McCammon, John (1824-1893) | Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections
John McCammon was born on June 24, 1824 in Shirleysburg, Pennsylvania. He was the oldest son of John McCammon and Catherine Purdue, the oldest sister of John Purdue. John McCammon’s siblings were Samuel McCammon (father of John Purdue McCammon) and Ann McCammon Wicks.
John McCammon lost his father as a young boy, but remained in Pennsylvania with his mother when most of the Purdue family migrated to Ohio. When McCammon became an adult, he also moved to Ohio, then to Iowa. “Uncle,” or John Purdue, became a strong influence in his life. Purdue had already purchased farmland for most of his sisters and their descendents, and he specifically employed McCammon’s help in running Walnut Grove Farm in Warren County, Indiana. But after a few years, McCammon returned to Ohio to make his own way in the world. He continued an amiable correspondence with Uncle, however.
Not long after leaving Walnut Grove Farm, McCammon married Amanda Van Brimmer. They had two children, John and Ada. McCammon made his living as a merchant-tailor and accountant in Westerville, Ohio.
When John Purdue died in 1876, McCammon became one of four attorneys to settle Purdue’s estate. But the attorneys had undertaken a mammoth task; Purdue’s estate was a vast, complicated maze of paperwork. Despite the substantial fortune he had maintained for most of his life, Purdue died heavily in debt due to ailing mental health and various business troubles. As the years dragged on, it became increasingly clear to the heirs of John Purdue that no money could be extracted from the estate. But even after the other attorneys had died, moved away, or simply given up, John McCammon continued to work tirelessly on estate matters, employing the aid of his nephew John Purdue McCammon in later years. Even until just a few years before his own death on January 24, 1893, John McCammon continued to be a spokesman and advocate for the surviving family members and heirs of his uncle John Purdue.