star Iowa Civil War Home



A B C D E F G H I J K L M Mc N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Biographies beginning with Mc

Past and Present in Allamakee County, by Ellery M. Hancock.  2 vols. Chicago:
S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1913.

Hugh McCabe

Surnames: McCabe, Gates, Montgomery, Howe, Sullivan

Hugh McCabe has been a resident of Allamakee county since 1848 and has, therefore, witnessed its entire growth and development, for few settlements had been made within its borders at the time of his arrival and al the evidences of frontier life were to be seen, while the hardships and trials incident to pioneer existence were to be met. Mr. McCabe was at that time only a child, but even then he bore his share in the general burden and through many active, honorable and worthy years since that time has worked his way upward to success. His record may well serve as a source of inspiration and encouragement, showing what may be accomplished by energy and determination, intelligently directed, for it has been by his own efforts that he has gained the prominent position which he now occupies as a substantial agriculturist of this county. Hugh McCabe was born in County Armagh, Ireland, in March, 1839, and when he was still a child crossed the Atlantic with his uncle, who was first mate on the ship Abbie Blanchard, sailing between Liverpool and New York. Mr. McCabe spent a few years in the latter city and then came west to Iowa, settling in Allamakee county in 1848. He remained, however, only a few months, later taking a steamer down the Mississippi to St. Louis, where for three months he worked in the employ of Pat McCann. Returning to Allamakee county, he worked upon a farm for three years, earning one hundred dollars per year. He also drove stage for some time but abandoned both occupations at the outbreak of the Civil war, when he enlisted in the Union army, joining Company B, Twelfth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, under Captain Earle. The regiment was sent to St. Louis, where it drilled for a time, and then was transferred to the seat of war, participating in the battles of Fort Henry, Fort Donelson and Shiloh. In the latter engagement Mr. McCabe was taken prisoner and held for six months and eleven days, first in Macon, Georgia, and afterward in the famous Libby prison, from which he was paroled and sent to Benton Barracks at St. Louis. Having secured a thirty day furlough, he returned to Waukon and spent time recuperating and visiting old friends, later returning to Benton Barracks, where his company was reorganized and sent south to Vicksburg. Mr. McCabe there worked on a canal and with his comrades fought his way to Jackson, Mississippi, where he took part in the battle of that city and also in the engagement at Black River Bridge. Under General Sherman his regiment participated in the Vicksburg campaign and siege and was present at the fall of the city. It was later sent down the river to New Orleans and Mobile and thence to Spanish Fort. In 1864 Mr. McCabe took part in the battle of Tupelo, Mississippi, and was there wounded by a piece of shell but not disabled. He served until the close of the war and was mustered out at Memphis, Tennessee, afterward returning north, where he received his honorable discharge at Davenport, Iowa, in January, 1866. In that year he returned to Waukon and, on April 2, married Miss Lydia Alice Gates, a native of Ohio, born in Butler county, near Cincinnati. She is a daughter of Samuel and Mary Ann (Montgomery) Gates, who moved from Ohio to Indiana, where they resided in St. Joseph county. They afterward moved to South Bend and then to Iowa, driving through with two ox teams and settling in Allamakee county in 1857. Mr. and Mrs. McCabe began their domestic life on a forty acre tract of wild land, which Mr. McCabe proceeded to break, fence and improve. He built upon it a cabin, in which they made their home until he traded the farm for a one hundred and twenty acre tract, slightly improved. He fenced this property, added to it more land and now owns two hundred acres, constituting one of the finest farms in this section of the state. At one time he held title to over three hundred acres. Throughout the years he has steadily carried forward the work of development, building a fine residence, a good barn and substantial outbuildings and installing all the machinery and equipment necessary to the conduct of a model agricultural enterprise. His success is the more creditable to him because it has been attained entirely through his own labors, for he came to America a poor boy, penniless and without friends, and he has made each year of his activity since that time a period in his advancement until today he is one of the most substantial and representative citizens of the county, which he has aided in upbuilding. Mr. and Mrs. McCabe became the parents of six children, four of whom are still living. Mary Ellen grew to maturity and married Ed Howe. She passed away leaving three sons. Lizzie lives at home. Alice, who is deceased, was the wife of Cornelius Sullivan. John Emmett is married and makes his home upon his farm. Katherine lives at home. Thomas Henry also resides upon the home farm. The family are members of the Roman Catholic church. Few men in Allamakee county are more widely known than Mr. McCabe, who is numbered among the original settlers in this section of the state. In his youth he helped to build the first log cabin in Waukon for Scott Shattuck, who gave forty acres for the town site. For sixty-five years he has lived in the county and is one of the few who have so long witnessed its growth and development. Throughout a great portion of this period he has made his home on the farm which is yet his place of residence, but he has not confined his attention and efforts to it alone, although he has made it a valuable property. From time to time he has given hearty cooperation to many movements for the public good and has been one of the great forces which have transformed the county from a wilderness and reclaimed the region for purposes of civilization.


Hugh McCafferty was born in Philadelphia but the year of his birth is uncertain. In military documents his age was listed as 18 when he enlisted (indicating a birth year of 1843 or 1844), but in postwar pension documents the age he listed indicated a birth year of 1847 or 1848 possibly indicating he may have been underage and made a "patriotic fib" when he enlisted.

On August 12, 1862, Hugh and several others were enrolled at Elkader, Iowa, by Elisha Boardman in what would be Company D of the 21st Iowa volunteer infantry. The company was mustered in on August 22nd and the regiment on September 9th, both at Camp Franklin on Eagle Point in Dubuque although Hugh "was absent when the company was mustered in" and, as a result, did not receive the $25.00 advance on the enlistment bounty, nor the $2.00 premium, nor the $13.00 advance monthly salary until much later.

On September 16th, from the levee at the foot of Jones Street, they boarded the sidewheel four-year-old steamer Henry Clay (an "old tub" according to some) and two barges tied alongside and left for war. Their early service was in Missouri where, on October 20th at Salem, Hugh was detailed as a teamster. Two months later they were in Houston where Hugh was fined $13.00 for unspecified "misconduct." Some members of the regiment engaged in a battle at Hartville in January before the regiment moved south to West Plains and then northeast through Thomasville, Ironton and Iron Mountain before reaching Ste. Genevieve on March 11, 1863. From there, in April, they were transported south to Milliken's Bend, Louisiana, where General Grant was assembling a large three-corps army at the start of his successful Vicksburg campaign.

Serving under General John McClernand, the regiment started south along the west side of the river on April 12th, the same day Hugh was detached and detailed to the 1st Iowa Battery of light artillery. The following month he was detailed to Battery A of the 2nd Illinois light artillery (also known as the Peoria Battery) and from there he was ordered back to his own regiment but due to illness was admitted to the division hospital. The siege of Vicksburg ended with the city's surrender on July 4th and the regiment then participated in an expedition to and siege of Jackson before returning to Vicksburg and then being transported south to Carrollton, Louisiana, where it arrived on August 15th - but Hugh was still in Mississippi.

On August 19, 1863, he was arrested near Redbone Church and, on the 20th, the colonel of the 2nd Wisconsin Cavalry wrote to an assistant adjutant general that, "I forward to you under guard Private H. McCaverty 21st Iowa Vol Infty who has been going around the country at the head of a band of armed Negroes. I also send one of the band Daniel White (colored). They were taken by one of my scouting parties last evening". The Provost Marshal in Vicksburg then wrote to General McPherson that "the Prisoner McCafferty states that you sent him out as a Guard at a House beyond the lines, and that when taken he was in pursuit of a party of Rebels that had seized two Govt. wagons." McPherson disagreed saying, "I am inclined to think that this Private McCafferty is a bad man. I never sent him out as guard, but briefly gave him a pass to return to the house at which he had been staying." Hugh was ordered to report to his commanding officer since the regiment was about to move but "this he seems not to have done and he deserves some punishment." Unlike Hugh's earlier problem when he was fined $13.00, military records have no record of him being punished after returning to his regiment and later that month he was detailed as a teamster and ordered to report to a U.S. Constable at Carrollton.

While there he became sick and was sent to a convalescent camp on November 5th so he could regain his health while his regiment saw service in southwestern Louisiana. He was still there on November 23rd when his regiment boarded transports and left for the gulf coast of Texas. By then, the three-year commitments for men who had enlisted early in the war were nearing an end and, hoping to maintain the strength of the army, the War Department offered a $400 bounty and a thirty-day furlough to men willing to reenlist. The inducement proved to be a strong lure not only for men nearing the end of their commitments but also for Hugh McCafferty. On his release from the convalescent camp in January, 1864, he and fifteen of his comrades enlisted in the 1st Indiana artillery as veteran volunteers where they were examined by a surgeon and mustered into the regiment. When it was discovered that they were still on the rolls of the 21st Infantry and their terms had not expired, they were ordered returned to their regiment. As Gilbert Cooley noted, "Hugh McCaffery returned to the regiment and was put under arrest and charges preferred" for having enlisted in the 1st Indiana. A court martial was convened and, on July 9th, Hugh was found guilty of having enlisted in the Indiana artillery without being discharged from his own regiment and for disobeying an order to report to his regiment after being discharged from the convalescent camp. He was sentenced to lose five months' pay but Elisha Boardman wrote on Hugh's behalf that he "was no more guilty of improper conduct than the rest of these men" and he should not be penalized. The commanding general agreed, Hugh's sentence was remitted and he was returned to the regiment without penalty.

Hugh was present on the August 31st muster roll at Morganza, Louisiana but, on September 9th from the mouth of the White River, he was sent to Memphis where he was admitted to the Overton General Hospital for anemia. Three days later he was released and rejoined the regiment which had also moved to Memphis. In December, Hugh was again sick and, according to Cooley, Hugh "was left Sick in Camp on Dec. 21st 1864 while the Regiment went on what was known as Grierson Raid from Memphis from which the Regt returned Dec 27th." On the 31st, Cooley wrote again and again said Hugh was sick.

On January 5, 1865, the regiment arrived in New Orleans and made camp in Kennerville. To men aware they would soon be leaving on an expedition to Alabama, the "good times" of New Orleans proved to be a strong attraction, an attraction too strong for Hugh who visited the city without leave on January 21st and did not rejoin his regiment until ten days later.

On February 5th they boarded the George Peabody and, on the 6th, left for Alabama where they arrived on the 7th and bivouacked near Fort Gaines on Dauphin Island. A court martial was convened the next day and Hugh admitted his guilt. He had earlier been fined one month's pay for "misconduct," he had been arrested but suffered no penalty after leading the band of armed Negroes in Mississippi and his sentence for improperly joining the 1st Indiana Artillery had been remitted, but this time he was not so lucky and was sentenced "to be confined in some Government fort to be designated by proper authority for the period of Twenty days with a ball and chain attached to left leg." He was imprisoned in Fort Morgan on Mobile Point until returning to duty on March 8th.

He then participated in the campaign to occupy the city of Mobile, served as a teamster at Spring Hill, Alabama, and was with the regiment on July 15, 1865, when it was mustered out at Baton Rouge, Louisiana. They started north the next morning and were discharged from the military at Clinton on July 24th.

With the war over, Hugh married Elizabeth James and they had one child, John A. McCafferty, on September 8, 1877. Two years later, in October of 1879, while living in Missouri, he had an accident going from Omaha, Nebraska, to Ozark, Missouri, and my "team run away with me and broke my hip." His leg was fractured, the fibula was dislocated and his injuries didn't heal well resulting in his right leg being an inch and a half shorter than his left. A few years later, in Vernon County, Elizabeth died.

On March 23, 1884, Hugh married twenty-seven-year-old Rhoda F. Coose in the town of Everton. They had two children - Alice Delilah on July 9, 1885, and Rosa "Rose" A. on January 20, 1893.

Like many Union veterans, Hugh applied for a postwar invalid pension. He first applied on March 31, 1887, when the law required a war-related illness or injury. Hugh said he was thirty-nine years old and during the siege of Vicksburg had "contracted piles caused by exposure and hard marching from the effects of which he has never recovered." Government records confirmed his treatment at the Overton General Hospital but showed no other medical problems. In September, a board of pension surgeons in Springfield, after confirming the seriousness of his hemorrhoids, recommended a 6/8th pension rating and numerous friends submitted affidavits on his behalf but no pension was granted.

He applied again in 1890 after a new act required a disability that hindered the applicant's ability to do manual labor but did not require that the disability be war-related. This time he referred not only to the piles, but also to his leg injury. A board of surgeons confirmed both conditions and again recommended a pension be granted but the application lingered until 1902 when the Commissioner raised questions about his age at enlistment. By then Hugh was living in Tecumseh, Oklahoma. On July 13, 1906, nineteen years after he first applied, Hugh was approved for $12.00 monthly pension. He died on July 28, 1908, and is buried in Tecumseh Cemetery.

Three days after his death, Rhoda, now fifty-one, applied for a widow's pension. She was approved at $12.00 monthly with another $2.00 for Rosa until her sixteenth birthday. As new laws were enacted, Rhoda's pension was gradually increased to the $40.00 she was receiving when she died on December 15, 1943. Rhoda, like Hugh, is buried in Tecumseh Cemetery.
~Submitted by Carl F Ingwalson

A Narrative History of The People of Iowa with
Curator of the Historical, Memorial and Art Department of  Iowa
Volume IV
Chicago and New  York

EARL D. MCCLEAN, M. D.  In the difficult field of general surgery Dr.  Earl D. McClean, of Des Moines, has won a recognized position among his  associates. For a time orthopedic surgery claimed his attention to the  exclusion of other branches of his profession, but eventually he entered the  broader field which has given him wider scope for the exhibition of his special  abilities.

Doctor McClean was born at Union, Hardin County, Iowa, June 18, 1884,  and is a son of Charles and Carmellia (Caster) McClean.  The  great-grandfather of Doctor McClean, John McClean, served a a drummer boy in the  American forces during the War of 1812.  Neil McClean, the grandfather of  Earl D., was born in New York State, where he enlisted in a volunteer infantry  regiment in the Union army, and served all through the war between the states.  He then returned to New York, but in 1868 came to Iowa, where he spent the  remainder of his life in agricultural pursuits.

Charles McClean was born in New York State and was still a youth when  he accompanied the family to Iowa in 1868.  Here he was reared to  agricultural pursuits in Hardin County, where he spent the active years of his  life in the cultivation of the soil.  He developed a well cultivated and  valuable property near Union, from which he and Mrs. McClean moved to Union in  1928 and are now residing in comfortable retirement.  They are attendants  of the Congregational Church, and Mr. McClean is a Republican in politics and a  member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.  They were the parents of  the following children:  Prof. Clarence G., who took his theological course  at Cleveland, graduated from Penn College and won the oratorical contest during  his freshman year, then held a pastorate while he was still a student, and  following his graduation and a post-graduate course spent fifteen years in  missionary work in teh Philippines and Cuba and is now a professor at Whittier  College, whittier, California; C. R., who died in 1921; Mrs. Pearl Glenney, who  is residing on the old home farm near Union; and Dr. Earl D., of this review.  The maternal grandfather of Earl D. McClean was John Caster, a native of  Illinois, who came to Iowa at an early date and engaged in farming, but died  when still a young man.

Earl D. McClean attended the public schools of Union, and after his  graduation from high school entered the medical department of the University of  Iowa, from which he was graduated in 1908, following which he took post-graduate  work at Harvard.  In 1909 he commenced the practice of his profession at  Oskaloosa, Iowa, where he remained until the United Stares became involved in  the great World war.  As soon as he could arrange his affairs he enlisted  in the Medical corps, July 14, 1917, and was sent to the Medical Officers  Training Camp at Fort Riley, Kansas, where he spent six weeks.  Following  this he was transferred to Camp Pike, Arkansas, where he remained until the  latter part of July, 1918, when he went overseas, being identified with Base  Hospitals Nos. 88 and 69, in the surgical service.  He won promotion from  lieutenant to captain, and received his honorable discharge September 28, 1919.  During his military service he was able to do post-graduate work at the  Royal Army Medical College, England.

Following his relief from military duties Doctor McClean settled at Des  Moines, where for a time he was engaged in orthopedic and general surgery, but  now has no specialty, his practice, which is a large and representative one,  covering the whole surgical field.  Doctor McClean occupies offices in the  Iowa Building and has a high standing in his profession.  He is on the  staffs of the Mercy and Methodist Hospitals, and belongs to the Polk County  Medical Society, the Iowa State Medical Society, the Missouri Valley Medical  Society and the American Medical Association.  He likewise holds membership  in the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Woodmen of the World and the  Pi Epsilon Rho fraternity.  Politically he is a Republican, but not an  office seeker.  He is likewise a charter member of the American  Legion.

On January 1, 1909, Doctor McClean was united in marriage with Miss  Mary Burns, who was born and reared at Chicago, Illinois, and they have one  child; Ruth Mary, born October 26, 1920.  Mrs. McClean is a member of  the Catholic Church.  She is an accomplished vocalist, and is well known  through her frequent appearance in musical recitals in Chicago and throughout  Iowa.

A Narrative History of The People of Iowa with
Curator of the Historical, Memorial and Art Department of  Iowa
Volume IV

Chicago and New  York
.  Beginning his career as a poor boy without  educational advantages, but with much ambition and great industry, Joseph  McCormick, of Cedar Rapids, has fought his way laboriously but consistently to a  place of prominence among his fellow-citizens, and for the past eleven years has  been state secretary of the Iowa Knights of Columbus.  A large part of his  life has been devoted to newspaper work, in which he has become nationally  known, and he has been also identified with many movements which have  contributed to the betterment and progress of his native state.

Mr. McCormick was born at Dewitt, Iowa, March 10, 1878, and is a son of  Joseph and Jane (Boyle) McCormick, the latter a native of Boston, Massachusetts. His father, who was born in Ireland, came to this country in young manhood and soon found employment at his trade of baker.  At the outbreak of the  war between the state he enlisted in the Union army, and throughout the struggle acted in the capacity of camp cook.  Following his release from military  duties he came to Iowa and settled at Dewitt, where he conducted a bakery until 1882, in that year removing to Manchester, this state, where he was the proprietor of a similar establishment until his death.

Joseph McCormick, the younger, had only the advantages of a grade  school education, and while attending school managed to learn the printer's  trade.  Having saved up a few dollars, in January, 1893, he started what  was known as the world's smallest newspaper, the Manchester Herald.  This  was located in a part of his mother's kitchen and the first issues were compiled  and struck off with the rudest of printing implements, such as the youth could  secure from printing establishments who had no further use for them.  The  idea at first seemed ridiculous, but Mr. McCormick's mother, sensing the lad's  earnestness, encouraged him, and to everyone's surprise the little sheet not  only began to attract attention but to secure a bona fide subscription list that  made the publishers of older and much larger newspapers wonder.  The Herald  was unique, interesting and original and what it lacked in size it fully made up  in quality.  Every cent that the youthful editor and publisher could  acquire he put into equipment and new machinery, and finally it was moved from  its kitchen birthplace to a good-sized printing plant, which Mr. McCormick sold  after fifteen years of successful publications.

In 1907 Mr. McCormick moved to Sioux City, Iowa, where he was city  editor of the Sioux City Journal until 1910, then locating at Cedar Rapids as  city editor of the Cedar Rapids Gazette.  In 1914 he retired from this  position for other activities, although he has continued his connection with  newspaper work as a feature writer and correspondent for metropolitan  publications.  In July, 1918, he became state secretary of the Iowa Knights  of Columbus, and in addition to his regular duties in this connection has edited  The Caravel, the official organ of the fraternity.  He is a past grand  knight (1914-1915) of Cedar Rapids Council No. 909, Knights of Columbus, and has  attained to the fourth degree.  During the World war he was in charge of  publicity of the United War Work campaign in Iowa, and of the Red Cross drives  at Cedar Rapids, and has been active also in publicity campaigns of the Cedar  Rapids Chamber of Commerce and various other civic movements.  He is a  member of the Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, and was one of the  hardest workers during the building fund campaign.  Mr. McCormick is a  popular member of the Country Club and as recreations is greatly fond of hinting  and fishing, being also quite an expert golfer.  His entire life has been  an example of what can be accomplished by industry and perseverance.

At Manchester, Iowa, May 1, 1909, Mr. McCormick was united in marriage  with Miss May Roney, who prior to her marriage was a teacher of music in schools  conducted by the Dominican Sisters at Milwaukee and Appleton, Wisconsin, and  Jackson, Nebraska.  Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs.  McCormick:  Joseph, a student at St. Mary College, Kansas, Mary Catharine  and Margaret Jane.

A Narrative History of The People of Iowa with
Curator of the Historical, Memorial and Art Department of  Iowa
Volume IV
Chicago and New  York
  The broad field of medical and surgical  science offers so many activities and opportunities in its different branches  that a large number of the fraternity have applied their studies and energies to  some special line, although naturally a broad knowledge of general medicine and surgery is essential to the man who seeks success in any branch.  Among the modern specialists of Des Moines, one who has won prosperity and position  through natural talent, close application and constant study is Dr. Harold J.  McCoy, who has specialized in the diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat in  this city since 1920.

Doctor McCoy was born on a ranch in Chase County, Nebraska, December  17, 1891, and is a son of Sherman E. and Susan (Werts) McCoy.  His paternal grandfather was Maj. A. M. McCoy, an officer in the Union army during the war  between the states and for many years a resident of Iowa, where he was engaged  in agricultural pursuits, mainly in Lucas County.  The maternal grandfather  of Doctor McCoy was John Werts, a native of Ohio, who settled in Lucas County, iowa, in young manhood and passed the rest of his life in farming.

Sherman E. McCoy was born in Lucus County, Iowa, where he was reared  and educated, but as a young man moved to Chase County, Nebraska, took up land  and developed a large ranch in the vicinity of the City of Imperial.  He  and his wife are now living in retirement, but Mr. McCoy still operates a large  amount of land in the same community, of which he is the owner, and the  supervisor of which is constantly under his attention.  He is a man of high  character and public spirit, of good business judgment and integrity, and has  the confidence and esteem of the people of his community. To Mr. and Mrs. McCoy  have been born five children, Harold J. being the eldest child and only boy.  In politics he is a Democrat, as is his father. The public schools of  Nebraska supplied Harold J. McCoy with his early education, and after he had  attended and graduated from the Congregational Academy, of Franklin, that state,  he taught in a rural school for one year.  He then entered Drake  University, where he spent three years, following which he became a student in  the University of Chicago, graduating therefrom with the degree of Bachelor of  Science in 1916.  His medical studies were then prosecuted at the  University of Illinois, he being graduated as a member of the class of 1919,  degree of Doctor of Medicine, and spent one year as an interne at Mercy  Hospital, Chicago.  Having specialized in eye, ear, nose and throat at Chicago, he became assistant to Dr. C. M. Werts, with whom he was associated in practice for three and one-half years.  Since then he has practiced alone  at Des Moines, with offices in the Bankers Trust Building, and has built up a large and representative patronage, attracted by his reliability, professional talent and attractive personality.  He is a member of the Polk County  Medical Society, the Iowa State medical Society, the American Medical  Association, the Des Moines Academy of Medicine.  The Medical Study Club of  Des Moines and the Oto-Laryngological.  He also holds membership in the  Gold and Country Club, the American Legion, the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity,  the Phi Beta Phi medical fraternity,  the Masons and the Benevolent and  Protective Order of Elks.  He and Mrs. McCoy both belong to the First  Methodist Episcopal Church, in the work of which they have taken a keen interest  and active part both in the church and Sunday School.  During the World war  Doctor McCoy enlisted in the army, and at present is a member of the Naval  Reserves.

In 1922 Doctor McCoy was united in marriage with Miss Dorcas Baker,  whose parents died when she was a child.  She was reared in the home of an  aunt and completed her education at the East Des Moines High School.  They  are the parents of one son:  Robert Sherman, born November 17, 1925.



Maley McDONALD, one of the most prominent and influential of the early settlers of Blooming township [Decatur County], was at one time the owner of one thousand acres of fine land. His birth occurred in Madison county, Ohio, on the 16th of May, 1823, and he was a son of James C. McDONALD, who was in turn a son of Thomas McDONALD. The last named was born in Scotland and on emigrating to the United States, settled in Botetourt County, Virginia, where his son James C. was born. The latter was married in Tennessee to Miss Mary Ann MELVIN, also a native of the Old Dominion, and they took up their residence in Kentucky, whence, about 1806, they removed to Ross county, Ohio. Three or four years later they settled in Madison county of that state, where they lived for many years. They had a large family, of whom seven grew to maturity: Mary, born in 1801; George, born in 1803; Phebe, born in 1805; Elizabeth, born in 1808; Charity, born in 1811; John, born in 1814; and Malay, the subject of this sketch.

[Transcriber's note: Maley McDONALD's name has been spelled interchangably as "Maley" or "Malay," sometimes both ways in the same biographical sketch. His gravestone spells his name as "Maley."]

Malay McDONALD, who was the youngest child, was educated in the subscription schools in Madison county and early in life became familiar with agricultural pursuits. He continued to reside in his native county until 1850, when, with his family [wife and three children],he removed to Iowa. The first winter was spent at Muscatine, but in the following spring the family removed to a farm, where they resided for four years. On the 22d of May, 1855, they arrived in Bloomington township, Decatur county, and the father purchased several hundred acres of land from Matthew McCLAIN [paying $200 for the pre-emption and built a simple log cabin of 16 x 16 feet with a sod chimney]. At the time there were only about seven families [Mr. McCLAIN, John MERCER, Aaron MYERS, F. M. SCOTT, Widow SCOTT's family, W[illiam]. M. McDONALD [Maley's cousin], John WION and J. K. TAPSCOT] in that township and the greater part of the land was yet unbroken. Mr. McDONALD [built a home in 1866 which was sided with black walnut] and acquired more land and accumulated althogether about one thousand acres, upon which he engaged in stock-raising and feeding on an extensive scale. He owned a fine farm [of 158 acres of improved land] adjoining Kellerton and at length he took up his abode in that town. He passed away September 8, 1895, and his demise was sincerely regetted by all who knew him.

Mr. McDONALD was married on the 9th of March, 1843, to Miss Mary FERGUSON, whose birth occurred in Franklin county, Ohio, on the 13th of November, 1824, and who is a daughter of Thomas and Mary (BIGGERT) FERGUSON. To this union were born the following children: Margaret Ann [born circa 1844]; George, who was a soldier in the Civil war and who died while at home on furlough from the effects of a wound received in battle; E[mmet]. W. [born circa 1849]; and one [daughter] who died in infancy [on September 13, 1861]. Mr. McDONALD was an independent republican and served for one term as county supervisor and for three terms as township trustee and assessor. He belonged to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Decatur City. He was a man of much force of character and engery and also possessed excellent business ability, and it was but natural that he should be one of the foremost citizens of Decatur county. After removing to Kellerton he was recognized as one of the leaders in Ringgold county and his death was the occasion of much sincere grief. [He started life without means, but by industry and good management acquired a fine property. Among the enterprising and successful pioneers of Decatur County, none is better known or more highly esteemed than is Mr. McDONALD, and he is classed among the leading citizens of Ringgold County.]

NOTE: Maley McDONALD died at the age of 71 years, 3 months, and 23 days on September 8, 1894. He was interred at Maple Row Cemetery, Kellerton, Ringgold County, Iowa. Mary (FERGUSON) McDonald died at the age of 64 years and 26 days on December 9, 1888, with interment at Maple Row Cemetery.

George McDONALD enlisted from Leon, Iowa, as a Private on August 21, 1863, at the age of eighteen. He served with Company B of the 4th Iowa Cavalry. According to the American Civil War soldier database, George was mustered out of service at Atlanta, Georgia, on August 8, 1865. McDONALD family records note that George died of wounds received in battle on September 23, 1865, at the age of 19 years, 9 months and 25 days. George was interred next to his sister, who died in infancy, at Lillie Cemetery, Bloomington Township near Lamoni, Decatur County, Iowa. The Lillie Cemetery is located on land previously owned by Maley and Mary McDONALD.

Margaret Ann McDONALD married on October 13, 1865 to George R. BATHE (1842, Moultrie Co. IL - ?), son of James and Melinda (POWELL) BATHE, natives of Illinois. Margaret and George BATHE were the parents of six children: Mrs. Nora MORRIS of Denver, Colorado; Mrs. Charles T. RHODES; Irvin L., Avon who married and lives in Lenapah, Oklahoma; Carrie, the wife of Ernest SHEPHERD, of Pueblo, Colorado; and Charles W., of Coffeyville, Kansas.

HOWELL, J. M. & CONOMAN, Heman. History of Decatur County, Iowa, and Its People Vol. II. Pp. 216-17, 255-56. S.J. Clarke Pub. Co. Chicago. 1915.
Biographical and Historical Record of Ringgold and Decatur Counties, Iowa, 1887.
Kellerton, Iowa, A history to 1881 1887
American Civil War Soldiers,
WPA Graves Survey
~Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, February of 2009

Abraham Lincoln was elected in 1860 and General Beauregard's cannon fired on Fort Sumter on April 12th of the following year. War followed and thousands of men died from wounds or disease and thousands more had to be discharged. In the summer of 1862, President Lincoln called for another 300,000 volunteers to fill the depleted ranks and Iowa was given a quota of five new regiments. If not raised by the middle of August, a draft was likely. With the fall harvest approaching, Governor Kirkwood was concerned but, if necessary, he said, "the women can help." Answering the President's call, the quota was met. The 21st Regiment of the state's volunteer infantry was mustered into service at Camp Franklin in Dubuque on September 9, 1862, with a total of 985 men including 84 who had enlisted early in the year for the 18th Regiment but, when it was over-subscribed, were transferred to the 21st.  
On a rainy September 16th, they boarded the sidewheel steamer Henry Clay and two barges tied alongside and started downriver where they would serve six months in Missouri before participating in the Vicksburg Campaign. By then James McLane, born in Illinois on May 9, 1841, was twenty-two years old and Mary Elizabeth Pugh, born on June 29, 1847, also in Illinois was sixteen. On July 2, 1863, they were married and two days later Vicksburg surrendered to General Grant's Northern army. 
As the war continued, the 21st Iowa saw service in Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas and Tennessee before moving to Kennerville, Louisiana, in January 1865 while recruiting efforts continued in Iowa. Among those enrolled for one-year terms by Provost Marshal Shubael Adams were George Massey on the 18th and James McLane and his brother-in-law Luther Pugh on the 19th, all three for the regiment's Company B.  
On February 5th the regiment left Kennerville on the George Peabody and headed east across the Gulf of Mexico to begin its final campaign of the war. Going ashore on Dolphin Island at the mouth of Mobile Bay, they bivouacked near Fort Gaines. They were still there when Myron Knight noted in his diary on the 23rd that "three recruits arrived for our Company - two from our town - Pugh - McLane and Massey." Arriving with them was Pearl Ingalls, a Methodist Episcopal minister seeking donations for an Iowa orphans' home.
Fort Gaines and Fort Morgan, the two forts guarding the entrance to the bay, had fallen to General Farragut's navy the previous August but the city of Mobile at the head of the bay remained in Confederate hands. On March 17th they crossed the entrance, debarked at Navy Cove, marched a mile and camped. From there, with many other regiments, they started a long, difficult march on the 19th northward along the east side of the bay, a march made more difficult by cold weather and several days of rain that turned dirt roads to mud. They "came on to the rebel skirmishers a little before noon" on the 26th , said the Company B's Jim Bethard, and "blazed away at the flash of their guns and then dodged behind trees for shelter the rebs over shot us and killed one man." That "one man," the last member of the regiment to be killed in battle, was Arnold Allen who had been the sole support for his mother and younger brother and sister.
The South had two forts on the east side of the bay, Spanish Fort and Fort Blakely, both of which fell to the Union advance although the 21st Iowa was not directly involved in the capture of either. On April 12th, Confederates evacuated Mobile and the federal army moved in. On the 13th, the regiment moved to nearby Spring Hill while John Wilkes Booth searched for the President in Washington. On the 14th he found him at Ford's Theater. A week later the regiment learned that President Lincoln was dead. 
At Spring Hill the soldiers had a good campground and, with only light duties, many took the opportunity to visit the nearby Jesuit College of St. Joseph and view the "many curiosities" in its museum. On the evening of May 26th they boarded the Mustang and the next morning left for Louisiana. They disembarked at the Lakeport landing on the 28th and on the 31st, on board the Fairchild, they started up the Mississippi. Many thought they were headed home but, instead, they turned up Arkansas' White River. On June 10th the "early enlistees" were mustered out of service at Shreveport. The balance of the regiment boarded the Peerless on the 11th and on the 23rd disembarked at Baton Rouge. 
On July 12th, 110 recruits - including George Massey, James McLane, Luther Pugh - who had enlisted after the regiment was mustered into service and still had time to serve, were transferred to a consolidated 34th/38th Infantry. On the 14th they boarded a transport and, about midnight, left for Texas while, the next day, the remaining 464 original members of the regiment were mustered out. Not long after their arrival in Texas, the government realized further service of the recruits was no longer needed and, in Houston on August 15th, they too were mustered out of the military.
Federal laws provided for "invalid pensions" for veterans who could prove they were suffering from war-related disabilities that rendered them at least partially unable to perform manual labor. On May 21, 1886, James gave his address as Littleport when he applied for an invalid pension indicating that on the march to Mobile he had "contracted Disease of Lungs, Kidneys and Liver which disabilities have continued till the present time" and, as a result, he was "partially disabled from obtaining his subsistence by manual labor." On November 10th he was examined by a board of pension surgeons in West Union and on December 4th the Adjutant General's office verified his military service but found "no evidence of alleged disabilities."
James explained that during the march he had been treated only by the regimental surgeon. He received support from Luther Pugh who said they had been "exposed to severe storms" during their march to Mobile and James' cold had "greatly increased and affected his lungs." After their discharge, Luther had lived less than a mile from James "up to the spring of 1887, when he moved to Neb" and knew James' "lung trouble increased." William Kellogg had also been in Company B, knew James had been healthy for twelve years before enlisting, was with James on the march to Mobile when "we were exposed to a severe storm of cold rain and, like Luther, recalled that James' health had become worse after the war. Dwight Chase had been the McLane family physician before the war, was the regimental surgeon during the march to Mobil and said he treated James during and after the war for lung and kidney problems.
On June 27, 1888, after moving to Nebraska, James secured an affidavit from a doctor in Dakota County who testified he treated James "during the summer of 1887 and spring of 1888 for chronic disease of the liver and kidneys," conditions he considered incurable. James' stay in Nebraska was brief and on December 4, 1889, he was back in Clayton County when he signed an affidavit saying he thought "an injustice was done him" by the pension surgeons in West Union three years earlier and he was having trouble breathing, had heart palpitations "which seems to smother me," had pains across his kidneys and hips, and was "often very chilly." 
On June 28, 1897, Luther Pugh signed a supportive affidavit written for him by Gilbert Cooley who had served in Company D. Luther felt James' disabilities were permanent and disabled him from earning his support by manual labor. Also signing an affidavit was H. P. Stalnaker. He had known James since boyhood and knew he had not "been able to do a full mans work at manual labor for past fourteen years." Government records don't indicate if James ever received an invalid pension but on July 22, 1911, he applied under an age-based act and likely received a $15.00 monthly pension as provided in the act.
James and Mary had seven children, four of whom died in infancy. In answer to a March 12, 1898, pension office questionnaire, George said three of their children were still living - Viola born April 9, 1872, William born December 26, 1877 and James born January 23, 1884. Mary died on March 8, 1909, and James on January 28, 1914. They're buried in Noble Cemetery, Edgewood.
~Submitted by Carl F Ingwalson


McLEARY, JOHN D. was born in Wabash county, Illinois, September 27, 1829; he died at Indianola, Iowa, April 3, 1914. He was educated and taught school in his native county, later going as a school teacher to Fulton county. In 1852 he removed to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, and taught school one winter. He then removed to Indianola where he spent a few years teaching school and acting as deputy county clerk. He took up the study of medicine, most of his course being pursued in Chicago. He received his degree in 1861 from the Keokuk Medical College. He practiced medicine in Indianola continuously for more than fifty-two years. During the last years of the war he served as assistant surgeon in the Thirty-fourth and Forty-sixth Iowa regiments. In 1891 Gov. Horace Boies appointed him regent of the State University of Iowa to fill out the unexpired term of Thomas S. Wright, and later he served a full term. He was a member of the county board of examiners of the insane from the time of its organization until shortly before his death. For many years he was pension examiner and for forty-one years local surgeon for the C. R. I. & P. Railway. He was a Republican in politics and always interested in the welfare of the community in which he lived.
~ "Notable Deaths" Annals of Iowa. Vol. XI, No. 1, 3rd Series. Pp. 634-35. Historical Society of Iowa. Des Moines. April, 1913.
~ Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, May of 2009

Walter Joseph McNally was born in July, 1837, in Castlebar, Ireland, immigrated to the
United States, became a citizen and made his home in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
On April 12, 1861, General Beauregard’s Confederate guns fired on Fort Sumter. War
followed. By the middle of 1862 it had escalated greatly, thousands of Northern soldiers had
been killed or died from disease and President Lincoln called for another 300,000 volunteers.
Iowa was given a quota of five new regiments, about 5,000 men, and on July 7, 1862, Governor
Kirkwood assured the President, "the State of Iowa in the future as in the past, will be prompt
and ready to do her duty to the country in the time of sore trial. Our harvest is just upon us, and
we have now scarcely men enough to save our crops, but if need be our women can help.”
In answer to the President’s call, Walter McNally enlisted at Dubuque on August 22, 1862,
and was mustered into what would be Company F of the state’s 21st regiment of volunteer
infantry. Four days later he joined the regiment then quartered at Camp Franklin on Eagle Point.
On September 9th they were mustered in as a regiment and the next day received a $25.00
advance on the government’s $100.00 bounty, together with a $2.00 premium and $50.00 county
bounty. Walter was one of several men who maintained diaries and, for the 16th of September,
wrote that they “marched down to the steam boat Henry Clay for St Louis It rained very hard
while we marched down through town.” Others boarded two barges tied alongside as they left for
On January 11, 1863, Walter was one of the regiment’s volunteers who fought in the one-day
battle of Hartville, Missouri, and he continued with the regiment as members returned to their
base in Houston before moving to West Plains and then northeast to the old French town of Ste.
Genevieve. From there they were transported downstream to Milliken’s Bend where General
Grant was amassing an army to capture Vicksburg. On April 30th, after walking south along the
west side of the Mississippi River, they crossed to the Bruinsburg landing and, “heare on the
bank of the river we rested for a short time and got reations.” Then, as the point regiment for the
entire Union army, they started a march inland. About midnight they encountered Confederate
pickets and the next day “the battle of Port Gibson commenced in good earnest” and “one time a
miney ball hit the bank that I was resting.” The day-long battle ended with the Confederates
withdrawing and Walter’s regiment caring for its dead and wounded while other regiments took
the lead.
On May 16th, General McClernand held them out of action during the Battle of Champion
Hill and that night they camped at Edward’s Station. The next morning, “our squad was detailed
to go out as skirmishers to pick up all the straglers of the rebs that we could find” while the rest
of the regiment continued toward Vicksburg. Walter’s squad “picked up 12 rebs and came back
to the guard house” and later, “when we got to the regiment they ware at Black river Bridge
resting after making a charge in the rebel rifle pits” during which “our Colonel Merrill was
wounded and the Agitant Howard killed.”
By the 22nd they had taken their position on the Union line surrounding the rear of
Vicksburg and “there was heavey cannonading and sharp shooting all this morning until about
ten oclock when the signal of a charge on there work was sounded on a bugal.” The assault on
the Confederate works was unsuccessful and by the end of the day “the 21st regt was all cut up
and we had but a fiew left of our once large regiment.” General Grant then decided on a siege
that didn’t end until July 4th when General Pemberton surrendered. The next day, they left early
“on another hard campaine after Joe Johnson,” a campaign that took them all the way to the state
capital at Jackson.

After returning to Vicksburg, they were transported downstream where they camped in
Carrollton, Louisiana, spent several months in the southwestern part of the state, and in
November boarded two steamers, the Corinthian and the St. Mary’s, continued south and crossed
the Gulf of Mexico to the south coast of Texas. On the 26th the men on the Corinthian “was
landed on St Josephs Island where there is nothing but sand and a fiewe sticks of driftwood.”
They spent the next several months on Matagorda Island and in the area of Indianola, built
breastworks of sand that often blew away as soon as they were built, saw little of the enemy and,
when a “Norther” blew, in it was as “cold a green land all day.” With warmer weather in May,
Walter “went down to Gulfe and had a bath in the brakers” before an afternoon dress parade.
They were still in Texas when Walter wrote that “the balance of my experience in the armey I
will keep in another book and I want this one to be kept carefully for me.” “I hope,” he said “to
write it over and better” after returning home and “God be willing you my dear Mother until we
meet again.”
After leaving Texas in mid-June, the regiment served more than two months in Louisiana and
saw additional service along the White River of Arkansas before moving to Tennessee. On
January 2, 1865, they left Memphis on board the Baltic and started down the Mississippi. Three
days later they camped at Kennerville, Louisiana, where plans were made for their final
campaign of the war, a campaign to capture Mobile, Alabama. They boarded the George
Peabody on February 5th, bivouacked on Dolphin Island two days later, crossed the entrance of
Mobile Bay on March 17th and on the 19th started a difficult movement northward along the east
of the bay. Two forts guarding the city from the east were captured (although the 21st Iowa was
not directly involved in the capture of either one) and, on April 12th, Confederates under Dabney
Maury abandoned the city and Union forces moved in. The regiment camped at Spring Hill for
the next six weeks before being transported to New Orleans. Many thought they were on their
way home but were disappointed when they learned they had more time to serve in southwestern
Louisiana before moving to Baton Rouge. There, on June 24th, Walter, who had been promoted
several times during his service, was reduced to Private at his own request. They were mustered
out on July 15th, started home the next day and were discharged from the military at Clinton,
Iowa, on July 24, 1865.
Less than a year later, on July 3, 1866, Walter and Emma Farnsworth were married in
Janesville, Iowa. Their children included Jessie May on May 3, 1870, Byrde Emma on February
11, 1875, Mary on July 31, 1881, and Walter Harry on November 25, 1883.
They made their home in Cedar Falls where Walter’s older brother Zacheas, opened a
grocery store with a wide assortment of groceries, green and dried fruit, confectionary goods,
crockery, glassware and other provisions. By 1867, newspaper ads referred to the store as “Z.
McNally & Bro.” as Walter joined his brother in the grocery business and, in 1872, he was one
of seventy-four veterans who attended the regiment’s two-day reunion in Dubuque.
For many years, Northern veterans were entitled to invalid pensions based on their service, a
war-related injury or illness, and a current inability to, at least partially, perform manual labor. In
1890 the law was changed and a veteran’s inability to do manual labor no longer had to be
service-related. On July 18, 1892, giving his age as fifty-four, Walter applied and submitted
supportive affidavits from doctors and neighbors who knew him. A board of pension surgeons
agreed he was “suffering from general debility as a result of hard work” and on December 6,
1893, a certificate was mailed entitling him to $6.00 monthly, payable quarterly through the Des
Moines pension agency. The pension was increased several times and he was receiving $12.00
when he died on December 19, 1903. Soon thereafter Emma applied for a widow’s pension but
her application was still pending when she died on February 1, 1905. Emma and Walter are
buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Cedar Falls.
~Submitted by Carl F Ingwalson


Henry Clay McNeil, one of the best known and best liked citizens of Sioux City, where he was actively identified with business interests for more than a half century, was at the time of his death the senior member of the firm of H. C. McNeil & Son, dealers in building supplies at Nos. 308 and 310 Jackson street.  He was in the eighty-seventh year of his age when called to his final rest on the 26th of March, 1924, his birth having occurred October 30, 1837, at Homer, Cortland county, New York, the scene of the novel, "David Harum." In the novel Homer is referred to as Homerville. The parents of Henry C. McNeil, James and Hannah (Billings) McNeil, were natives of Connecticut and of New York, respectively. The family comes of Scotch lineage, the emigrant ancestor arriving from Scotland about 1640 and settling in Connecticut. James McNeil saw service in the War of 1812 and his death occurred in 1866, when he was eighty-seven years of age. Henry Clay McNeil attended the public schools of Homer, New York, but at the age of twelve years went alone to Sandusky, Ohio, where his brother Albert was in business. He remained there for a few months and then paid a visit to his brother, Orin S., in Crawfordsville, Indiana, spending two years in that place, during which time he attended school. He then returned to Sandusky, where he spent the succeeding year, after which he went with his brother Orin S. from Sandusky to Rock Island, Illinois. Not long afterward, in 1852 when a youth of fifteen years, he made his way to Davenport, Iowa, where he secured a clerkship in a grocery store and also learned the tinner's trade, remaining in that city for two years. He next went to Muscatine, Iowa, where he completed his trade, which he followed at that point for two and one-half years. Returning to Davenport, he established a retail furniture business, which he conducted until he enlisted for service in the Union army during the Civil war. The smoke from Fort Sumter's guns had scarcely cleared away when Mr. McNeil offered his services to the government. In fact, he had the distinction of being the first man in Iowa to enlist, joining the army on the 15th of April, 1861, at the first call for troops. He was assigned to duty as a private of Company C, Second Regiment of Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and was mustered into the service of the state on the 24th of April as a sergeant. On the 28th of May the regiment was mustered into the United States service and on the 7th of October, 1862, Mr. McNeil was commissioned second lieutenant of his company, with which he remained until May, 1864, when he was mustered out at Pulaski, Tennessee, after more than three years of active service. He commanded his company for over a year and participated in the battles of Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Iuka, Corinth and many minor engagements. He was wounded in the arm at Fort Donelson and was also wounded at Shiloh and Corinth. His military record was indeed a most creditable and honorable one, and he proudly wore the little bronze button of the Grand Army of the Republic. Upon his return from the south mr. McNeil joined his brother in business in Davenport, Iowa, the relation continuing for about five years. In 1869 he came to Sioux City, where he entered the fire insurance business, with which he was connected throughout the remainder of his life, representing a number of the substantial old companies. In 1887 he began dealing in building materials, along which line he developed a business of constantly growing importance. the Sioux City Journal of January 23, 1921, contained the following interesting article concerning the pioneer experiences of Mr. McNeil in this state: "Sixty-eight years ago there was not a foot of railroad track in Iowa or west of the Mississippi river. Today in Iowa there is not a spot that is more than twelve miles from the railroad. That is what H. C. NcNeil, Sioux City pioneer and head of the building material company of H. C. McNeil & Son, thinks of every time he looks at the big map of Iowa in his office. And he pictures himself as a boy about fifteen years old hopping on the tender of the first locomotive that ever covered a foot of track in this state or west of the Mississippi and riding along on the little woodburner enjoying the sensation of being carried by the steam engine that was as truly a curiosity in those days as a purple cow would be to the present generation. Mr. McNeil counts himself fortunate to have lived in a period of such great achievement, and though he modestly believes that he is not the sole possessor of interesting information in regard to the early history of the state and Sioux City, he consented to relate a few of his experiences. When a boy Mr. McNeil came west, and it was while he was in Davenport, Iowa, that he saw the beginning of the railroad transportation in the state. Mr. McNeil came to Davenport in 1852, and it was in 1853 or 1854 that the Mississippi and Missouri Railroad Company laid its tracks from Davenport to Iowa City and planned to construct a line across the state. The Mississippi and Missouri company was afterwards taken over by the Rock Island company, which still owns the line. The first engine to run on the track laid in Davenport was brought in pieces across the ice on the Mississippi and put together on a temporary track laid along the river. There was no bridge there then. When young McNeil and a few other boys of his age heard that the phenomenon was actually going to move, they ran down the track and, hopping on the tender of the little engine that was but a toy compared to the powerful locomotives of today that speed across Iowa's length and breadth, were carried along over the first track ever covered by a steam engine west of the Mississippi river. Mr. McNeil came to Sioux City in 1869 and has been in business for himself continuously since that time. He is past eighty-three years of age and takes pleasure in walking to work and in being in his office daily. He was in the insurance business when he first came here and keeps up that interest in the Peters, Guiney, McNeil and Powell Company. The only railroad in Sioux City at the time he came was the Sioux City and Pacific, which ran one train a day each way and was a combination freight and passenger train. There were no business houses in Fourth street and only a few in Pearl street and along the river front. Sioux City developed to a greater extent for its size between 1869 and 1872, Mr. McNeil believes, than it has in any other period. At that time, he pointed out on a map of Old Sioux City, it spread north about as far as Ninth and Tenth streets. The past century, Mr. McNeil stated, he believes to be the most remarkable century in history. In one line of accomplishment alone, it has seen transportation by railroad develop upon the plains of Iowa a network of railroad lines, all of which have been laid in less than one man's lifetime." The following article appeared in the local press in 1923: "Can you remember away back when Pierce street was known as Honeymoon Glen? If you can, then you can remember when Henry C. McNeil, of the firm of H. C. McNeil and Son, built the residence that is still standing at 901 Pierce street. That was fifty years ago, and Mr. McNeil is still occupying the house. But the business center of Sioux City has grown until now it practically surrounds the McNeil home, so Mr. McNeil and his wife have decided to move. They have purchased the residence at 1427 Douglas street, which was the property of the late R. C. A. Flournoy. When Mr. McNeil built the house which he lives in now, the region in the vicinity of Tenth and Pierce streets was still country. The open prairie extended beyond his dooryard, stretching away northward towards the level sweeps of northwest Iowa and southern Minnesota. There was only one other house in the block at that time, for Sioux City had not yet exerted her commercial charms upon the people who were flowing through toward the vacant west, where land could be had for a 'song.' But shortly after Mr. McNeil and his wife had settled in their new home other young people who had lately contracted matrimonial bonds, began to move into the section and it wasn't long until the first comers were living 'right down town.' It was because so many newly married couples built their homes on the north edge of the city, that Pierce street was known by the sobriquet of 'Honeymoon Glen.' The Home Insurance Company, of New York city, recently presented Mr. McNeil with a gold medal, in commemoration of fifty years of service with that company. He was the recipient of a silver medal from the same firm twenty-five years ago when he completed that number of years of faithful service. As above stated, when Mr. McNeil came to Sioux City in 1869 he took up the insurance business. From 1878 until 1898 he was in the building material business with C. T. Hopper, under the firm style of Hopper & McNeil, after which the firm of H. C. McNeil & Son was organized. For about thirty years he was a director of the Security National Bank, so continuing to the time of his death. On the 8th of June, 1871, at Davenport, Iowa, Mr. McNeil was united in marriage to Miss Marie B. Wilber, a daughter of Lorenzo D. Wilber, and to them were born two children: Carrie, who is the wife of Jerome P. Schnabele of Sioux City; and Wilbur C., who with his wife, Mrs. Virginia (Hearne) McNeil, was killed in an automobile accident near Hull, Iowa, September 6, 1914. Both were graduates of Leland Stanford University. They left two children: Joseph Herne, born February 8, 1904, who was graduated from Yale University with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1926, and who is now attending Oxford University; and Eleanor Marie, who is a student at sweet Briar College at Sweet Briar, Virginia. Mr. and Mrs. McNeil attended the Unitarian church. In politics he was a progressive republican. He never sought nor desired political office and the only public position he filled was that of secretary of the school board of Sioux City for twenty years. He was honored with various official preferments in fraternal circles, however, being identified with the Masonic order for about six decades. He joined the Masonic order at Davenport, Iowa, and later when he came to Sioux City he was instrumental in founding Sioux City Lodge, No. 103, which became known as Landmark Lodge. He also was a member of Chapter No. 26 of the Royal Arch Masons, of Columbian Commandery and of Abu-Bekr Temple of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. During the many years of formation and growth, Mr. McNeil assumed a position of activity and responsibility in lodge work. From an undernourished child laboring for breath, he saw and helped Sioux City Masonry develop into a potential power of beauty and strength. He attended scores of meetings and conventions, state, district and local, and was persistent worker through thick and thin for the higher achievements. During his career, Mr. McNeil was worshipful master of Landmark Lodge; high priest of the Royal Arch chapter; eminent commander of Columbian Commandery; and grand high priest of the grand chapter of Iowa. He was appointed grand high priest in 1888, and he was a past grand warden of the grand lodge of Masons in Iowa. He belonged to the Hawkeye Club and the Sioux City Boat Club and in all these different organizations had many warm friends and admirers. His life was an active and useful one, characterized by loyalty in every relation as well as during the days when he served his country as a soldier upon southern battlefields. He became a member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion and was chosen commander for Iowa. He likewise belonged to Hancock Post, G. A. R., of Sioux City, and was one of the organizers and a charter member of August Wentz Post of Davenport, which was the third Grand Army post organized in the United States and the first in the state. The following newspaper paragraph appeared under date of March 29, 1924: "Old comrades of the Civil war, their heads bowed in sorrow, were among the many Sioux Citians who paid their last respect Saturday afternoon to H. C. McNeil, the first Iowa man to enlist in federal forces when the call came to save the Union. Lodge brothers, business associates and friends made in the long years in Sioux City, when, as a pioneer city builder and business man, the late Mr. McNeil was prominent, gathered for the funeral ritual in the Masonic temple to hear the eulogy of Rev. Charles E. Snyder of First Unitarian church. A short service and prayers preceded the eulogy. "The unbroken prairies have yielded to the husbandman's plow. The haunts of the buffalo no longer resound to their mighty tread. The builders came. They came with the working tools, the plumb, the level and the square, and they made the foundation and erected houses and temples and they smoothed the rough ashlers. A city grew with homes for the wives, who also endured the pioneer life, and for the children whose laughter rang o'er the hillsides,' said Rev. Mr. Snyder. "Today we have gathered in a lodge of sorrow for one of those builders, who out of his vision and strength contributed to the growth of city and its institutions. He remained active, interested, quick of mind, firm of judgment and finally lay down as one who wraps the draperies of his couch about him to pleasant dreams. We are gathered this sorrowful consistory to speak our tribute of farewell, but I cannot say, I shall not say, that he is dead. The grand master has called him into the lodge room beyond whose doors we cannot see. But I think, if we might see him just now, it would be with a wave of his hand and a smile of good cheer to say to us that the order he heard was, Let there be light, and there was light." The following is an editorial tribute which appeared in the Sioux City Journal under date of March 28, 1924: "In the death of Henry C. McNeil, Sioux City has lost one of its best known citizens, one who had been a part of the community's progress for more than half a century. Also Sioux City has lost one if its best liked men. Mr. McNeil's friendships were many. It is doubted that anyone here had a wider acquaintance. Many interesting things are connected with the life of Mr. McNeil in Sioux City. An outstanding feature of it was the fact that he was in business constantly for some fifty-two years, during which time he built up a reputation for integrity, public spirit and business activity all of which reflected the character of the man. At eighty-six this pioneer of the long ago had not retired, as he might have done and as many business men much younger have preferred to do. His friends knew his attitude toward life to be that of one who wanted to go on, active and energetic to the end. Such an outlook may be recommended to anyone approaching the natural end of a career. He saw the paving of the streets, the extension of the city limits to take in many square miles, the coming the street car, the automobile, the telephone and electric lighting. He saw, in a word, the growth of a village to a modern city. And he was a part of it all, a part of its business life constantly expanding, a part of its fraternalism, of its social activities, aiding, meanwhile, in unchanging confidence the community's advancement. Henry C. McNeil was one of Sioux City's foremost citizens throughout his long residence here. Dependable, trustworthy and energetic, he was, like many others of his time, responsible in a large degree for Sioux City's progress. His familiar figure will be missed by the hundreds who knew him.




Last Updated May 2022