Sketches of Monroe and Union County, Stack & Beasley 1902 - “James D. McRae was born in Anson County, November 16, 1858. He moved to Monroe in 1881 and has since made it his home. For several years he worked with the old and reliable house of A.H. Crowell & Son. In 1894 he engaged in the mercantile business with Mr. T.C. Collins and continued with him until September, 1901. That business was merged in the “McRae Mercantile Co.” later on. Mr. McRae is serving his third term as city alderman. Twice before he was elected by large majorities and the last time all parties united on him and he was elected without opposition. Mr. McRae is a very successful businessman and a most agreeable gentleman.”
James David McRae (1858-1924), born to Scottish-born farmer John Cornelius McRae and Laura Huntley, first married Eliza May (unknown) about 1882; he later married Frances Davis “Fannie” McIntosh in 1922 in Lincoln County.
The 1910 Monroe census noted general-store merchant James 51, Eliza M. 48, (married 28 years) J. Thurman 21, Eula 19, Onida 13 and 6-year-old David H. McRae. By 1920, James was a traveling salesman living on Hayne Street with wife May, daughter Oneida 22 and son David 16.