Miami County, Ohio Genealogical Researchers -- Sponsored by the Computerized Heritage Association


    Eighty years of life is a brief span in all the years of time; yet, as measured by human existence and the march of events, it is a long life. It has been truly said that the past one hundred years have witnessed more triumphs of the human mind, more progress of human development, than one thousand years preceding the dawn of the century that will pass at the close of 1900.

    Arthur L. McKinney was born in Mad River township, Clark county, September 16, 1819, in a log house. Here he lived until ten years of age, when his father moved to Montgomery county, Indiana. By hard work his father had accumulated enough to purchase a farm of forty acres near Enon, Clark county, which he sold at seven dollars an acre in 1829. The same land is now worth eighty dollars an acre. In Indiana he purchased from the government one hundred and twenty acres thirteen miles northwest of Crawfordsville. That country was then the "far west," and it was there that our subject received his knowledge, of early pioneer life. His father, in addition to being a backwoods farmer, was also a "backwoods" preacher, said to be one of the ablest in the Western Indiana conference.

    He was married, March 7, 184I, to Maria McFall, daughter of John and Elizabeth (McGregor) McFall, of Wilmington, Ohio. They were the parents of eight children, four of whom are living: Laurena, widow of William H. Northcutt, who was the patentee of the Northcutt system of street and sidewalk paving; John M.; Lillie, wife of Z. T. Dorman, of Greenville, Ohio; and Margaret, wife of Hiram Julian of Indianapolis, Indiana.

    In 1843 A. L. McKinney was ordained a minister of the Christian church of the Western Indiana conference. Feeling the need of education, as a student he bravely entered Wabash College, where he remained for five years, maintaining himself and family by preaching and teaching, neither of which afforded much of an income. In 1853 he was elected by the trustees of Antioch College a member of the facility, and removed to Yellow Springs, Ohio, the seat of that institution of learning, the same year, and was a teacher there for two years. In 1856 he wrote the memoirs of Elder Isaac N. Walter, one of the ablest and most eloquent ministers in the Christian denomination at the time of his death. In 1857 he moved to Troy and organized the Troy Christian Church, which now numbers over four hundred members. He remained pastor of that church until he was commissioned captain and chaplain in the Seventy- first Ohio Volunteer Infantry, March 22, i862. For three years he remained with the regiment, when he was mustered out, at New Market, East Tennessee, on the 22d day of March, 1865 by reason of the expiration of his term of service.

    He returned to Troy and the following year was elected treasurer of the county, and in i868 was re-elected, thus serving four years. In 1871 he was chosen the publishing agent of the Christian Publishing House, in Dayton, in which position he remained one year, at Dayton. In 1872 he was elected the probate judge of Miami County, and "In 1875 was re-elected, and thus he served the people six years. On the expiration of his last term in this capacity he engaged in the practice of law, although of an age when other men most generally retire. In April, 1894, he was elected the mayor of Troy, and is now serving his third term in this office.

    This sketch would not be complete without referring to the, Masonic history of our Subject. He was made a Mason in December, 1846, at Thorntown, Indiana. In 1852 he received the degrees of the Royal Arch chapter at Attica, Indiana; the council degrees he received in Troy, Ohio, in 1857, and the commandery degrees of Knights Templar in Reed Commandery, at Dayton, Ohio, in 1866. In 1891 he received the Scottish-rite degrees, in the Cincinnati Consistory. He has filled all the offices in Master Masonry, Chapter, Council and commandery, serving as principal sojourner for twenty-eight years. He is regarded as one of the brightest Masons in southern Ohio.

    This short sketch shows that judge McKinney has been one of life's toilers, and that for him there has been no cessation in life's battle. Born and reared amid the hardships of pioneer life, he has from early boyhood to a ripe old age been a constant worker. Under difficulties that would dismay the stoutest heart he acquired a good classical education, and amid all his work he found time to write several books for the people and the church. In the prime of his manhood he was a skilled debater and met the rough but forcible Denton on his own platform in 1856 and gave the champion of infidelity a complete drubbing. He has been honored by the citizens of Miami County; he has been honored by his church; he has been honored by the "brethren of the mystic tie," and he has been honored in his old age by the citizens of Troy.

    In this sketch we have not touched upon his characteristics as a man, nor analyzed his ability as a speaker or a writer, nor have we portrayed the trials or sorrows of his life. Thousands of interesting points in his career could be related, but we have not here the space even to begin such a pleasant task. In general, however, we can say with emphasis that he nears the farther shore of life with a conscience at peace and with relations of peace with all the world.

    Return to the Biography Index

    Return to Main Page

    Copyright © 2000 by Computerized Heritage Association.
    All Rights Reserved.