Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
HON. WILLIAM N. McNEW is a farmer
residing six and one half miles northwest of Davenport. Born October
23, 1847, in Morgan county, Kentucky, his parents were Doctor Moses C.
McNew, a native of Virginia, and Clarissa (Cole) McNew, a Kentuckian by
birth. The father practiced medicine successively in Virginia and
Kentucky until his death, which occurred in Kentucky. The mother
came to Lincoln county, where she died in May, 1903, in her seventy-fourth
Mr. McNew was the eldest of a family of eight
children. With his parents he removed from Morgan county to Owsley
county, Kentucky, where he grew up on a farm and received a good common
school education, which later enabled him to support himself by teaching.
In 1873 Mr. McNew and his mother migrated from Kentucky to Harlan county,
Nebraska, where each took up a homestead. While he improved his land
he followed the occupation of teaching until the grasshoppers having destroyed
his crops, he went, in 1876, to San Francisco where he clerked in a hotel.
A few years later he returned to Nebraska, and in 1882, he and his mother
came to Lincoln county and bought one hundred and sixty acres of railroad
On March 31, 1895, Mr. McNew was married to
Unicy Phar, a native of Columbia county, Washington. Her parents
were Charles F. and Hannah (Leabo) Phar, a sketch of whose lives appears
elsewhere in this volume. She has three brothers and an equal number
of sisters, whose names are incorporated with the sketch of Mrs. Phar.
The brothers and sisters of Mr. McNew are, Mrs. Sarah E. Mints, Mrs. Isabel
Turpin, Joseph B., Mrs. Martha J. Ewell, and Mrs. Josephine Russell.
Mr. and Mrs. McNew are parents of four children,
Esther E., Elbert, Charles C., and Lois M.
Mr. McNew is a popular man, having been elected
a member of the house of representatives in 1892, on the Republican ticket,
and his service was good and acceptable to his constituents. He is
a member of the I. O. O. F. lodge of Davenport, and affiliates with the
Baptist church, while Mrs. McNew is a member of the Presbyterian denomination.
It is of note in this connection, to state
that Mr. McNew descends from the patriots who fought for the liberty of
the colonies. His great-grandmother was a pensioner from that war
and was a near relative of the brave Montgomery who was in command of the
attack on Quebec and fell on December 31, 1775.