acting lieutenant during a portion of his service. These years as a soldier may be said to have been the beginning of his active life and for almost fifty years that life was one of aggressive, cheerful, unremitting industry. For awhile he worked as a wagon maker and afterward engaged in business at Farmland as a tinner. He became deputy clerk in 1867, and served in that capacity under John B. Goodrich and also under Taylor Semans. In 1876 Mr. Macy was elected clerk of the Randolph Circuit Court and served in that capacity for four years. In 1884, he was elected joint senator for the senatorial district then consisting of Randolph, Delaware and Henry counties and served with usefulness and distinction in the turbulent sessions of 1885 and 1887. At the close of his term as clerk of the Circuit Court, Mr. Macy engaged actively in business, and in the practice of law. Early in the year 1902 he was appointed by Governor Durbin judge of the Randolph Circuit Court, vice-Judge Albert 0. Marsh, who resigned that position to become United States pension agent for Indiana. Our subject was elected judge at the regular election in November, 1902, and served continually in that capacity for almost seven years in a manner that reflected much credit upon his ability, his profound knowledge of jurisprudence and his fidelity to public duty. He held his first session on January 15, 1902, and closed his term as regular judge on November 16, 1908. At the close of this service he entered with unabated interest into the practice of his profession, and continued with his usual large success and popularity until failing health compelled him to desist, though death alone ended his interest in the affairs of those who had been associates and friends for years.
            In December, 1871, Judge Macy was married to Sarah Edger, a woman of fine mind and rare gentleness and christian character. This union was blessed by the birth of six children, namely: Ralph, James and Edward who preceded their father to the Silent Land; Shields S., who lives in Oklahoma; Kate, who is the wife of John D. Miller of Winchester, and John W., Jr., an attorney of Winchester, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this volume. Mrs. Macy also survives.
            For four or five years immediately following their marriage Judge Macy and wife lived in Kentucky, where the Judge was engaged in lumbering and merchandising, but from that time until his death, which occurred on August 26, 1912, when nearly seventy years of age, he had lived in Winchester, Indiana.
            Judge Macy lived a life of unusual service. He possessed marked talents and extraordinary force of character. His ability as a business man and lawyer, his success as a jurist and his popularity as a trial judge are well known to the readers of this book. He was a most gifted and charming conversationalist, and was personally acquainted with almost everyone in Randolph county and had besides a wide range of acquaintances everywhere. No estimate of the man which fails to note his capacity to make and keep friends can do him justice. Open-handed, open-minded, delighting always, in being of service to others, he had almost unerring intuitions in immediately grasping the wants, needs and capabilities of those with whom his active life brought him in contact. He was a man of great natural strength of affection, and his love for the living, like his grief for the dead, was not demonstrative or selfish, but warm, constant and undying. He will long be missed in many spheres of action and by many friends everywhere, but no where so much as by those who knew and loved him best.
Past and Present of Randolph County, Indiana, 1914.
Contributed by Gina Richardson

Biography Index        Main Page

The Randolph County, Indiana INGenWeb family history site is maintained by Phyllis Fleming.  Copying is permitted for noncommercial, educational use by individual scholars and libraries. You may link to this page with prior permission, provided no fee is required to access the link, but no commercial use of this material is permitted.  This message must appear on all copied material.