|W. F. A. McNeilly
Born July 5, 1869
||W. F. A. McNeilly, a brother of Mathew John McNeilly, whose sketch appears above, has also devoted his energies throughout his active business career to the tilling of the soil, in which line of activity he is meeting with most gratifying success. Born in Jackson county, Iowa, on the 5th of July, 1869, he is a son of James and Anna (Smith) McNeilly, extended mention of whom is made in the sketch of M. J. McNeilly. He was a lad of thirteen years, when, in 1882, he came with his parents to Jones county, and here he completed his education which had been begun in the district schools of his native county. The periods of vacation were devoted to assisting in the work of the home farm, and he continued to give his father the benefit of his aid until the latter's retirement from active life in 1896, when he took full charge of the homestead and has since made it his place of residence. The farm consists of two hundred and fifteen acres of land, all highly developed and the excellent improvements with which it is equipped were placed upon it by Mr. McNeilly and his father. Aside from general farming pursuits he is extensively engaged in stock-raising, making a specialty of breeding shorthorn cattle, having on hand at the present time twenty head of registered stock. Both branches of his business are proving most profitable and his affairs are so carefully and wisely managed that he has won rank among the representative and substantial farmers of the township.
It was on Christmas day, 1895, that Mr. McNeilly was united in marriage to Miss Rilla D. Duncan, a native of Columbus junction, Iowa, where her birth occurred on the 25th of December, 1872. She is a daughter of Andrew L. and Martha (O'Laughlin) Duncan, the former born in Tennessee in 1842 and the latter in Indiana in 1850. The father, who was a farmer by occupation, was brought to Iowa by his parents in infancy and he continued to make his home within its borders throughout the rest of his life. He was a soldier in the Civil war, enlisting from Louisa county, Iowa, as a member of Company C, Fourteenth Iowa Infantry of General Crocker's Brigade. He served for four years as a private and was wounded at the battle of Atlanta. After the close of the war he returned to the farm and continued to reside there upon until 1879. The last eight years of his life were passed as a guard at the state penitentiary. He passed away on the 2d of May, 1895, in Anamosa, having survived his wife fifteen years, her death occurring in 1880. In their family were five children, of whom Mrs. McNeilly was the fourth in order of birth. The others were: John E., of Center Junction; George B., residing in Washington; Ward, who is now deceased; and Villa, the wife of H. J. McCreedy, of Maxville, Kansas. The union of Mr. and Mrs. McNeilly was blessed with four children, namely: Andrew, Ruth, Glenn and Ray Donavan.
Mr. McNeilly is a member of the First Presbyterian church of Center Junction, the teachings of which form the guiding influence of his life, and in fraternal relations he is identified with the Modern Woodmen of America. In politics he is a republican and although be never sought nor desired office does all in his power to further the influence of the party throughout the community. His time is largely devoted, however, to the conduct of his business affairs, in which he is meeting with excellent success, energy, perseverance, self-reliance and integrity proving the salient elements in the prosperity which he now enjoys.
Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 479.
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