History of Crawford and Clark Counties, Illinois
Edited by William Henry Perrin
DR. W. H. McNARY, physician, Martinsville, was born in Mason County, Ky., July 14, 1821, to John and Sallie (Tennis) McNary. He was born 1768 on the Potomac River, Virginia, and died in this county in 1861. She was born in Bucks County Penn.,1778, and died here October 14, 1844. By occupation he was a farmer, and remembered well the time of the Declaration of Independence and incidents of the Revolutionary war. In spring of 1840, they came to Clark County, Ill., and settled on a farm seven miles from Martinsville. In 1826, they had moved from Kentucky to Greencastle, Ind., and from there came to this county. In Greencastle, our subject received his early education, and before coming to Illinois had attended one session of the Asbury University, when Dr. Matthew Simpson was President. He also attended a school after coming to this county, taught by S. C. Fox. Our subject was the youngest of twelve children, and the care of his parents in their old age fell on him, as the others were married and away from home. His medical education was obtained in this county. Dr. Samuel McNary was an older brother and a practicing physician at Melrose, so Dr. W. H. studied under him, and in 1847 commenced practicing with him From 1847 till the present time, he has continued in practice in this county, except three years spent in California. In 1850, he and his brother emigrated to California. While there his main business was mining, but also practiced to some extent. In 1853, he returned to Melrose and again went into practice there with his brother, who had also returned from California. He continued in practice there till 1856; he then came to Martinsville, but in 1858 his brother died, and he returned to Melrose to settle up the estate; so he practiced there for about one and a half years, and then came here, and has ever since been actively engaged in following his profession. In February, 1857, he was married to Miss Lydia Milligan, who was born in Ohio, and daughter of Thomas Milligan. He was born in Ohio and moved to Marshall, Ill., in the winter of 1856, and in the spring of 1857 he moved onto his farm west of Martinsville, but remained there only for a short time, when he sold it and moved to Martinsville. By trade Mr. Milligan is a carpenter, and has followed his trade quite an extent in Martinsville, building and overseeing the building of some of the best buildings here; but on account of old age he has retired from active life and with the highest esteem of the citizens of Martinsville, gained by his unofficious ways, and by his being a great reader and thinker. November, 1882, he moved to Michigan to one of his daughters there. In September, 1864, Dr. McNary's first wife died. By her he had three sons; two are still living--Byron and Herschel V., Clement L. (deceased). November 22, 1871, he was again married to Miss Mary V. Steel. She was born in Paris, Ill., daughter of Dr. Robert Steel, an old practicing physician of Edgar County. by her he had two children, one living--Robert P. (William H., deceased). The Doctor is a member of the AEsculapian Medical Society of the Wabash Valley, and of the Illinois State Medical Society, also of the American Medical Society. He has been president of the AEsculapian Society, and has represented it at Atlanta, Ga, and Richmond, Va.; was also elected to represent the same society at St. Paul, Minn., and New York City, but could not attend. He was sent by the State Medical Society to represent it in the American Medical Society in Buffalo, N. Y. With one exception, Dr. McNary has practiced longer in this county than any other physician, Dr. Williams, of Casey, beginning in the spring, and Dr. McNary in the fall afterward. He has, perhaps, had a larger practice than any other physician in the county, for his has been a constitution that could bear up under more exposure than most others. The Doctor's first and only entrance into political life was November 7, 1882, when he was elected on the Democratic ticket to the State Senate.