William Neal is a native of Darke County, Ohio, born December 5, 1817. He is the son of Caleb and Anna Miller Neal; his father being a native of Tennessee and his mother of Indiana. The early life of Mr. Neal was spent on the farm and in acquiring such education as was afforded in those times. He remained in his native town until he attained his twenty-first year when he commenced farming in Darke County, but after a few years labor removed to Adams County, Indiana, and engaged in stock-dealing and speculation for several years, when he returned to Darke County, where he was engaged in farming, and spent a few months in traveling through different parts of Illinois.
He eventually moved to Henderson County, Illinois, and was for three years engaged in stock-raising in that County. In 1857 he came to Daviess County and located in Sheridan township, where he has since resided, giving his attention chiefly to farming and raising stock. In 1861, Mr. Neal enlisted in Company I, Twenty-fifth Missouri Volunteers, but remained on duty only a few months when he was disabled by sickness and returned home. After his recovery he returned to his regiment and was on duty until April, 1862, when be was again permanently disabled and received an honorable discharge.
Mr. Neal was married, in Darke County, Ohio, October 1,1846, to Miss Margaret Irwin, a native of that County, and daughter of David Irwin, of the same County. Six children have been born to them: Elizabeth, Thomas J., deceased, Snyder M., James H., deceased, Anna and Sarah.