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When John and Mellison Washburn McNall left Stafford Springs,
Tolland County, Connecticut to travel west in 1816, their son William
was ten years old, having been born February 23, 1806. Traveling with
their household effects in a cart drawn by a team of oxen, it would take
this young family thirty days to reach the hamlet of Cadiz, young
William walking almost all of the way alongside the team.
Short on formal education, as were most of his peers at the time,
young William early demonstrated an ability with tools. Practice and
perseverance brought him eventually to be carpenter, joiner, mason,
wheelwright, millwright and blacksmith. What you needed, he could do.
And the skills he demonstrated covered some of the most important needs
of the settlers.
He married Sibyl, the daughter of Stephen Seward of Franklinville
on December 17, 1829. They had five sons (two of whom, sadly, died in
infancy as was so often the case then) and four daughters. Two more
sons were lost to them later in life - Nathan died March 5, 1857; Thomas
E. McNall was killed at Morton's Ford, Va. in 1863. Of him it was said
"...and a braver, better, truer soldier never broke a hard-tack or drank
from a canteen than was Thomas E. McNall." This left, as the only
surviving son, Stephen E. McNall, whose wife Clara was a daughter of Dr.
Lewis and Eliza Riggs.
In 1903 The Chronicle for the week ending Friday, October 9th,
published the following:
AN OLD LETTER
"In rummaging among some of his old papers a few days since, S. E.
McNall came across a letter from the late Henry S. Merrill, written
when he was in the Adjutant General's office at Washington, Oct. 13th,
1863. The letter tells of the death of Mr. McNall's brother Efner
S. E. McNall:
Dear Sir - I have just this moment run upon Rob Bard. He has just
come from the front. He brings the sad intelligence of the death of
Efner. He fell while making a charge upon the enemy's lines last
Saturday. The ball entered his right side and came out the left breast.
He was brought off the field as nine others were and buried near the
town of Stephensburg, 3 miles to the rear. As good a burial was given
him as circumstances would admit. His death was instant.
The Captain of Co. 3 was killed and also Ephra Smith, a person I do
not know, from Sugartown.
I do this as a favor thinking the boys of the Company have had no
time to write. It may however be too late, I hope it is.
Bard came in with the wounded this morning., He is looking poorly.
I am truly yours,
s/HENRY S. MERRILL
Clerk Adjt. Gen'ls Office
Washington, D. C.
Stephen E. McNall, who was born February 12, 1836 at Cadiz, died
June 4, 1907, one week after the death of his wife, Clara Riggs McNall.
They were survived by four children: Mr. E. E. McNall and Mrs. W. J.
Jamison, both of Buffalo; and Mrs. C. W. Hogue and W. L. McNall, both of
William McNall had at least one sibling, a sister whose name was
Augusta McNall who in 1838 married Warren Kingsley. They would have two
sons. One would die in infancy; the other, A. W. Kingsley, would grow
up to be a much respected local citizen.