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Kentucky Genealogy and Biography, Volume IV, Battle-Perrin-Kniffien, 3rd ed., 1886.
J. WES. McCLANAHAN was born January 6, 1829, in Robertson County, Tenn., and is the only child of Peter L. and Emily J. (Straughn) McClanahan, who were born and reared in Northumberland County, Va. Peter L. McClanahan had learned the tinner’s trade, but aftr he became of age he followed farming. In 1825 he immigrated to Robertson County, Tenn.; about two years later located in the south part of Simpson County, Ky. He was born in 104, and his father, Thomas McClanahan, of Virginia, was a stock trader, and of Scotch-Irish descent. Mrs. Emily J. McClanahan was a daughter of J. C. and Sally (Phillips) Straughn, who were born and reared in Virginia and of English descent. J. C. Straughn was a captain in the war of 1812; immigrated to Woodford County, Ky., about 1815, and about 1820 moved to Robertson County, Tenn. He was for many years major of militia. About 1848 he moved to and settled in St. Francis County, Mo., where he died in 1855, aged seventy-five years. J. Wes McClanahan received a common school education, and with the exception of nearly two years spent in Gallatin County, Ill., has resided in Simpson County, Ky., on a farm. He married Lydia A. Powell, of Simpson County, Ky., in February, 1857, a daughter of Enoch and Martha (Dinning) Powell, born, respectively, in North Carolina and Simpson County, Ky. Enoch Powell was a farmer and had been a magistrate for twelve years and assessor for eight years. He had settled in Kentucky in about 1820. Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. McClanahan: Mary E. Wade, Susan B. Ford and Mattie Lovell. Mrs. McClanahan died September 22, 1875, a devoted member of the Baptist Church. After his marriage Mr. McClanahan located on a farm, where he remained until 1869, when he moved to Franklin in order to educate his children. Since his residence in Franklin he has been constantly engaged in the leaf tobacco trade; is the owner of three farms containing 500 acres, which he has accumulated by his own industry and economy. He has been twice elected major of Franklin; also served as councilman eight terms. He is a member of the I. O. O. F.; in politics he is a Democrat and cast his first presidential vote for Pierce. In 1872 he voted for Charles O’Conor.