"Portrait and Biographical Record of Tazewell and Mason Counties, Illinois" pub. Chicago: Biographical Publishing Co. 1894, p. 559:

 WILLIAM McGINNIS owns and operates a valuable farm of two hundred acres on section 10, Little Mackinaw Township, and is regarded as one of the leading agriculturists of Tazewell County. His place is under a high state of cultivation and is well improved with all necessary buildings and other accessories of a model farm. The improvements were placed there by his own efforts, and therefore stand as monuments to his thrift and enterprise.

 Mr. McGinnis was born in Hawkins County, Tenn., September 27, 1831, and was brought to Tazewell County in 1844 by his parents, Abraham and Elizabeth (Myers) McGinnis, natives of Tennessee. The father was a farmer, and on coming west, located on section 3, Little Mackinaw Township, where he purchased a partially improved tract of land of one hundred acres. His death occurred in 1850. He was a supporter of the Democratic party, and was a highly respected citizen. Nine Children were born to Mr. and Mrs. McGinnis: John, who was a soldier of the Union army, and who now lives in Hittle Township; James, a farmer of Mitchell County, Kan.; Isaac, who follows farming in Mitchell County; Amanda, wife of John Gordon, of Little Mackinaw Township, and Charlotta, wife of Richard Pippin. Three of the family are now deceased.

Since of the age of thirteen years, Mr. McGinnis has been a resident of Tazewell County, and upon the old homestead was reared to manhood, there living until his marriage. On the 1st of March, 1864, he wedded Miss Martha, daughter of Nicholas Fail, a native of Coles County, and an early settler of McLean County, Ill. His last days, however, were spent in Little Mackinaw Township, Tazewell County. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Lydia Anna Stilwell, was a native of Indiana, but during early girlhood came to Illinois.

Mr. and Mrs. McGinnis began their domestic life on section 10, Little Mackinaw Township, where our subject purchased a tract of unbroken prairie land and began the development of one of the fine farms of the county. Twelve children came to bless their home, two of whom as deceased: Mary; Polly, wife of William Lower, who is living near Bradley, Ill.; William, who follows farming near the old home; Julia, wife of C. W. Cruse, a carpenter and builder of Minier; Eppa, Margaret, David, George, Charles and Edward.

 Both Mr. and Mrs. William McGinnis are faithful members of the Christian Church of Minier, are prominent people of the community, and occupy an enviable position in social circles. In politics he is a Democrat, and has served as School Director of his township. The best interest of the community have ever found in him a friend, and during his long residence in Tazewell County he has ever borne his part in promoting those enterprises which are calculated to prove of public benefit.

Submitted by Betty Doremus