Bio: McNeight, William H. (Pioneer Settler)


Surnames: McNeight, Ehlers, Arthur

----Source: Spencer Record, Spencer, Wis.) 09/10/1942

Billy McNeight One Of Pioneer Settlers
The McNeight Family Came to the Town of Brighton In Homestead Days and Billy Now Farms 240 Acres.

William H. McNeight, town of Brighton farmer, long time member of the Marathon county board and vigorous leader in many public enterprises, is an outstanding and widely known candidate for the republican nomination for state senator in the twenty-fifth district comprising Lincoln and Marathon counties. Billy McNeight has close friends everywhere in the district who are volunteering their help to him in this campaign.

The McNeights were pioneers in central Wisconsin’s development of farms out of cut-over land. The family came to the town of Brighton to locate on a homestead signed by Chester A. Arthur, then president of the United States, and Billy McNeight was born on March 6, 1881 in the log cabin they had hewed out of the wilderness. He had the customary country school education of a boy of that day; there were no grades, just school, and he learned his lessons well. At twenty-two he bought eighty acres of land just a quarter mile from the old homestead where he started his own farming career. The farm grew with the years and today Billy McNeight farms 240 acres. He has a dairy herd of twenty to thirty milk cows, and fifty head of cattle in all. When Billy McNeight started out for himself, he agrees that he made the smartest move of his life by marrying Miss Helen Ehlers of the village of Spencer. She has contributed much to her husband’s success as a farmer. They have a married daughter, and one son, now enlisted in the U. S. Army Air Corps.

Billy McNeight’s first contact with local government came 32 years ago when he was chosen clerk of the town of Brighton. This position he served so faithfully for nine years that the electors of his township promoted him to the position of town chairman. For 21 years he has served on the Marathon county board of supervisors. During this long period of time he has been chosen on many important committees. For several years he served on the finance committee, and for two terms, 1939 through 1940, he was chairman of the county board. During his board chairmanship there were many things accomplished. Perhaps the most outstanding was the erection of the Youth building at Marathon park in Wausau. This project represents an outlay of $100,000 in federal money and a nominal expenditure on the part of Marathon county. Mr. McNeight was a member of the Triple A county committee for five years. He is now president of the Marathon county agricultural society and has been a member of the Wisconsin Valley and Exposition board of directors for many years. He has been given unselfishly his services as a member of Selective Service Board No. 3 of Marathon county, acting as its chairman.

Through his long association in county government, Billy McNeight feels that he is very familiar with the highway and school district problems in both Marathon and Lincoln counties and that he knows what legislation will be of help to this part of Wisconsin.



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