WILLIAM M. NEAL, the subject of this sketch, is one of the leading citizens of Johnson County, Ind., and is engaged in the general blacksmithing and repair business. He was born in Jessamine County, Ky., on the ground where Camp Nelson was located during the late war, on December I, 1844. His father was Moses H. Neal, who was a native of North Carolina, and emigrated from there to Kentucky. In January, 1854, he emigrated to Indiana, locating in Johnson County. In 1863, he removed from Franklin to Elizabethtown, Bartholomew County, and in 1867, removed thence to Jennings County, where he died in 1872. The mother was Matilda Bain, and was born in Greenville District, S. C., and died in Jennings County, in 1874. To the parents six sons and six daughters were born, only two (our subject and an older brother, John A. Neal, of Bartholomew County), survive. Our subject was reared on a farm three miles east from Franklin, Ind., and secured a good education in the district schools. In August, 1862, he enlisted in Company I, of the Seventieth Indiana Regiment of Volunteer Infantry, under Col. Benjamin Harrison, ex-U. S. Senator. He served until the close of the war, losing but three days during service, and was mustered out of the service at Washington, D. C., on June 9, 1865. He returned to Franklin in November, 1866, and engaged in blacksmithing, and has been here ever since carrying on his business, which has grown to a considerable enterprise. In 1878, he was elected by the democrats of Johnson County, as sheriff, receiving a majority of 769 votes, carrying every township in the county. He was re-nominated by acclamation, and re-elected in 1880, by a majority of 680 votes, holding the office four years. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and is a Knight Templar. He is also a member of the Knights of Pythias lodge. He was married June 6, 1867, to Hattie E. Mozingo, who was born in Johnson County, and is the daughter of Joseph and Julia (Owen) Mozingo. To this union three children have been born, all of whom survive.
Transcribed by Cheryl Zufall Parker
Banta, D.D. History of Johnson County, Indiana. Chicago, IL: Brant & Fuller, 1888.