from Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa by Manoah Hedge The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1906
Colonel James F. McNeill, now residing in Oskaloosa, Iowa, is a native of Springfield, Illinois, born October 15, 1841. His parents, Dr. F. A. and Mary E. (Cronise) McNeill, were natives of Allegany county, Maryland. Following his marriage the father removed to Springfield, Illinois, where he engaged in preaching as a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church. Later he took up the practice of medicine in Sangamon county, that state and subsequently removed to Ogle county, Illinois, where he became a prominent and influential citizen, being called to represent his district in the state legislature. He was born January 1, 1809, and d was borgle county, February 1, 1872. His wife had passed away in Springfield several years previously. In their family were ten children but only three are now living: W. A., a resident of Oskaloosa; Ann N., the widow of H. I. Little, of Chicago; and James F. H. W. McNeill, a brother of our subject, died in 1900. He had been prominently identified with the business affairs of Oskaloosa and Mahaska county, being particularly active in the development of the coal mines in this locality and also in Canada. Entering the public schools, James F. McNeill passed through consecutive grades until he had completed the high-school course. On the 12th of August, 1862, he enlisted for service in the Civil war as a private in Company G. One Hundred and Fourteenth Illinois Infantry, and was promoted to the rank of sergeant major of that regiment and was honorably discharged August 15, 1865. Following the close of hostilities Colonel McNeill returned to Springfield, Illinois, where he was employed for many years in the First National Bank, until 1883, when he came to Oskaloosa and was made assistant cashier in the Farmers Trades national Bank, which position he held for ten years, being a popular and prominent official. In the meantime he had become connected with his brothers, H. W. and W. A. McNeill, in the development and operation of coal mines, having charge of other business interests in Mahaska county under the firm name of McNeill Brothers. On the 18th of November, 1872, Colonel McNeill was married to Miss Julia E. Hibbs, of Springfield, Illinois. Their children are Walter F., now managing McNeill Brothers interests in Seattle, Washington, and Alberta, Canada; and Mabel, now the wife of George M. Martin, traveling passenger agent for the Iowa Central Railroad Company at Oskaloosa. Colonel McNeill was an active member of the Lincoln guard of Honor in Springfield, Illinois, and when the body of the martyred president was stolen he assisted in securing it and placing it in a permanent and secret burial spot. He was an active participant in organizing the Illinois National Gurad, was the first assistant adjutant general of the Second Brigade, and as such officer issued the general order mobilizing that brigade, and at the date of moving from Illinois to Iowa was lieutenant colonel of the Fifth Infantry Illinois national Gurad. The Colonel is prominent in Grand Army circles, having been twice elected commander of Phil Kearney post, No. 40, of Oskaloosa, Iowa, and is at this writing senior vice commander, Department of Iowa grand Army of the Republic. He is a man of affairs, who has been successful in his business dealings, yet is modest and unassuming in manner.
Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy