Is a native of Carlyle, Clinton county, Ill. He was born June 27, 1828. The family, on the paternal side, are Scotch-Irish extraction, and on the maternal, of Welsh ancestry. John. M. O’HARNETT, the father of the present family, was a native of Delaware. At an early age he removed to Tennessee, and there married. Subsequently he removed to Kentucky, and in April, 1828, came to Carlyle, Clinton county, Illinois, and remained here until his death, which occurred November 20, 1840. He was quite a prominent man in the county, and was elected Probate Judge for several terms, and was also justice of the peace for many years. His wife died Dec. 7, 1845, in St. Louis, where she had gone the June preceding. He was a soldier of the Black Hawk war, and was in the service three months. Capt. M. J. in his youth received such an education as the subscription schools of the county afforded, and remained at home until the breaking out of the Mexican war, when he enlisted May 16, 1847, and Capt. BOND’s company, or company A, of the 5th Ill. regiment. Col. NEWBY commanding.

The company rendezvoused at Alton, where the regiment was organized, then embarked in boats, and went up the river to Fort Leavenworth, and from there marched across the plains to Santa Fe, New Mexico.

He enlisted as a private, was appointed a drummer, and afterward promoted to the fourth sergeantcy of his company. He was mustered out in October, 1848, and returned to Carlyle, where he engaged in mercantile business and general trading until the breaking out of the late war. He had, prior to that time, formed an independent company of cavalry. On the first of September, 1861, they enlisted in the U.S. service, and were attached to the 30th regiment Illinois Infantry. They remained with that regiment until after the battle of Shiloh, when they were organized into what was known as "Steward’s Battalion," and subsequently became a part of the 15th Illinois Cavalry, under command first of Col. STEWARD, then Col. BACON. He was elected captain of his company, and remained in the service until March, 1863, when he resigned on account of ill health, and inability to perform military duty. He returned home, and from that time to the present has been engaged principally in farming and stock raising.

Politically, Capt. O’Harnett was a democrat until the formation of the greenback party, since which he has voted the greenback ticket. In 1865 he was nominated and elected county judge on the democratic ticket, and served one term in that office. Prior to that time he had been justice of the peace for one term, at Aviston, in this county.

On the 4th of December, 1850, he was united in marriage to Miss Mary STEPHENS, a native of Clinton county, Ill. She died May 17, 1871. There are four children, living, by that marriage. Amanda, the eldest daughter, is the wife of Frank HUBERT, and Elizabeth is the wife of John Hubert. The others are unmarried. On the 6th of November, 1876, he married Mrs. Mary W.. HUGGINS, nee MOORE. Mrs. O’Harnett had two children by her former marriage. Her daughter Ada is the wife of Oliver LYON.

Source: History of Marion and Clinton Counties, Illinois, 1881, Brink, McDonough & Co., Philadelphia

Submitted by: Pamela Safriet

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Database table Bio_Index modified: 5 Nov 2016
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