William McKinney was born in 20 January 1842 in McDonough Co., Illinois, the third child of William and Catherine (Smiley) McKinney. The family moved to Knox, Co, MO in about 1842 from Indiana, settling in the Benton Twp. area of the county. William and his older brother, Richard, served in the 21st Missouri Regiment in Company E along with their stepbrothers, William and Moses Burk.
He was united in marriage with Rebecca M. Bryant, daughter of Andrew Jackson Bryant and Julia Ann Williams, on the 11 February 1862 by the Rev. George Burkhart in Knox County, Missouri. Their marriage was blessed with six children; Annette, Sarah, William, Elias, Robert, and Andrew.
William died 26 September 1916 in Edina, Knox County, Missouri and is buried in the Millport Cemetery along with his wife Rebecca who had preceded him in death.
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