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Hon. James W McDill


Posted By: Kathy Parmenter (email)
Date: 3/31/2005 at 09:10:55

HON. JAMES WILSON McDILL was born in Butler County, Ohio, March 4, 1834. He is of Scotch-Irish descent.

His maternal great-grandfather served under General Marion in the Revolutionary War; his ancestors came from South Carolina to Ohio.

His father was a graduate of Miami University, and was a minister of the Associate Reformed Church. His mother was the daughter of Rev. R. G. Wilson, of Chillicothe, Ohio, for fifteen years president of Ohio University, Athens, Ohio. Mr. McDill's father died when his son was about six years of age, leaving a family of children to be reared by the mother, a woman of uncommon courage and ability. In 1845, she went to live with her father at South Salem, Ohio, where young McDill had the advantage of the careful instruction of his grandfather.

He was admitted to :Miami University in 1851, and graduated in 1853, and in the same year removed to Kossuth, in Iowa, where he became a teacher of languages; he determined, however, to study law, and returned to Ohio, for a while where he taught a district school.

In 1855, he entered, as a student, the office of the Hon. Samuel Galloway, Columbus, Ohio, and was admitted to the bar in 1856. He spent the next winter at Burlington, Iowa, and in the spring of 1857, removed to Afton, his present home, then a pioneer settlement in the western wilderness. Here he began to practice law.

He was married, in 1857, to Miss Narcissa Fullinwider, of Kossuth.

In 1858, Mr. McDill became County Superintendent, at the munificent salary of $75 per year. In 1859, he was Chosen County Judge, and in 1861, on the invitation of his friend, Hon. J. W. Grimes, he visited Washington and was appointed to a clerkship of the Senate Committee on the District of Columbia. In 1862, he was appointed Clerk in the Treasury Department, and later, put in charge of Claims Division, Third Auditor's Department.

In 1866, he returned to Afton, and resumed law practice. In 1868, he was appointed Circuit Judge, and in 1870, District Judge, Third Judicial District, to fill a vacancy, and at next election was complimented with an unanimous election to the same office, there being no opposion. In 1872, he was nominated by the Republicans in the Eighth Congressional District of Iowa, and was elected Congressional District of Iowa, and was elected to Congress, receiving 12, 675 votes, to 6,999 cast for Col. Merritt. In the Forty-third Congress he was a member of the Committee on Pacific Railroads.

From Illustrated Centennial Sketches, Map and Directory of Union County, Iowa, Published by C.J. Colby, Creston, Iowa, 1876.


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