Sunday, February 19, 2012
McKercher John Randall (1872-1918)
A little known Iowa state representative and civic leader, McKercher J. "Mac" Randall was born on May 17, 1872 in Worth County, Iowa. The Randall family removed to Nebraska in the year following his birth, and returned to Iowa in 1879.
"Mac", as he was familiarly known, attended schools local to the Worth County area and earned his law degree in 1901, graduating from the State University of Iowa. He opened a law practice in the town of Lisbon and plied his craft here for several years, and was elected as Mayor of Lisbon in 1905.
Randall married his wife, Katherine Stahl (a native of Lisbon) in February 1897 and this union produced two sons, John David and Milo, who is listed as dying nine years before his father. McKercher Randall's obituary in the Lisbon Herald gives mention that he was engaged as a minister for a number of years while living in Lisbon, and that "he was strength in itself in this profession, being deep and ready in the pulpit and tactful and sympathetic in the pastorate."
Randall left Lisbon in 1908, and soon resettled in Cedar Rapids. He established another law practice here and also became active in social affairs in his new home, serving as the president of the Cedar Rapids school board and later was named grand master of the grand lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows from 1914-1915.
In 1916, Mac Randall was elected as a Republican to the Iowa State House of Representatives, representing Linn County. His service in the state legislature was cut short by his death on May 9, 1918, shortly before his 46th birthday. His obituary lists the cause of his demise as an attack of apoplexy, and that he "passed away two hours later". Randall was subsequently interred in the Lisbon Cemetery in Lisbon, Iowa.
I also must give a big shout out to the Iowa State Legislature website, where the above picture of Randall was found. This wonderful website has taken the time to develop a section with the subheading "Historical Information". This expansive section catalogs, lists and gives biographical information on nearly all of Iowa's past legislators! This particular site as been of great use to me and my research, and has yielded a great many politicians that will eventually be profiled here!
This picture of McKercher J. Randall appeared in his obituary in the Lisbon Herald in May 1918.