C. A. McNeill

C. A. McNEILL, one of the ablest members of the Cherokee County Bar, a leading citizen of Columbus and a member of the State Board of Charities and Corrections, was born in Macoupin County, Illinois, January 13, 1869, and is a son of C. A. and Nancy (Kelly) McNeill.

C. A. McNeill, the father, was born in Ross County, Ohio, and died in Cherokee County, Kansas, December 31, 1889, aged 77 years. His wife, who was also a native of Ross County, Ohio, died in Cherokee County, Kansas, in 19O1, aged 70 years. Of their eight children, but two survive, C. A. and his brother, E. V. McNeill, who was a practicing attorney for three years at Baxter Springs, but is now a resident of Columbus.

About 1858, the elder McNeill removed with his family to Illinois, and in 1871 came to Cherokee County, Kansas, where he became a large land owner and extensive farmer and stockman. His home farm was located in Lola township, and he owned about 600 acres in the county. For years he was a recognized leader in the Republican politics of the county, but never held office.

The subject of this sketch was reared and educated in Cherokee County, and resided in Lola township until July 29, 1889, when he removed to Columbus, and was employed for six months as a messenger boy at the depot of the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad. He then entered the office of Ritter & Wiswell, well known attorneys at Columbus, with whom he read law for two years, and was admitted to the bar in January, 1892. He then bought out the practice of another lawyer, and has since continued in practice with most encouraging success. He has gained a recognized position at the bar in this section of Kansas, and has taken part in much of the important litigation in Cherokee County, and has fairly gained his reputation as an astute lawyer and a wise counsellor.

In December, 1891, Mr. McNeill married Edna Macy, who was the daughter of Edward Macy. Mrs. McNeill died September 29, 1902, leaving a son, Maurice, who is a bright young student in the city schools.

Mr. McNeill is a recognized leader, like his father, in the Republican ranks, and in 1894 was elected county attorney, overcoming a former Democratic majority of 1,000. He served two years,—from 1894 to 1896,—and in the latter year was renominated. He was defeated in the Free Silver landslide of that year, although, even then, his popularity was shown by his running about 600 votes ahead of his ticket. For three years, he was chairman of the Republican County Central Committee, and for two years of the Congressional District Committee, and in 1902 and 1903, he was a member of the Republican State Central Committee.

In March, 1903, Mr. McNeill was appointed by Governor Bailey a member of the State Board of Charities and Corrections, for a term of four years. This appointment met with the approbation of his wide circle of friends in the county. Fraternally, he is an Elk, and belongs to a number of fraternal insurance organizations. He is a member of the Catholic Church.

In addition to paying a large indebtedness which his father incurred by financially assisting a number of his friends, he has accumulated a fair share of wordly possessions, his integrity having ever been unimpeached. He stands today as an example of able, honest, American manhood, a type which for some years has become more and more the hope of the nation, the type that cherishes a high standard of business and professional honor, that encourages patriotism, and sets an example of steadfast adhesion to principles. Portraits of Mr. McNeill and his son Maurice accompany this sketch.


History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens ;ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by students from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, 2/26/1997.


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