Throwback Thursday: W. H. McIntosh

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.

W. H. McIntosh

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.

McIntosh Home

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.

McIntosh High School

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.

Want to see more local history? Click here to search our online photo database.


About Jenny

I am the Associate Director of Eckhart Public Library. My office is in the Administrative Annex, but I can often be found roaming the Eckhart Public Library Campus, performing acts of librarianship in every department! I love to read and learn about history. I'm also a huge fan of movies, TV and pop culture in general, and I love to read books of all types. Currently, I'm working my way around the romance section, with some historical fiction and graphic novels thrown in for variety! But you never know what I'm going to pick up next.
This entry was posted in Throwback Thursday, What's Up At Willennar and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Throwback Thursday: W. H. McIntosh

  1. Pingback: Throwback Thursday: Dedicating the Eckhart Public Library | Charlie Chat

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