Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 8, Number 2, May, 1998 Page: 75
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The Angus McNeill Family
Angus McNeill's duties to his family, however, were not over. Margaret
Murray McNeill, the wife of Henry and the mother of his four children, died after her
husband's death in November 1876 but before August 28, 1878. Although Angus McNeill
had been unable to become the administrator of his daughter's estate, because he was the
grandfather of the children, he was approved as administrator of his son's estate. Once
again, he had to provide a bond of $3000 within twenty days. This time, however, he
made the bond. It was approved, and he took the oath of administrator. S. S. Lott, Calvin
Gordon, and Bat Smith were appointed "to appraise the property, when pointed out to
them." Angus attempted to carry out his duties and spent $557.25 of his own money for
the children for which he was never reimbursed.s8 Still, he- eventually relinquished his
duties to William Preston Murray, the brother of Margaret Murray McNeill.109
Forty years earlier, Angus McNeill had left Shreveport hurriedly, but in
1880 he joined Paulina de Graffenreid Pickett, the widow of James Pickett who had been
one of his partners in the Shreveport Town Company, in a claim to some land in Shreve-
port which had passed into public usage. At this time, McNeill was the only one of the
seven members of the company that was still alive. In the deposition given for Angus
McNeill, et al. vs. Hicks and Howell, before George S. Ziegler, McNeill gave more
details about his own early life and the years between 1836 and 1840 when he was presi-
dent of the Shreveport Town Company. At question was a missing map. McNeill exam-
ined a map and declared it an accurate representation of one made by Grant A. Alexander,
if it was not the original map. Certain lands had been set side for public use, such as a
graveyard, a park, and other uses he could no longer remember, but the land lying be-
tween Commerce Street, Red River, and Cross Bayou, above Texas Street could not have
been applied to any use up to 1840 when he last saw it, because of overflows. The original
map, he declared, he had left in the hands of John O. Sewall when he left in 1840, and he,
had not been back to Shreveport since then. When asked in cross examination whether he
was insolvent at the time he left, he replied: "My affairs were very much embarrassed and
I know there were Judgements against me in the state of Mississippi. I do not remember of
any Judgements against me in Shreveport or Caddo Parish at the time. I left there in the
Year 1840."10 In spite of his efforts, McNeill and Paulina Pickett lost the case, and any
profit he might have gained from retrieval of the land."'
108 Probate Records of Colorado County, Texas, Minute Book H, p. 507.
109 Probate Records of Colorado County, Texas, Minute Book F, pp. 653-654, 655, Minute Book
G, pp. 265, 504-511.
110 Deposition of Angus McNeill in District Court Records of Caddo Parish, Louisiana, Angus
McNeill, et al. v. Hicks and Howell
111 Henrici, "A Speculator's Dream," p. 46; Katherine Brash Jeter, "Map Mysteries of Shreve-
port," North Louisiana Historical Association, vol. 21, Winter 1990, pp. 3-9.
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 8, Number 2, May, 1998, periodical, May 1998; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151403/m1/27/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed May 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.