McCullough, William

Born: 1812-09-11 Flemingsburg, Kentucky

Died: 1862-12-05 Mississippi

Flourished: McLean County, Illinois

William McCullough was a soldier, sheriff, circuit court clerk, and Union Army officer. He moved with his father from his native Kentucky to McLean County, Illinois, in 1826. The McCullough family settled at Dry Grove. McCullough spent his early years working the family farm. Upon the commencement of the Black Hawk War, McCullough enlisted as a private in Merritt L. Covell's company of mounted volunteers in the Illinois Fifth Regiment. McCullough was present at "Stillman's Run," and served with the company until it mustered out in May 1832. In December 1833, he married Mary Williams, with whom he would have eight children. In 1840, McCullough lost his right arm in a threshing machine accident. In the fall of that same year, he won election as sheriff of McLean County, a position he retained for three consecutive terms. After his tenure as sheriff, McCullough won election as clerk of the McLean County Circuit Court, an office he retained for four consecutive terms. McCullough grew prosperous, and by 1860, he owned real property valued at $8,000 and had a personal estate of $1,500. In August 1861, McCullough entered military service, receiving a commission as lieutenant colonel of the Illinois Fourth Cavalry. He led his unit in engagements at Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, Shiloh, and Corinth, Mississippi. McCullough died in battle at Coffeeville, Mississippi.

E. Duis, The Good Old Times in McLean County, Illinois (Bloomington, IL: Leader, 1874), 201-3; War Records of McLean County and Other Papers, vol. 1 of Transactions of the McLean Historical Society (Bloomington, IL: Pantagraph, 1899), 522; Isaac H. Elliott, Record of the Services of Illinois Soldiers in the Black Hawk War, 1831-32, and in the Mexican War, 1846-8 (Springfield, IL: H. W. Rokker, 1882), 102; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, McLean County, 12 December 1833, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Ward 1, Bloomington, McLean County, IL, 127; Gravestone, Evergreen Memorial Cemetery, Bloomington, IL.