Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918


Nancy J. McNeill

MRS. NANCY J. McNEILL. While the professional career of Mrs. Nancy J. McNeill has covered but a short period of time, she has already demonstrated her right to a place among the learned members of the Cherokee County bar, and, as junior partner of the firm of Skidmore & McNeill, at Columbus, has built up a large and representative practice. Mrs. McNeill was born near the Town of Messer, in Cherokee County, Kansas, and is a daughter of Branche and Mary M. (Fowler) Jones, and a descendant of revolutionary ancestors on both sides of the family.

The Jones family originated in Wales, and members thereof were found in Virginia during colonial times. Branche Jones was born in Eastern Tennessee, in 1859, and came to Kansas in 1883, settling in Cherokee County, where for a number of years he was engaged in farming and also was employed as a stationary engineer. He is now retired from active pursuits and makes his home with Mrs. McNeill. He is a republican in politics and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Jones married Mary M. Fowler, who was also born in 1859, in Eastern Tennessee, and to this union there were born two children: Lulu, who died at the age of twenty-seven years as the wife of John Zimmerman, a coal miner of Pittsburg, Kansas; and Nancy Jane.

Nancy Jane Jones received her early education in the public schools of Cherokee County, attending the Cherokee County High School for two years, and then became a teacher in the country schools. Becoming interested in the law, she gave up teaching after two years, and entered the offices of Skidmore & McNeill, where she acted in the capacity of stenographer, having taken a course in the Fredonia (Kansas) Business College. While thus employed she studied law assiduously for four years, and in June, 1916, was admitted to the bar. At the same time she was admitted to partnership in the firm of Skidmore & McNeill, as a member of which she has since practiced. She has demonstrated the possession of qualities which should serve to advance her greatly in her profession, but at the same time stands as a noble refutation of the oft-times expressed belief that the entrance of woman into public life tends to lessen her distinctive character.

By her first marriage to C. H. Warstler, she became the mother of two children: Lee, born March 1, 1903; and Lulu, born February 6, 1905. In 1909, at Columbus, she was married to Edwin V. McNeill, who was born in Ross County, Ohio, January 30, 1857, a son of Corbin A. McNeill. Mr. McNeill belongs to a family which originally came from Scotland to Virginia in early colonial days, and were later pioneers into Ohio. Corbin A. McNeill was born in 1822, in Ross County, Ohio, and was there reared, educated and married. In 1858 he went to Macoupin County, Illinois, and in April, 1869, to Cherokee County, Kansas, where he became a large landholder and stockman. His home was in Lola Township, and he was the owner of 600 acres of land in Cherokee County. For years he was a recognized leader in republican politics, but never held office. Mr. McNeill married Nancy Ann Kelley, who was born in 1828, in Ross County, Ohio, and died at Columbus, Kansas, in September, 1902. Mr. McNeill's death occurred December 31, 1899, at Columbus. They were the parents of eight children, as follows: John, who engaged in farming in Cherokee County and died at the age of thirty years; William R., who died unmarried, at the age of twenty-two years, in 1874, on the farm of his parents; Edwin V.; Renick, who died in Macoupin County, Illinois; Jacob, a farmer, who died in Linn County, Missouri, aged thirty-nine years; Stronger B., who died at the age of twenty-three years in Cherokee County, where he had been engaged in farming; Mary, who died in infancy; and Corbin A., an attorney of Columbus, Kansas.

Edwin V. McNeill was educated in the public schools of Macoupin County, Illinois, and Cherokee County, Kansas, and remained on his father's farm until he was twenty-two years of age. At that time he went to Colorado, where he ranched, mined and farmed for fifteen or more years, but in 1898 returned to Kansas and settled at Columbus, where he took up the study of law in the office of his brother, C. A. McNeill, and Al F. Williams. Admitted to the bar June 5, 1901, he has since carried on a general practice, with offices in the Logan Security Building. He is known as one of the thorough and capable members of the Cherokee County legal profession and during his fifteen years of practice has been identified with much important litigation. He has served as city attorney of Columbus, an office to which he was elected on the republican ticket. With Mrs. McNeill, he belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church, and his fraternal connections include membership in Galena Lodge No. 677, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and the Knights of Pythias Lodge of Columbus. The pleasant family home is situated at No. 428 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Corbin Asahel McNeill, brother of Edwin V. McNeill, was born in Macoupin County, Illinois, January 13, 1867, in a log cabin. He received his public school education in Cherokee County, Kansas, following which he attended the State Normal School, at Fort Scott, and became a telegraph operator, a vocation which he followed for a short time. Mr. McNeill read law in the offices of Ritter & Wiswell, attorneys at Columbus, and was admitted to the bar in 1892, and two years later had so favorably impressed himself upon the people that he was elected county attorney, an office in which he served one term. He also served one term as a member of the State Board of Charities, under the administration of Governor W. J. Bailey. Mr. McNeill has had a general civil and criminal practice, and has one of the largest clienteles in this part of the state. He was appointed by Governor Hoch as judge of the District Court, to fill out an unexpired term, and was subsequently elected to that office in 1906 and served four years more. Judge McNeill is a republican. Fraternally, he is affiliated with St. Paul (Kansas) Council, Knights of Columbus; Galena Lodge No. 677, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; Galena Aerie of the Fraternal Order of Eagles; and the Loyal Order of Moose, Modern Woodmen of America, Ancient Order of United Workmen and Knights and Ladies of Security, of Columbus. He also holds membership in the Commercial Club. He and the members of his family belong to the Roman Catholic Church, and reside in their modern home at No. 401 South Florida Avenue.

In 1889 Judge McNeill was married to Miss Edna Macy, who died in 1902, leaving one son: Maurice, a graduate of the Cherokee County High School, who read law with his father and is now an attorney of Kansas City, Missouri. In 1904, in Cherokee County, C. A. McNeill was married to Miss Agnes Fleming, daughter of Michael and Fannie Fleming, farming people who are both now deceased. Mrs. McNeill died in 1907, at Columbus, leaving one daughter: Helen, born July 4, 1906. In June, 1910, Mr. McNeill was again married, being united with Miss Clara Schlafy, of Carlyle, Illinois. They have three children: Fred, born February 2, 1911; Zale, born July 7, 1912; and David, born September 27, 1913.


Transcribed from volume 4, pages 1888-1889 of A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; originally transcribed 1998, modified 2003 by Carolyn Ward.

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