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McArthur, John (17 November 1826–15 May 1906), soldier, businessman, and public servant, was born in Erskine Parish, on the River Clyde, in Renfrewshire, Scotland, the son of John McArthur and Isabella Neilson, who anticipated that he would become a Presbyterian divine. But he opted for employment in his father’s blacksmithery. In 1849—one year after he married a neighbor, Christine Cuthbertson—he emigrated to the United States, joining his brother-in-law, Carlile Mason, in Chicago. McArthur and Cuthbertson had seven children. After working for several years as a boilermaker and having accumulated some capital in 1854 McArthur entered into partnership with Mason as owner-manager of the Excelsior Ironworks, manufacturing “steam boilers, engines, and iron work of every description.” Buying out Mason, from 1858 to 1861 McArthur was sole operator of the business....