John H. McGary was born in Kentucky in 1842. In 1855 they came to Minnesota and located in Independence. In 1864 he enlisted in the Civil War and served one year. In 1866 he was married to Eliza Brandon. Their three children were Ruth, Katy and Omar Ray. John held the offices of assessor and town treasurer for nine years. He lived on the preemption claim made by his father on Section 15 for over sixty years. John McGary served during the Civil War along with S. Churchill, A. K. Richards, George Walsey, Robert Stimpson, James Shaver and others.
He wrote many articles regarding early events for a column for the Minnetonka Record. He wrote, "In 1857 the hard times and scourge of grasshoppers reduced the settlers to near poverty. The ginseng crop was called a God send to the people of western Hennepin County as the ginseng buyers paid spot cash, badly needed to pay taxes and buy necessities."
He writes of their journey to Minnesota, "In May, 1885, the families of Irvin Shrewsbury, John Williams, J. R. McGary and R. D. McGary and E. Brandon left southern Indiana by the overland route by ox team. It was seven hundred miles to Minneapolis, passing by Minnehaha Falls. On July 4th, 1885 we started out to settle in the Big Woods. There were no roads only a trail through swamp land and forest. On July 5th we reached the town of Independence where Job Moffitt had made the first settlement, locating on Pioneer Creek in Section 22. My father took up his claim in Section 15, N.W.
John's brother was Doctor Emus McGary from Missouri who was the father of Claude McGary who with his wife, Emma Cleveland lived at Lake Independence.
Mr. and Mrs. Moses Brandon and sons, J. D. and Ebenezer preempted land in Independence about 1856, coming from Jefferson County, Indiana. Their near neighbor also from Indiana was Frank Shrewsbury, who located here in 1855. J. D. Brandon, a farmer, also dealt in lumber and railroad ties. In 1876 he married Belle McDonald. Their children were Ida and Charles. Ebenezer Brandon was one of the first supervisors when the township was organized in 1958 at the home of J. Wilson. Overseer of the poor was Moses Brandon.