Biography of W. H. McKinnon
Madison County, Ohio Biographies





W. H. McKINNON, London. is a member of the firm of McKinnon & Watts, the well known saddlers and harness makers. He is a native of Lisbon, Clark County, Ohio, and a son of Theophilus McKinnon, who came to Ohio in 1802. He was born in Harrison County, Ky., in November, 1774. His father came to Ohio with his family in 1802, and settled on Buck Creek, a few miles north of Springfield, Ohio, he being the first settler on that stream above the site of Lagondà. He also planted the first apple orchard in that part of the country. At the time the family settled in Ohio, this entire region of the State was inhabited by many Indians. Mr. McKinnon, in his younger days, witnessed a number of councils of Indians, at which the "pipe of peace" figured prominently. He once heard the famous Indian chief and warrior, Tecumseh, make a speech at a council in Springfield. He was married to Pricilla Houston, sister of Dr. J. T. Houston, of London, January 2, 1823. Mrs. McKinnon departed this life July 24, 1872. Nine children were born to them, all of whom lived to the years of maturity, and six of them are now living - Mrs. Reed Marquart and Mr. J. Q. McKinnon, of Atlanta, Ill.; Mr. J. T. McKinnon, of Washington Territory; Hon. J. H. McKinnon, of Ashland, Neb.; Mrs. E. R. Watts and W. H. McKinnon, of London. For almost thirty years Mr. McK. was a resident of Madison County, with the exception of a short time of residence at Xenia, spending the last fourteen years of his life in London. Mr. McK. possessed a remarkable memory, and, with his mind stored with the numerable facts gained from many years of diligent reading, he was a veritable living history of Madison County. Always interested in the affairs of the nation, he kept himself posted upon all subjects of importance, so that it was a pleasure to hear from him through his knowledge of affairs seventy and seventy five years ago. During the last thirteen years of his life, he was blind, and it seemed to be true in his case, that the loss of one of the powers strengthens the remaining, for up to within a short time of his death his mind remained perfectly clear and ready, and his memory surprisingly accurate. During the years of his blindness, he was kept informed upon all matters of interest by friends reading to him, and he continued to manifest a great interest in matters of daily concern. For nearly sixty years, he was a member of the Methodist Episcopal denomination, having been converted while a resident of Lisbon. Clark County, Ohio. He was active in his church relations, and made his house a home for ministers, delighting to entertain and keep them with him. His days of life reached from the days of George Washington to the present. He lived under every administration since the organization of our present government. His first Presidential vote was cast for James Monroe, in 1820, after whom he voted for President at every election for that office, making in all, for him, sixteen such votes. He said that he had crossed the Alleghany Mountains twelve times on horseback, a feat that few would care about performing at the present day. He was a grandson of Maj. Harrison and a great grandson of Col. Crawford, both of whom were tortured to death by the Indians, the former having been "squibbed" to death with powder, at a place near the present site of Zanesfield, Logan County, Ohio, and the latter having been burned to death at a stake, near Upper Sandusky, Wyandot County, Ohio. Mr. McKinnon passed away from earth the evening of Friday before Easter Sunday, in 1882, aged eighty eight years, being, with possibly two exceptions, the oldest man in the community. He sleeps the sleep that knows no awakening in Oak Hill Cemetery, east of London. W. H. McKinnon was reared in Clark and Madison Counties, and served a four years' apprenticeship at his present trade with an uncle, Thomas Houston, of South Charleston, Ohio He worked at his trade in Logan County, Ill., for two years, and then returned to South Charleston. After a short time, he went to Catawba, Clark County, and subsequently to Jefferson, in this county. In 1865, he came to London with his uncle, and three or four months later the present partnership of McKinnon & Watts was formed. They are among the oldest merchants in the village, have met with very good success, and both members of the firm are highly esteemed. Mr. McKinnon is Republican in politics, and once served two years as a member of the County Central Committee.

From:
History of Madison County, Ohio
Published by: W. H. Beers and Company
Chicago, Illinois
1883


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