The scion of an old Virginia family that staked its all on the fortunes of the Confederacy and lost all, James T. McCary, of Garfield county, this state, was obliged to begin life with nothing and make his way in the contest for supremacy among men by his own efforts. He was born near the historic city of Richmond, in the Old Dominion, in 1858, and is the son of Craven P. and Mary (Weigand) McCary, also natives of Virginia. At the beginning of the Civil war the father enlisted in the Southern army and during the four years of the awful conflict he was in active service, following his convictions through one deluge of death after another until the last flag of his cause was unfurled in final and unconditional surrender. He moved his family to Colorado in 1872, and for a number of years thereafter was actively engaged in farming and raising cattle. He retired from active pursuits some time ago on account of the infirmities of advancing age, and now makes his home with his son. His wife died in 1885, at the age of fifty. Several of her brothers were also valiant soldiers in the Confederacy. Her son James was the first born of her thirteen children, and passed his boyhood in his native place in the very midst of alarms, for their home was at the very front in the hostile section and was wasted by both armies in turn. At the age of fourteen, in 1872, he came with his parents to this state, and soon afterward engaged in the cattle business in company with his father. In 1882 he sold his interests in the business and removed to Grand Junction, Mesa county. Here he began farming on his own account, and seeing the promising conditions for fruit culture in this now prolific section in this product, he planted the first orchard in the region. In 1892 he left there for Cripple Creek in hope of making a rapid and substantial improvement in his fortunes by mining. During the next five years he followed this engrossing but delusive occupation, and in 1897 turned his attention once more to farming and the stock industry, locating on the ranch which he now occupies and owns on the banks of Grand river in Garfield county, known as the “Evergreen Fruit Farm.” His attention has more recently, however, been absorbed in fruit culture, his place being well adapted to this industry, and his fine orchards being abundant in their yield. Mr. McCary is proprietor of the Evergreen Fruit Farm, the finest in the county, consisting mostly of apple and peach trees. He has all carefully selected varieties, showing him to be master of his chosen enterprise. His is strictly a fruit farm and he is a fruit man, clearly understanding the propagating and care of trees to insure the highest quality of fruit, and today Mr. McCary is known as one of the leading orchardists in Garfield county. In 1885 he was married to Miss Josie Lomar, who died in 1887, at the age of twenty, leaving one child, their daughter Josie. Two years later he contracted a second marriage, his choice on this occasion being Miss Mary Evans, and they have three children, Vida, Dolly and James. Mr. McCary is one of the enterprising and progressive men of this part of the state, and stands well in the respect and good will of all who know him. He is prosperous in his business, driving it with energy and intelligence, and he brings to the service of his community the same qualities, which he applies to matters of public interest with breadth of view and a patriotic devotion to the progress and welfare of his county and state.
Source: Bowen, A. W. Progressive Men of Western Colorado. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., Publishers. 1905.