W. O. Pinnell

Company I, 79th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

Submitted by: John and Cindy McCachern

Obituary of W. O. Pinnell (Thursday, 28 December 1899, Kansas (IL) Journal)

Capt. W. O. Pennell

The death of Capt. W. O. Pinnell affords little occasion for surprise, as for a number of days he has been wavering on the brink of the unknown. His demise could scarcely be attributed to any special ailment, being rather a gradual decline of the vital forces, having its inception in the paralytic seizure of five years ago.

Captain Pinnell was born in Oldham County, KY, January 24, 1824, and died at 8 o'clock p.m. December 24, 1899, lacking one month of being seventy-six years of age. He was raised to farm pursuits and his boyhood and youth were so occupied. He was married in his native county June 2, 1848, to Miss Margaret Wilhoit, and of this union was born one son, W. C. Pinnel, president of the bank of Kansas, Ill. Mrs. Pinnell came to Edgar county with her husband soon after their marriage and died in 1856. A second matrimonial alliance was contracted with Mrs. Louisa (Wilhoit) DeHaven, who died in 1867 at the homestead in Kansas township. One child, born of this union, died in infancy. Capt. Pinnell was again married to Mrs. Glawvina (Shaw) Wilhoit, who survives him, together with two children, Brent Pinnell, cashier of the bank of Kansas, Ill, and Mrs. Fred Hopkins of this city.

In 1862 Capt. Pinnell enlisted in Co. II, 79th Ill., which company he organized in the vicinity of Kansas, and was elected as its first captain. He was obliged to tender his resignation in 1863 owing to illness in his family, but in the meantime he had been operating with his regiment and saw active service. He was identified with Driskell Post No. 209, G. A. R., of this city, but had no other secret society connection. He was a member and staunch supporter of the Christian church and his life was and exemplication of stalwart Christian manhood.

Capt. Pinnell has resided in Edgar county for forty years, living until 1882 as a farmer near Kansas, wher he took rank among the most substantial and respected citizens. He was identified with all important interests of his township, being liberal minded and public spirited wherever the popular weal was at stake. He was the first president of the First National Bank of Kansas and continued for a number of years to serve as such, giving away finally to his son, W. C. Pinnell, the present incumbent.

He was a staunch republican in politics and in 1882 was elected county clerk shortly thereafter removing his residence to Paris, where he has since resided. He filled the clerk's office one term, and thereafter engaging for a time in livestock commission business, being identified with an Indianapolis firm, though retaining his residence here. He filled the office of postmaster during President Harrison's administration and subsequently served several years on the city council. In recognition of his able services in this capacity, he was elected April 16, 1895 to the office of mayor and on the 27th of that month was stricken down with paralysis, which for weeks left the issue of life and death trembling in the balances. Eventually, he recovered sufficiently to be sworn in and fill out his term of office, since which timehe has refrained from anything in the way of business activity. A naturally strong constitution and a fund of vitality such as few men possess have preserved his life for nearly five years but about three months ago, he began to fail rapidly. For a forthnight past, it has been evident that the end could not be long deferred, and when it came at last it was attended with the peace of restful sleep. The entire community feels a sense of sorrow in death of Capt. Pinnell, who was one of the kindest, most jovial and affable of men. He had a cheery greeting and a pleasant word for everyone and there is scarcely a home in Paris to which the news of his death does not bring a sense of personal loss.

Funeral services were conducted from the family residence Tuesday at 9:15 o'clock a.m.; Rev. J. E. Davis officiating. The remains were taken to Kansas for interment at 10:40 a.m.--Beacon

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