Captain James H. McDanell

Saturday afternoon, death took from our midst one of the most highly esteemed and progressive citizens.  Capt. James H. McDanell who had long been a sufferer from chronic bladder and bowel trouble.  In the death of Capt. McDanell, Warsaw and Gallatin county meet with an irreparable loss.  He was an illustration of what push and energy coupled with careful and judicious management could accomplish.

He was born in Cynthiana, Harrison county, Ky., in 1823, being 76 years old at the time of his death.  He came to Gallatin county in 1839 at 16 years ago, and settled on Lick Creek


Capt. James
H. McDanell

near Carson.  He attended school there under a teacher named Jenkins and afterward under our old citizen, B. F. Griffin in 1841-42.  Capt. McDanell began teaching school shortly after at Lick Creek school house in 1844, and numerous of our citizens now living attended the school, and have since developed into honorable, upright citizens.  He was married in 1847 to Miss Irene Crouch, who proceded him to the grave nearly twelve years ago, October 20th, 1887.  To this union was born three children, two boys and one daughter, viz: Mrs. Flora Wooley, of Lexington, Ky., and John W. and James H. Jr.; who are members of the large business firm if J. H. McDanell & Sons. 

Stating as a poor boy when he first came to this county, he had no capital to begin on but energy and pluck.  In 1849 he became a member of the firm Ginn & McDanell with a small stock of goods, and a little experience.  Shortly after Mr. Ginn retired from the firm and Capt. McDanell continued the business alone.  He was a great lover of fine stock and a good farmer.  Years ago he always had a fine string of short-horned cattle to exhibit at the fairs hereabouts, and very seldom missed carrying off the premiums offered.  But of late years, ill-health and his large mercantile pursuits prevented him from giving his stock the attention he desired, although up to the time of his death, he raised considerable fine sheep, cattle, and hogs, but on a more limited scale than before.  His farm is one of the finest in the state.  He was careful, industrious, and conservative, three features that assisted materially in building up his fortune.  He soon built up a good trade that grew year after year until his establishment became the most important of the town. 

When his sons arrived at the proper age he gave them an interest in the firm, and under his careful management and past experience, he inculcated them into the same good business ideas, and they are now considered among the best business men in the State.  With that same idea of progressiveness, about eight years ago this firm established their present planing mill, and shortly thereafter put up a saw mill plant.  The people of Warsaw and Gallatin County fully appreciate their loss in the death of this worthy citizen, for although he invests his money with the idea of making a profit, he also had the interest of his fellow citizens at heart. 

Capt. McDanell held many responsible positions within the gift of the people, and they, realizing his high order of intellect, and tact, he very seldom asked for an office, but what he received it.  Previous to 1856 he was assessor oif Gallatin county, and be belonged to the old Whig Party.  In that year he joined the "Knownothing" party, and made the race for the legislature, against Dr. A. B. Chambers, Democrat, of this town, father of [illegible] T. Chambers, deceased. This was one of the hottest political fights [illegible] took place within [illegible] owing to the great popularity [illegible] the race by a small majority and served in the General Assembly in 1856-57.  He afterward joined the Democratic Party.  In 1884 he was elected to the State Senate from this district, and served throughout  his term with credit to himself and his constituency.  In 1888 he was again elected to the General Assembly for the years 1888-89, on the Democratic ticket, defeating Moses Webster, Independent candidate.  He always took a deep interest in political matters, being County Democratic Chairman for a number of years, and a general party advisor.

He has one brother living, Solomon H. McDanell, of near Carson, and three sisters, viz: Mrs. George Hixon, Ghent, Ky., Mrs. J. T. Griffin, of the Hoggins neighborhood, and Mrs. Alfred Roswell, of Missouri.  Capt. McDanell was a member of the Methodist Church and for many years was superintendent of the Sunday School.

The funeral took place from his beautiful residence above town, Tuesday, at 2 o'clock, Rev. W. W. Green of the Methodist Church, preaching a very lengthy and touching sermon over the remains, after which they were laid to rest beside his wife in the Odd Fellows' cemetery. As an evidence of the high esteem in which he was held by those both far and near who knew him, the attendance, representing citizens from all the adjoining country was between seven and eight hundred, it being the largest funeral that has ever been held in this town., there being over one hundred vehicles in the funeral cortege.  Numerous and beautiful floral designs, representing the Anchor of Hope, a pillow design, with the words "At Rest" worked in white immortelles, wreaths, and banks of beautiful flowers were offered as tokens of love and respect for the departed.  Rev. Green delivered a very fervent prayer at the grave. The pallbearers were: Capt. W. H. Kirby, Ben S. Lindsay, Dr. J. T. Robinson, Joseph Roberts, F. F. Nesbitt, and Wm. H. Gridley.


Undated newspaper clipping, circa 1899.