William Jasper McGinnis and Matilda McCleese, photo circa 1910

        William Jasper "Bill" McGinnis, was born 1/22/1845 at Gesling, Carter County, Ky., the son of Reuben and Martha Caroline Black McGinnis. Bill was a sergeant in the 40th Kentucky at the age of 18.  He was slightly wounded in the leg in one engagement, but the low point of his military service came when his cousin, whom he had enlisted with, was stricken with typhoid.  Bill was assigned to take his cousin home.  They got as far as the home of the notorious Underwoods and the boy could go no further.  The Underwoods took them in and did what they could, but the boy died.  Bill always had a high regard for the Underwoods after that in spite of their feudal reputation.
        Bill married 10/28/1873 Matilda McCleese, born 5/2/1843 in Carter Co., the daughter of William Stafford and Lizzie McCleese.

The children of Bill and Matilda were:
1) Melvin Lowry, b. 3/24/1868 d. 2/2/1934 m. 1st  12/15/1891 Elizabeth Hackwork, m. 2nd Etta Margaret Staggs;

2) Viola b. 4/14/1874 d. 3/8/1939 m. 6/6/1894 Henry Elliott Sexton;

3) George Ellis "Bud", b. 11/6/1875 d. Aug 1938 m. 1st  6/13/1901 Etta Elizabeth Jordan, d/o Alfred and Abbie Smith
Jordan, m. 2nd  Arthie Smith;

4) Bessie b. 8/26/1877 d. 8/27/1877;

5) Bertha A. b. 1/5/1878 d. 5/31/1921, m. 1st  11/2/1895 W. Floyd Sexton, m. 2nd  6/17/1900 John A. Parker b. 1882;

6) Thomas b. 5/4/1880 d. 6/1/1947 m. Ida May Parker b. 8/13/1887 d. 10/15/1962, d/o Benjamin and Amanda Pitts Parker;

7) Reuben b. 12/22/1881 d. 5/20/1884, a sibling of Reuben's rocked on his foot, the foot became infected causing Reuben's early death;

8) Finley J. b. 3/22/1883 d. 4/5/1950 m. 11/24/1909 Bertie Jordan, d/o George B. and Juda L. Jordan;

9) Rebecca Caroline b. 1/19/1885 d. 1952, m. 5/2/1904 Felix Young s/o Elisha and Anna Sizemore Young;

10) Infant b. 1/13/1887 d. 1/13/1887;

11) William "Willie" b. 5/29/1890 m. Apr 1910 Senia Buckler, daughter of Robert and Martia Buckler.

        Bill and Matilda built a home at Smith Creek, near the Smith Creek Christian Holiness Church.  Matilda loved to garden and it is said that every Sunday, people would come to stroll through her lovely flower gardens after Church.  After the death of Matilda, on 1/1/1919, Bill married 11/24/1920, Nancy "Nannie" McCormick b. 1854 in Ohio.
        Across the road from the home of William Jasper, on top of the hill, is an old McGinnis family cemetery, where Matilda and other members of the family are buried.  When Bill died 1/24/1929 in Portsmouth, Scioto County, Ohio, he was brought home to Smith Creek and laid to rest beside Matilda.

Submitted by  Garrett and Sherry Lowe

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