The McTaggart Family

Submitted by Daniel Smith Jr.


Seated: William, Georgia, Ida
Standing: Mary, Laura, Grace, Guy, Maud, Dicinda

The McTaggart clan came to the Ohio Valley in 1823. Scottish Highlanders, William and Jane Reed McTaggart and their two children, Hugh and Edward, came from Campbeltown, Scotland in a sailing vessel. Their home, for a brief time, was near Wheeling.

A cousin, Archibald Henderson, owned a large tract of land at what was later known as Salama. William bought acreage from him and built an imposing house overlooking the Ohio river.

Four more children were born: Elizabeth, William Jr., Margaret and Jane. He later sold the farm to a Mr. Friend Cochran. On July 24, 1847, Hugh married Dicinda Deviese Phillips of Oak Grove. They bought a farm in the hills, a mile from the river. Their children were: John - married Mary Jane Feeney; Isabel - married Turner Page; Jesse - (deceased); William - married Ida Rymer; Hugh - married Mary Ellen Ruckman. William and Ida were my parents. She was the daughter of Harrison and Jane Sharp Rymer. Their children were: Guy - married Judith Ruckman; William Carey died at age 9 from diabetes; Edith Grace married Winton White, daughter Rebecca; Maud - unmarried; Laura - married Harry Cunningham, son Robert; Mary - married William Day, son Glen; Dicinda - married Samuel McAtee, children Patricia, Colleen, James; Georgia - married Ralph Smith, son Daniel.

My father had attended Marietta College and was a lay preacher in the Baptist Church, but farming was his way of life. He bought acreage in three parcels adjoining his parents' farm and, with the help of his brother Hugh, cleared the land. A sawmill produced enough lumber for the large home and all the farm buildings and two cattle barns in the far pasture.

All fields were enclosed with split rail fences, some were "stake and rider". He raised beef cattle of the Hereford breed and some years sheep, when the market was good.

Fruit trees of many varieties and an orchard of 900 Rome Beauty apple trees surrounded the home. In April, when the Orchard trees were in bloom, it was truly "A thing of beauty".


McTaggart Hill Farm

In 1910, father formed a partnership with Mr. Hiram Carpenter for the management of the orchard and marketing. Their largest crop was in 1918. Due to the war there was manpower shortage and women from Belmont were hired to help. They graded and packed the apples in barrels and sometimes picked apples from the lower limbs of the trees. We called them "Soldiers at Home".

Pictured in a snapshot taken of the group at work were Alice Hammett, Mary Shingleton, Ione Dye, Sue Cantner and Nell Siepel. The barrels were hauled on horse-drawn wagons to Eureka where they were loaded in freight cars for shipment to market. Fred and Harry Delong were the teamsters who did the hauling.

In 1919, my father's dream of many years was realized. From Mr. Joseph Cochran he bought the farm at Salama where his Scottish grandparents had settled.

The family moved there and on the fertile river grew "the tallest corn in the valley".

Written by the late GEORGIA McTAGGART SMITH. Appropriate corrections and additions by Daniel Smith, Jr., grandson.

NOTE: My Grandmother, Georgia Smith, died in 1986, but for many years we endless conversations about her early years at the Hill Farm at Eureka. She lived most of her life in Flushing, Ohio. We have relatives buried in St. John and Willow Island cemeteries.

Golden Anniversary of Mr. & Mrs. William P. McTaggart
Nov. 12, 1933.


William P. & Ida McTaggart


Children of Mr. & Mrs. William P. McTaggart, 1920
Top row: Grace, Georgia, Dicinda, Mary.
Bottom: Maude, Guy, Laura.

Children of Mr. & Mrs. William P. McTaggart
Homecoming, Willow Island, 1957
From left: Guy, Grace, Maude, Laura with grandaughter Candace Cunningham
Mary, Dicinda, Georgia.