Willennar Genealogy Center’s collection is full of Throwback Thursday potential, so let’s get our #TBT on!
It’s back-to-school season! Today, let’s brush up on some local school history by taking a look at William H. McIntosh, Civil War veteran, teacher, and school superintendent.
Not originally from DeKalb County, William H. McIntosh came to Auburn by way of a war and a wife. During the Civil War, he volunteered for the 22nd Wisconsin Infantry and found himself stationed in Rutherford, Tennessee, where he was told to establish a school for the children of the freedmen there.
It was there that he met Anna Cosper, an Auburn native who had come with four other women to Tennessee to aid in the war effort. Anna taught in William’s school, and when they both had free time, they passed out literature and supplies in Union hospitals together. Not surprisingly, they fell in love.
There was a hitch, though. William was only teaching until he received further orders—orders which arrived in February, 1864, directing him to one of the front lines. When he was able to get away on leave two months later, the two quickly got married, and then didn’t see each other again until after the war. For a short time, they lived in Wisconsin, before moving to Auburn in 1867, where they lived in this home on S. Main Street. They had two children, Ella and Henry.
No longer awaiting orders, William went back to working in education. He served at the DeKalb County School Examiner from 1868-71, and as the DeKalb County Superintendent of Schools from 1873-94. After his beloved Anna died in 1915, he offered his property as the site for a new high school building. The gift was accepted, and on July 2, 1916, William laid the first brick for what would soon become known as McIntosh High School.
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