John Wright McKinney was born near Springfield, Clark County, Ohio, June 17. 1825, and died at Camargo, Illinois, July 31, 1897, aged seventy-two years, one month and twenty-four days. His father and family moved from Ohio to Montgomery County, Indiana, in [83o, where the deceased lived until his twenty-first year. During the following two years he taught school in Montgomery County, studying medicine meanwhile with an energy and avidity so characteristic of his nature.
Mr. McKinney and Mary Roll were joined in matrimony October 12, 1848, at Pleasant Hill, Indiana. Soon after his marriage he moved to Hillsboro, Indiana, and began the practice of medicine. In 1851 he moved to Camargo, Illinois, and continued the practice of his chosen profession. Later he attended lectures at the Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia, graduating there from in 1855. In 1858 he moved to Centralia, Illinois, but removed to Camargo the following year. September 15, 1862, he enlisted in the Sixty-second Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, but was shortly transferred to the Sixty-third Illinois Volunteer Infantry and appointed surgeon of the regiment, with the rank of major, in which capacity he served during the remainder of the war, most of that time in Gen. John A. Logan’s corps-the notable Fifteenth Army Corps. He was mustered out April 9, 1865. Before the Sixty-third joined General Sherman’s army, it was engaged in the battles of Vicksburg, Mississippi, Mission Ridge, etc. After joining Gen. Sherman’s army his regiment was active in the attack on the Ogeechee Canal and Miller’s Station, and participated in the long list of famous battles of Sherman’s army during his famous “march to the sea.” During its active service the Sixty-third regiment traveled some six thousand, four hundred and fifty-three miles.
After the war Dr. McKinney resumed his practice of medicine and surgery at Camargo with marked success. He was author of the bill granting the formation of Douglas County, and gave the County its name in honor of the “Little Giant,” Stephen A. Douglas. The de-ceased served several terms as supervisor of Camargo Township. In politics he was a Democrat. While he did not belong to any Church, he possessed strong convictions of man’s duty to his God, his country, his family and himself, and practiced doing good and being honest all the days of his life.
September 25, 1870, Mary, his wife, died at their Camargo home, respected and beloved by her husband and all who knew her. September 10, 1871, Dr. McKinney and Minnie A. Coykendall were joined in wedlock and lived happily together until death separated them. The Doctor was a prominent member of the A. F. & A. M., Camargo Lodge, No. 440; Knights Templar; Frank Reed Post, G. A. R.; County and State Medical Societies, and was a prominent and respected citizen of his Township, County and state, being considered one of the most capable and successful physicians and surgeons of central Illinois. He was a member of the local or County pension examining board, serving in that capacity two terms.
During Dr. McKinney’s late illness-general physical relaxation he was attended constantly by his wife and children. His express wish, that his family nurse and care for him, was gratified. During these two months all of his family and children were able to be at his bedside and administer to his wants, night and day. His strong will power and remark-able energy coupled with the desire to recover his health, no doubt, prolonged his days. During this last illness the Doctor was ever mindful of the wants of his family, prescribing rest and medicine for them if at any time he fancied they needed it. Dr. McKinney died in the same house he had lived for almost half a century-forty-six years. He died as he lived, loving and beloved by his family, neighbors and friends. His leading characteristics were his honesty in his dealings with his fellow- men and his integrity as a physician and citizen. He possessed an indomitable will and a conviction of purpose that won him many a battle in the fights for life for his patients. He was courageous as a lion, vet withal tender and sympathetic as a woman. lie was liberal and generous, administering to the poor as skill fully and carefully as to the rich.