Cyrus McCormick was born in 1809 at Willow Grove, the McCormick family
farm near Steeles Tavern, Va. The farm operated a sawmill, a cider mill, a distillery, two
grain mills and a smokehouse. Cyrus McCormick's father, Robert, had worked on a
horse-drawn reaper off and on from 1815, but was never able to get his designs to work
In 1831, Robert McCormick abandoned his efforts to perfect his reaper. Working
in the farm's blacksmith shop, his 22-year-old
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met with President Lincoln in the White House, where he told her that he had heard
her speeches long before.
After the Civil War, she set out on a final crusade to gain support for her dream of
a land distribution program for former slaves, an idea which, despite her lobbying,
Congress refused to enact. Finally she returned to her home in Battle Creek, Michigan,
where, surrounded by her family and friends, she died in 1883.