JOHN GRAHAM MULCASTER, agent of the Illinois Central Railroad at Makanda, Illinois, and a citizen who has been identified with the realty interests of Southern Illinois for some years, is a veteran of the Spanish-American war, and a member of an English family of great antiquity, which traces its lineage back to the year 1066. His father, Richard Mulcaster, was a son of Thomas Mulcaster, a younger brother of Lord Mulcaster, of Ravenglass, England, and the family
home in England, "Brackenthewaite," an estate of one thousand acres, has been in the possession of the family for more than six hundred years. Mr. Mulcaster was born October 1, 1876, in Monroe county, Illinois.
Richard Mulcaster was born at Carlisle, county Cumberland, England, June 1, 1829, and received excellent educational advantages, being sent to Oxford College, but before graduating therefrom enlisted in the English navy during the Crimean war, and served until the close of that struggle. On his return to England he was for two years engaged in civil engineering, and then went to Toronto, Canada, and later, in 1857, to Troy, where he assisted in laying out the town. He then returned to his native country, but at the time of the breaking out of the Civil war came to the United States, and remained in New Orleans until the close of the war, being employed by the Confederate Government as a civil engineer, although he never enlisted in the Southern army. When the war had closed he came North, and settled in Monroe county on the Mississippi river, near Modoc, where he purchased a farm, but subsequently removed to Waterloo, Illinois, and became a school teacher and justice of the peace. In 1884 he located in Jackson county, purchasing a farm in Degonia township and there carried on agricultural pursuits and conducted a general merchandise store until 1892, when he retired from activities. His death occurred in Murphysboro, March 4, 1894. In 1867 Mr. Mulcaster was married to Miss Mary Hickman, at Kimmswick, Jefferson county, Missouri, and she is still living, making her home at St. Louis, and has been the mother of seven children, of whom John Graham is the fourth in order of birth. She is a member of the Episcopal church, of which her late husband was also an attendant, and his political belief was that of the Republican party. Mrs. Mulcaster, in 1849, when a child, was a member of a party bound for California in prairie schooners, journeying via St. Joseph, Missouri, and Salt Lake, and this same party followed on the heels of the one which was exterminated in the Mountain Meadow massacre.
John Graham Mulcaster attended the country schools of which his father was the teacher from the time he was six years old until he was ten, at which early age he entered the Murphysboro High School, and was graduated therefrom four years later. He then secured employment in the general office of the St. Louis Ore and Steel Company, where he worked eighteen months, and then became an employe of the Western Union Telegraph Company, remaining one year and completing a course in telegraphy. Leaving that firm, Mr. Mulcaster went to work for the Mobile & Ohio Railroad, where he spent three years as an operator, resigning to accept a position with the Illinois Central Railroad, with which he was connected at the time of the outbreak of the Spanish-American war. Enlisting in the Seventh United States Signal Corps, under Captain J. B. Inman, of Springfield, Mr. Mulcaster served in General Shafter's Army at Santiago, Cuba, and then went with General Miles' expedition to Porto Rico, remaining there until the close of the war, after which he assisted in putting in the telegraph service throughout that island. He was mustered out of the service at Chicago, in December, 1898, and shortly thereafter re-entered the service of the Illinois Central as railroad agent at Herrin. Since that time he has held the same positions at various stations, and is now located at Makanda. Mr. Mulcaster has invested his money in real estate, and now owns considerable property at various places in Illinois and Oklahoma.
On May 6, 1900, Mr. Mulcaster was married to Miss Ella Walker, of Carterville, Illinois, daughter of J. B. Walker, a prominent farmer. Mr. Mulcaster is an earnest worker in the ranks of the Republican party, and his loyalty has been rewarded by election to the offices of alderman and village clerk. He is a member of the ancient and august order, A. F. & A. M., of the Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias, and he and Mrs. Mulcaster attend the Baptist church. In all matters pertaining to the welfare of his adopted locality Mr. Mulcaster has shown the greatest interest, and his aid and influence may always be counted upon to forward movements of a progressive nature. He is widely known through Southern Illinois, and wherever he has been stationed has had hosts of friends.