As a boy and a youth, James McMahon attended the public schools, in the meantime being well drilled in the various branches of general farming. Beginning life as a wage-earner, he worked in the lumber camps and in saw mills for a while, afterwards becoming a fireman on the Pere Marquette Railroad, and later being employed in rafting logs down the Saginaw river. In 1884 he came to Baraga county, and for a year was in the employ of the Nester estate. Embarking then in business on his own account, Mr. McMahon opened a dispensary, and also engaged in the lumber business, continuing in both lines of industry until elected judge of probate, a position which he still holds.
Mr. McMahon married, in 1886, Annie Auge, who was born in Baraga, a daughter of John and Elizabeth Auge, natives, respectively, of France and England. Eight children have blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. McMahon, namely: James F., Thomas C, William, Helen, Frank, Charles, Elizabeth, and Martha. Mrs. McMahon passed to the life beyond June 17, 1904.
Mr. McMahon is an unswerving Republican in polities, and has served as judge of probate since 1902, having been re-elected in 1904, and in 1908. He is now clerk of the village of Baraga; has been secretary of the Baraga Board of Education the past fifteen years: and has served as postmaster of Baraga for seven years.