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Pioneer – Timothy McCarthy, Larned Cemetery, Larned, Pawnee County, Kansas

Timothy McCarty filed on a 160-acre claim east of Larned in February 1872 and was one of the citizens who signed the title to the original townsite of Larned on December 2, 1873.

Sgt.-Major Timothy McCarthy was born in Ireland in 1835. At the age of 16, he came to America and settled in Boston. It was there where he enlisted in Co. K 1st US Infantry in the year 1854. McCarthy enlisted three times and was finally discharged in 1867. His time in the Civil War was active as he fought in many major battles including First Bull Run, Antietam, Gettysburg, and Yorktown. He was honorably discharged in 1864. Two months later, he reenlisted and served with General Ulysses S. Grant until Lee’s surrender at Appomattox on April 9, 1865.

When Timothy first came to Pawnee County, he opened a saloon and billiard hall. In 1875, he settled down and married Julia Seeley. The birth of their daughter the following year completed their family.

As a pioneer, Timothy was at the forefront of the organization and growth of Larned and Pawnee County. He served as county commissioner, county clerk, postmaster, and mayor. He served on the Board of Directors of the Kansas State Historical Society. He was the principal stock owner and cashier of the First State Bank of Larned.

Sgt.-Major McCarthy remained active in the military. He was the Commander of the B.F. Larned Post No. 8 and Department Commander of the Kansas GAR. At the time of his death in 1900, he was serving his second term as mayor of Larned.

Timothy underwent surgery to remove an abscess on his lung. The operation was unsuccessful, and Timothy died on June 12, 1900. The tolling of city hall and church bells announced his death. On the day of his funeral, many businesses closed. Flags around town flew at half-mast. He is buried in Larned Cemetery.

The rest of the story: Julia remarried and died in 1940. Their daughter, Nora, married and passed away in 1946. They are both buried in Union-Graham Cemetery in Winfield, Kansas. The Seeley family can be traced back to 1724 with the birth of Justus Seeley in Connecticut.

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