Son of John and Martha (Wright) McClannahan, was born in Adams county, Ohio, January 26, 1836. His parents resided in. that state until 1855, when they removed to Monmouth, Illinois, where they located a farm part of which was within the corporate limits of the city. William assisted his father on the farm until 1856 when he began a course of study in the Monmouth College, from which institution he graduated in 1860, and in the fall of that year entered the theological seminary at that place.
After having attended a term in that institution he was employed as principal of the West ward school. About this time he became convinced that duty called him to another field of action where muskets instead of ferrules were in vogue, and consequently after teaching a week he enlisted in the 17th Ill. Inf., and set out for the theatre of war. He acted as orderly in in that regiment until August, 1863, when he was promoted to second lieutenant. Shortly after his promotion he returned to Monmouth, and resumed his studies in the seminary, which he continued until the spring of 1864, when a company was organized, composed principally of students, and of which Mr. McClannahan was made captain.This company entered the 138th Ill. Inf., and were mustered out in September of 1864.
In the winter of 1864 he again resumed his studies and completed them in the spring of 1865. He was then sent as stated supply to Dayton, Ohio, where he had charge of a congregation one year, when he returned to Grandview, Iowa, where he took charge of two congregations, and for two years was principal of the Grandview Academy. After remaining in Iowa four years, his services were engaged by the United Presbyterian congregation at Viola. He has been pastor of that church since 1870. and during that time has won the love and respect of his entire congregation. Mr. McCannahan was married April 23, 1868, to Miss Mary J. Potter, whose father resides near Wapello, Iowa, and the fruits of the union are six children, whose names in the order of their ages are : Victor A., Zenis H., May M. (deceased), Enoch Potter (deceased), Amy, and Paul H.
It is well to add that four members of the McClannahan family enlisted in the service of their country. The father, Capt. McClannahan, and three sons, the youngest of which was the junior member of a family of seventeen children. The father fell at Fort Donelson, where previous to his death he had conducted himself with heroic bravery, and among all the dead who fell in that terrible conflict under the shadow of the banner they made free, none were more deeply mourned than the gray-haired captain.
History of Mercer and Henderson Counties
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