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Treasurer, as successor to John Thomas, who had
been Treasurer during the whole Territorial
period, serving until January, 1823. Becoming a



citizen of Vandalia. by the removal thither of the
State capital a few months later, he continued to
reside there the remainder of his life. He subse-
quently represented the Fayette District as
Representative in tlie Fifth General Assembly,
and as Senator in the Sixth, Seventh and Tenth,
and, in 1837, became Register of the Land Office
at Vandalia, serving until 1845. Altliough an
uncle of Gen. Joseph Duncan, he became a can-
didate for Governor against the latter, in 1834,
standing third on the list. He married a Miss
Bond, a niece of Gov. Shadrach Bond, under
whose administration he served as State Treasurer.
Died, at Vandalia, May 29, 1862.

McLEAN, a village of McLean County, on the
Chicago & Alton Railway, 14 miles southwest of
Bloomington, in a farming and stock-growing
district; has one weekly paper. Population
(1880), 490; (1890), 500.

McLEAN, John, early United States Senator,
was born in North Carolina in 1791, brought by
his father to Kentucky when four years old, and.
at 23, was admitted to the bar and removed to
Illinois, settling at Shawneetown in 1815. Pos-
sessing oratorical gifts of a high order and an
almost magnetic power over men, coupled with
strong common sense, a keen sense of humor and,
great command of language, he soon attained
prominence at tlie bar and as a popular speaker.
In 1818 he was elected the first Representative in
Congress from the new State, defeating Daniel P.
Cook, but served only a few months, being de-
feated by Cook at the next election. He was
tliree times elected to the Legislature, serving
once as Speaker. In 1824 he was chosen United
States Senator to succeed Governor Edwards (who
had resigned), serving one year. In 1828 he was
elected for a second time by a unanimous vote,
but lived to serve only one session, dying at
Sliawneetown, Oct. 4, 1830. In testimonj' of the
public appreciation of the loss which the State
liad sustained by his death, McLean County was
named in his honor.

McLEAN COUNTT, the largest county of the
State, having an area of 1166 square miles, is
central as to the region north of the latitude of
St. Louis and about midway between that city
and Chicago — was named for John McLean, an
early United States Senator. The early immi-
grants were largely from Ohio, although Ken-
tucky and New York were well represented. The
county was organized in 1830, the population at
that time being about 1,200. The greater portion
of the surface is high, undulating prairie, with
occasional groves and belts of timber. On the



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HISTORICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OP ILLINOIS.



creek bottoms are found black walnut, sycamore,
buckeye, black ash and elm, while the sandy
ridges are covered with scrub oak and black-jack
The soil is extremely fertile (generally a rich
brown loam), and the entire county is underlaid
with coal. The chief occupations are stock-rais
ing. coal-mining, agriculture and manufactures.
Sugar and Mackinaw Creeks, with their tribu
taries, afford thorough drainage. Sand and
gravel beds are numerous, but vary greatly in
depth. At Chenoa one has been found, in boring
for coal, thirty feet thick, overlaid by forty-five
feet of the clay common to this formation. The
upper seam of coal in the Bloomington shafts is
No. 6 of the general section, and the lower. No. 4;
the latter averaging four feet in thickness. The
principal towns are Bloomington (the county-
seat). Normal, Lexington, LeRoy and Chenoa.
Population (1880). 60, 100; (1890). 63,036.

McLEANSBORO, a city and the county-seat of
Hamilton County, upon a branch of the Louis-
ville & Nashville Railroad. 103 miles east-south-
east of St. Louis and about 48 miles southeast of
Centralia. It has a court house and supports a
bank and three olmrches. Two weekly news-
papers are published here, and the town is the
seat of a small college. Population (1880), 1,341;
(1890), 1,355.

McMULLIN, James C, Railway Manager, was
born at Watertown. N. Y., Feb. 13, 1836; began
work as Freight and Ticket Agent of the Great
Western Railroad (now Wabash), at Decatur, III.,
May, 1857, remaining until 1860, when he
accepted the position of Freight Agent of the
Chicago & Alton at Springfield. Here he re-
mained until Jan. 1, 1863, when he was trans-
ferred in a similar capacity to Chicago; in
September, 1864, became Superintendent of the
Northern Division of the Chicago & Alton, after-
wards successively filling the positions of Assist-
ant General Superintendent (1867), General
Superintendent (1868-78) and General Manager
(1878-83). The latter year he was elected Vice-
President, remaining in office some ten years,
when ill-health compelled his retirement. Died,
in Chicago. Dec. 30, 1896.

McMURTRY, William, Lieutenant-Governor,
was born in Mercer County, Ky., Feb 20, 1801 ;
removed from Kentucky to Crawford County,
Ind., and, in 1829, came to Knox County. 111.,
settling in Henderson Township. He was elected
Representative in the Tenth General Assembly
(1836), and to the Senate in 1843, serving in the
Thirteenth and Fourteenth General Assemblies.
In 1848 he was elected Lieutenant-Governor on



the same ticket with Gov. A. C. French, being
the first to hold the office under the Constitution
adopted that year. In 1863 he assisted in raising
the One Hundred and Second Regiment Illinois
Volunteers, and, although advanced in years,
was elected Colonel, but a tew weeks later was
compelled to accept a discharge on account of
failing health. Died, April 10, 1875.

McNEELEY, Thompson W., lawyer and ex-Con-
gressman, was born in Jacksonville, 111., Oct. 5,
1835, and graduated at Lombard University,
Galesburg, at the age of 21. The following year
he was licensed to practice, but continued to pur-
sue his professional studies, attending the Law
University at Louisville, Ky., from which insti-
tution he graduated in 1859. He was a member
of the Constitutional Convention of 1863, and
chairman of the Democratic State Central Com-
mittee in 1878. From 1869 to 1873 he represented
his District in Congress, resuming his practice
at Petersburg, Menard County, after his retire-
ment.

McNULTA, John, soldier and ex-Congressman,
was born in New York City, Nov. 9, 1837, received
an academic education, was admitted to the bar,
and settled at Bloomington, in this State, while
yet a young man. On May 3, 1861, he enlisted as
a private in the Union army, and served until
August 9, 1865, rising, successively, to the rank
of Captain, Lieutenant-Colonel, Colonel and
Brevet Brigadier-General. From 1869 to 1873 he
was a member of the lower house of the General
Assembly from McLean County, and, in 1872, was
elected to the Forty-third Congress, as a Repub-
lican. General McNulta has been prominent in
the councils of the Republican party, standing
second on the ballot for a candidate for Governor,
in the State Convention of 1888. and serving as
Permanent President of the State Convention of
1890. In 1896 he was one of the most earnest
advocates of the nomination of Mr. McKinley for
President. Some of his most important work,
within the past few years, has been performed in
connection with receiverships of certain railway
^aid other corporations, especially that of the
Wabasli, St. Louis & Pacific Railroad, from 1884
to 1890. He is now (1898) Receiver of the National
Bank of Illinois in the city of Chicago.

Mcpherson, Simeon J., clergyman, de-
scended from the Clan McPherson of Scotland,
was born at Mumford, Monroe County, N. Y. . Jan.
19, 1850; prepared for college at Leroy and Fulton,
and graduated at Princeton, N. J., in 1874. Then,
after a year's service as teacher of mathematics
at his Abna Mater, he entered the Theological



HISTORICAL KM'YCLOPEDIA OK ILLINOIS.



367



Seminary there, and graduated from that depart-
ment in 1879, having in the meantime traveletl
througli Europe, Egypt and Palestine. He was
licensed to pre;»oh by the Rochester Presbytery
in 1877, and spent three years (1879-82) in pas-
toral labor at East Orange, N. J. ; when he ac-
cepted a call to the Second PresViyterian Church
of Chicago, remaining until the early part of 1899,
when he tendered his resignation to accept the
position of Director of the Lawrenceville Prepar-
atory .\cademy of Princeton College, N. J.

McROBERTS, Josiah, jurist, was born in
Monroe County, 111., June 12, 1820; graduated
from St. Mary's College (Mo.) in 1839; studied
law at Danville, 111., with his brother Samuel,
and, in 1842, entered the law department of
Transylvania University, graduating in 1844,
after which he at once began practice. In 1846
he was elected to the State Senate for the Cliam-
paign and Vermilion District, at the e.xpiration of
his term removing to Joliet. In 1852 he was
appointed by Governor Matteson Trustee of the
Illinois & Michigan Canal, which office he held
for four years. In 1866 he was appointed Circuit
Court Judge by Governor Oglesby, to fill a va-
cancy, and was re-elected in 18G7, '73, '79, and 'S't,
but died a few months after his last election.

McROBEETS, Samuel, United States Sena-
tor, was born in Monroe County, 111., Feb. 20,
1799; graduated from Transylvania University in
1819; in 1821, was elected the first Circuit Clerk
of his native county, and, in 1825, appointed
Circuit Judge, which office he held for three
years. In 1828 he was elected State Senator,
representing the district comprising Monroe,
Clinton and Washington Counties. Later he was
appointed United States District Attorney by
President Jackson, but soon resigned to become
Receiver of Public Moneys at Danville, by
appointment of President Van Buren, and, in
1839, Solicitor of the General Land Office at
Washington. Resigning the latter office in the
fall of 1841, at the next session of the Illinois
Legislature he was elected Uniteii States Senator
to succeed John M. Robinson, deceased. Died, at
Cincinnati, Ohio, March 22, 1843, being suc-
ceeded by James Semple.

McVICKER, James Hubert, actor and theat-
rical manager, was born in New York City, Feb.
14, 1822 ; thrown upon his own resources by the
death of his father in infancy and the necessity
of assisting to support his widowed mother, he
early engaged in various occupations, until, at
the age of 15, he became an apprentice in the
Office of "The St. Louis Republican," three years



later becoming a journeyman printer. He first
appeared on the stage in the St. Charles Theater,
New Orleans, in 1843; two years later was prin-
cipal comedian in Rice's Theater, Chicago, re-
maining until 1853, when he made a tour of the
country, appearing in Yankee cliaracters. About
1855 he made a tour of England and, on hi.s
return, commenced building his first Chicago
theater, which was opened, Nov. 3. 1857, and was
conducted with varied fortime until burned down
in the great fire of 1871. Rebuilt and remodeled
from time to time, it burned down a second time
in August, 1890, the losses from these several fires
having imposed upon Mr. McVicker a heavy
burden. Although an excellent comedian, Mr.
McVicker did not appear on the stage after 1882,
from that date giving his attention entirely to
management. He enjoyed in an eminent degree
the respect and confidence, not only of the
profession, but of the general public. Died in
Chicago, March 7, 1896.

McWILLIAMS, David, banker, Dwight, 111.,
was born in Belmont County. Ohio, Jan. 14, 1834;
was brought to Illinois in infancy and grew up on
a farm until 14 years of age, when he entered the
office of the Pittsfield (Pike County) "Free Press"
as an apprentice. In 1849 he engaged in the
lumber trade with his father, the management of
which devolved upon him a few jears later. In
the early 50's he was, for a time, a student in
Illinois College at Jacksonville, but did not
graduate; in 1855 removed to Dwight, Livingston
County, then a new town on the line of the Chi-
cago & AltCQ Railroad, which had been completed
to that point a few months previous. Here he
erected the first store building in the town, and
put in a S2,000 stock of goods on borrowed capi-
tal, remaining in the mercantile business for
eighteen years, and retaining an interest in the
establishment seven years longer. In the mean-
time, while engaged in merchandising, he began
a banking business, which was enlarged on his
retirement from the former, receiving his entire
attention. The profits derived from hi.s banking
business were invested in farm lands until he
became one of the largest land-owners in Living-
ston County. Mr. McWilliams is one of the
original members of the first Methodist Episcopal
Church organized at Dwight, and lias served as a
lay delegate to several General Ct)nferences of
that denomination, as well as a delegate to the
Ecumenical Council in London in 1881 ; has also
been a liberal contributor to the support of vari-
ous literary and theological institutions of the
church, and has served for many years as a Trus-



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HISTORICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ILLINOIS.



tee of the Northwestern University at Evanston.
In politics he is a zealous Republican, and has
repeatedly served as a delegate to the State Con-
ventions of that party, including the Bloomington
Convention of 1856, and was a candidate for
Presidential Elector for the Ninth District on the
Blaine ticket in 1884. He has made several ex-
tended tours to Europe and other foreign coun-
tries, the last including a trip to Egypt and the
Holy Land, during 1898 99.

MECHANICSBURG, a village of Sangamon
County, near the Wabasli Railway, 13 miles east
of Springfield. Population (1880), 396; (1890),
426.

MEDILL, Joseph, editor and newspaper pub-
lisher, was born, April 6, 1823, in the vicinity (now
a part of the city) of St. John, N. B., of Scotch-
Irish parentage, but remotely of Huguenot
descent. At nine years of age he accompanied
his parents to Stark County, Ohio, where he
enjoyed such educational advantages as belonged
to that region and period. He entered an acad-
emy with a view to preparing for college, but his
family having suffered from a fire, he was com-
pelled to turn his attention to business ; studied
law, was admitted to the bar in 1846, and began
practice at New Philadelphia, in Tuscarawas
County. Here he caught the spirit of journalism
by frequent visits to the office of a local paper,
learned to set type and to work a hand-press. In
1849 he bought a paper at Coshocton, of which he
assumed editorial charge, employing his brothers
as assistants in various capacities. The name of
this paper was "The Coshocton Whig," which
he soon changed to "The Republican," in which
he dealt vigorous blows at political and other
abuses, which several times brought upon him
assaults from his political opponents — that being
the style of political argument in those days.
Two years later, having sold out "The Repub-
lican," he established "The Daily Forest City" at
Cleveland — a Whig paper with free-soil proclivi-
ties. The following year "The Forest City" was
consolidated with "The Free-Democrat," a Free-
Soil paper under the editorship of John C.
Vaughan, a South Carolina Abolitionist, the new
paper taking the name of "The Cleveland
Leader." Mr. Medill, with the co-operation of
Mr. Vaughan, then went to work to secure the
consolidation of the elements opposed to slavery
in one compact organization. In this he was
aided by the introduction of the Kansas-Nebraska
Bill in Congress, in December, 1853, and. before
its passage in May following, Mr. Medill had
begun to agitate the question of a union of all



opposed to that measure in a new party under the
name "Republican." During the winter of
1854-55 he received a call from Gen. J. D. Web-
ster, at that time part owner of "The Chicago
Tribune," which resulted in his visiting Chicago
a few months later, and his purchase of an inter-
est in the paper, his connection with the concern
dating from June 18, 1855. He was almost
immediately joined by Dr. Charles H. Ray, who
had been editor of "The Galena Jeff ersohian, "
and, still later, by J. C. Vaughan and Alfred
Cowles. who had been associated with him on
"The Cleveland Leader." Mr. Medill assumed
the position of managing editor, and, on the
retirement of Dr. Ray, in 1863, became editor-in-
chief until 1866, when he gave place to Horace
White, now of "The New York Evening Post."
During the Civil War period he was a zealous
supporter of President Lincoln's emancipation
policy, and served, for a time, as President of the
"Loyal League," which proved such an influ-
ential factor in upholding the hands of the Gov-
ernment during the darkest period of the
rebellion. In 1869 Mr. Medill was elected to the
State Constitutional Convention, and, in that
body, was the leading advocate of the principle
of "minority representation" in the election of
Representatives, as it was finally incorporated
in the Constitution. In 1871 he »vas appointed
by President Grant a member of the first Civil
Service Commission, representing a principle to
which he ever remained thoroughly committed.
A few weeks after the great fire of the same
year, he was elected Mayor of the city of Chicago.
The financial condition of the city at the time,
and other questions in issue, involved great diffi-
culties and responsibilities, which he met in a
way to command general approval. During his
administration the Chicago Public Library was
established, Mr. Medill delivering the address at
its opening, Jan. 1, 1873. Near the close of his
term as Mayor, he resigned the office and spent
the following year in Europe. Almost simultane-
ously with his return from his European trip, he
secured a controlling interest in "The Tribune,"
resuming control of the paper, Nov. 9, 1874,
which, as editor-in-chief, he retained for the
remainder of his life of nearly twenty-five years.
The growth of the paper in business and influence,
from the beginning of his connection with it, was
one of the marvels of journalism, making it easily
one of the most successful newspaper ventures
in the United States, if not in the world. Early
in December, 1898, Mr. Medill went to San
Antonio, Texas, hoping to receive relief in that



HISTORICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ILLINOIS.



;iG9



mild climate from a chronic disease which had
been troubling him for years, but died in that
city, March 16, 1899, within three weeks of hav-
ing reached his 76th birthday. The conspicuous
features of his character were a strong individu-
ality and indomitable perseverance, which led
him never to accept defeat. A few weeks jirevi-
ous to his death, facts were developed going to
show that, in 1881, he was offered, by President
Garfield, the position of Postmaster-General,
which was declined, when he was tendered the
choice of any position in the Cabinet except two
which had been previously promised; also, that
he was offered a position in President Harrison's
Cabinet, in 1889.

MEDILL, (Maj.) William H., soldier, was
born at Massillon, Ohio, Nov. .5, 1835; in 18.5.5,
came to Chicago and was associated with "The
Prairie Farmer." Subsequently he was editor of
"The Stark County (Ohio) Republican," but
again returning to Chicago, at the beginning of
the war, was employed on "Tlie Tribune," of
which his brother (Hon. Josepli Medill) was
editor. After a few months' service in Barker's
Dragoons (a short-time organization), in Septem-
ber, 1861, he joined the Eighth Illinois Cavalry
(Colonel Famsworth's), and, declining an election
as Major, was chosen Senior Captain. The regi-
ment soon joined the Army of the Potomac. By
the promotion of his superior officers Captain
Medill was finally advanced to the command,
and, during the Peninsular campaign of 1862, led
his troops on a reconnoissance within twelve miles
of Richmond. At the battle of Gettysburg he
had command of a portion of his regiment, acquit-
ting himself with great credit. A few days after,
while attacking a party of rebels who were
attempting to build a bridge across the Potomac
at Williamsburg, he received a fatal wound
through the lungs, dying at Frederick City, July
16, 1863.

MEEKER, Moses, pioneer, was born in New-
ark, N. J., June 17, 1790; removed to Cincinnati,
Ohio, in 1817, engaging in the manufacture of
white lead until 1822, when he headed a pioneer
expedition to the frontier settlement at Galena,
111., to enter upon the business of smelting lead-
ore. He served as Captain of a company in the
Black Hawk War, later removing to Iowa
County, Wis., where he built the first smelting
works in that Territory, served in the Territorial
Legislature (1840-43) and in the first Constitu-
tional Convention (1846). A "History of the
Early Lead Regions," by him, appears in the
sixth volume of "The Wisconsin Historical Soci-



ety Collections." Died, at Shullsburg, Wis.,
July 7, 1865.

MELROSE, a suburb of Chicago, 11 miles west
of tlie initial station of the Chicago & North-
western Railroad, upon which it is located. It
has two or three churches, some manufacturing
establishments and one weekly paper. Popula-
tion (1890), 1.0.50.

MEMBRE, Zenobius, French missionary, was
born in France in 1645; accompanied La Salle on
his expedition to Illinois in 1679, and remained at
Fort Creve-Co3ur with Henry de Tonty ; descended
the Mississippi with La Salle in 1682; returned to
Fi-ance and wrote a history of the expedition,
and, in 1684, accompanied La Salle on his final
expedition; is supposed to have landed with La
Salle in Texas, and there to have been massacred
by the natives in 1687. (See La Salh? and Tonty.)

MENARD, Pierre, French pioneer and first
Lieutenant-Governor, was born at St. Antoine,
Can., Oct. 7, 1766; settled at Kaskaskia, in 1790,
and engaged in trade. Becoming interested in
politics, he was elected to the Territorial Council
of Indiana, and later to the Legislative Council of
Illinois Territory, being presiding officer of the
latter until the admission of Illinois as a State.
He was. for several years. Government Agent,
and in this capacity negotiated several important
treaties with the Indians, of whose characteris-
tics he seemed to have an intuitive perception. He
was of a nervous temperament, impulsive and
generous. In 1818 he was elected the first Lieu-
tenant-Governor of the new State. His term of
office having expired, he retired to private life
and the care of his extensive business. He died
at Kaskaskia, in June, 1844, leaving what was
then considered a large estate. Among liis assets,
however, were found a large number of promis-
sory notes, which he had endorsed for personal
friends, besides many uncollectable accounts
from poor people, to whom he liad sold goods
through pure generosity. Menard County was
named for him, and a statue in his honor stands
in the capitol grounds at Springfield, erected by
the son of his old partner — Charles Pierre Chou-
teau, of St. Louis.

MENARD COUNTY, near the geographical
center of the State, and originally a part of
Sangamon, but separately organized in 1839, the
Provisional Commissioners being Joseph Wat-
kins, William Engle and (Jeorge W. Simpson.
The county was named in honor of Pierre Menard,
who settled at Kaskaskia prior to the Territorial
organization of Illinois. (See Mennrd. Pierre.)
Cotton was an important crop until 1830, when.



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HISTORICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ILLINOIS.



agriculture underwent a change. Stock-raising
is now extensively carried on. Three fine veins
of bituminous coal underlie the county. Among
early American settlers may be mentioned the
Clarys, Matthew Rogers, Amor Batterton, Solo-
mon Pruitt and William Gideon. The names of
Meadows, Montgomery, Green, Boyer and Grant
are also familiar to early settlers. The county
furnished a company of eighty-six volunteers for
the Mexican War. The county-seat is at Peters-
burg. The area of the county is 320 square miles,
and its population, under the last census, 13,120.
In 1829 was laid out the town of Salem, now
extinct, biit for some years tlie home of Abraham
Lincoln, who was once its Postmaster, and who
marched tlience to the Black Hawk War as
Captain of a company.

MENDON, a town of Adams County, on the
Burlington & Quincy Division of the Chicago,
Burlington & Quincy Railway, IS miles northeast
of Quincy ; has a bank and a newspaper ; is sur-
rounded by a farming and stock-raising district.
Population (1880), 652; (1890), 640.

MENDOTA, a city in La Salle County, founded
in 1853, on both the Chicago, Burlington &
Quincy and the Illinois Central Railways, 80



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