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David M. McFarland

David McConkey MacFarland, one of the leading and most successful business men of Chester County, and a prominent and public spirited citizen of West Chester, is a representative member of the that distinguished class of self-made men, who not only deserve success,but who win it. He is a son of James and Mary (McConkey) MacFarland,and was born in Tredyffrin township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, May 6, 1839. James MacFarland (father) was a native of Montgomery county,was of Scotch-Irish descent, and in early life, came to Chester valley, where he engaged in farming and removed to Phoenixville in 1840, where he continued farming and kept the celebrated “Fountain Inn” for five years. At the end of that time, he removed to Mercer county, and invested all of his means in iron enterprises. He died April 19, 1849, when in the forty-fifth year of his age. He married Mary McConkey, and reared a family of seven children. Mrs. MacFarland,who died February 18, 1891, at eight-six years of age, was a daughter of John McConkey, a native of the north of Ireland, who married Elizabeth Rickabaugh, and settled in Tredyffrin township, where he followed his trade of cooper for several years, in connection with farming.

David M. MacFarland was reared on the farm and received his education in the common schools. At sixteen years of age he went into the great school of life to do for himself, and commenced his remarkably successful business career as a clerk in the office of his maternal uncle, David McConkey, a successful broker, and dealer in mortgages.by his natural aptitude for business and close attention to details he became indispensable in the office, and in a few years was entrusted with the management of the business. His uncle died on February 28,1868, and in the following month of March, Mr. MacFarland succeeded to the large and renumerative business of the office, and which he has continued to develop until it has reached its present large proportions.

On September 11, 1866, Mr. MacFarland married Mary M. Rothrock, a sister of J. T. Rothrock, the great American botanist, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this volume. To Mr. and Mrs. MacFarland have been born six children, three of whom are still lving, two sons and one daughter: Charles T., who is engaged in business in West Chester;Elizabeth W and George Kim, the latter now a student at the Pennsylvania State College.

In politics Mr. MacFarland is a republican, but his life has been and is predominantly a business one. He does a money loaning and private banking business, and has devoted himself to home investments, whereby he furnishes a large amount of capital that is employed in building up and operating different enterprises, and in the development and improvement of many farms. He loans money on mortgages in real estate in Chester, Delaware, Lancaster and many other of the best counties of the Keystone State. Mr. MacFarland is a well-known business man of established integrity, and to his well-directed and conservative management of his various enterprises may be attributed a part of his remarkable success. His prosperity is also largely the reward of his ability and perseverance.

It is Justly said that the progress and prosperity of a county depends not so much on the natural advantages and facilities it offers, as upon the character and spirit of its leading men, and David M.MacFarland is among those of that class who have contributed largely to the permanent prosperity and material development of Chester County.

Owner/SourceGarner: Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chester County, Pennsylvania. pp. 765-766
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