McNamar, John

Born: 1801-03-21 New York

Died: 1879-02-22 Huron, Illinois

Flourished: 1829-1879 Menard County, Illinois

Alternate name: McNeil, McNamara

In 1827 or 1828, McNamar migrated to Springfield, Illinois, where Washington Hornbuckle suggested he settle in New Salem. In 1829, McNamar opened one of the first stores in the county in New Salem, and he soon became the town's first postmaster. He was acquainted with Abraham Lincoln, who followed him as postmaster. After New Salem began to decline, McNamar moved to Petersburg and resumed his mercantile career. In February 1838, he married Deborah Latimer in Sangamon County, but she died in 1846. He served as an assessor, school commissioner, and township treasurer in Menard County, and as treasurer of Menard County from 1849 to 1857. In 1850, he lived in a hotel in Petersburg, and owned $1,500 in real property. In April 1855, he married Eliza McNeal in Menard County. In 1860, he was a farmer in Menard County, with $9,000 in real property and $1,249 in personal property. By 1870, he had increased his wealth to $15,000 in real property and $2,000 in personal property.

The History of Menard and Mason Counties, Illinois (Chicago: O. L. Baskin, 1879), 203, 209, 288, 310-11; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Sangamon County, 15 February 1838, Menard County, 17 April 1855, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Menard County, IL, 271; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Menard County, IL, 74; U.S. Census Office, Ninth Census of the United States (1870), Menard County, IL, 12; Petersburg Observer (IL), 1 March 1879, 3:6; Inventory of the County Archives of Illinois: Menard County (Petersburg), No. 65 (Chicago: Illinois Historical Records Survey, 1941), 266; Gravestone, Concord Cemetery, Petersburg, IL.