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Nathan Mcgill

Nathan K. McGill - "The first Negro appointed to the Chicago Library Board, a former Assistant Attorney General and former General Manager and Counsel of the Chicago Defender"

McGill, Nathan Kellogg - Lawyer.

b. Nov. 29, 1888, Quincy, Fla; [d. Chicago, May 8, 1946]
s. Nathan and Agnes (Zeigler) McGill;
m. I. Thornton (divorced), 1917; second marriage, Beatrice H. Stiles Dec. 23, 1933.
Three children, Nathan Kellogg, Jr., b. Oct. 11, 1918; Simuel Decatur II, b. July 31, 1924; Winston Beecher, b. Nov. 20, 1934.;
educ. Cookman Inst., 1905-09; Boston Univ. 1909-12; L.L.B., Boston Univ., 1912;
Lawyer, 1912-present; United States Supreme Court, 1917; Supreme Court, State of Illinois, 1918; United States District Court of Northern District of Ill., 1925; Sec. and Counsel, Robert S. Abbott Publishing Co; Publishers
Chicago Defender, and Abbott's Monthly, April, 1925 to 34; Assistant States Attorney and Special Counsel for Cook County, Ill., April , 1925-32; Asst. Attorney General, State of Illinois, 1929-33; Pres., N.K. McGill & Sons, Inc; Founder and Pres., Metropolitan News, Chicago, Ill., 1930-present;
Republican nominee for Circuit Judge 1933; mem. Chicago Reconstruction Administration; Pol. Independent; Relig. Methodist Episcopal;
Address, 3453 S. Michigan Ave; Residence, 4806 S. Parkway, Chicago, Ill.
(Source: "Who's Who in Colored America" - A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living persons of African Descent in America. 1938 - 1939 - 1940 (Fifth Edition. Thomas Yenser, Editor and Publisher, Brooklyn, NY)

From the Chicago Defender Newspaper:

McGill Appointed State's Attorney

Swearing In of Nathan McGill

"This is not a southern interracial society gathering, but one of your boys who could not rise in the South. This could not happen there. We are pointing out to you the advantages of living North, where a man with an education and a trade or profession is given a chance.

Attorney N.K. McGill (with hand upraised) receiving the oath of office as assistant State's Attorney, who has practiced his profession for years in Florida, has been told often that if he were white he would be a state's attorney. His color alone prevented him from receiving in Florida what he has in Illinois. In Illinois, he is a state's attorney; in Florida, no matter how well trained he was, his color barred him.

Editor Abbott, standing between State's Attorney Crowe (extreme left) and his secretary, Lawrence Cuneo, discovered Attorney McGill and informed him that while he was needed in the South, where good lawyers are in demand, there was no future for him nor his family there, and encouraged him to come North. The above is the result. Others in the picture are Ed. Wright, conceded to be the power of our Race and looked upon as the leader and spokesman for Cook county and the State of Illinois. At the extreme right is Alderman Louis B. Anderson of the Second ward.

From left to right the men are: State's Attorney Crowe, Editor Abbott, Lawrence Cuneo, Attorney McGill, Ed. Wright and Alderman Anderson.

In acknowledgment of the service rendered to the Republican party of Cook county by the Chicago Defender, State's Attorney Robert E. Crowe appointed Attorney N.K. McGill Assistant State's Attorney of Cook county Tuesday afternoon. Attorney McGill has already been assigned to duty in court.

The new assistant is a man of exceptional ability and rare legal talent. He is a graduate of Boston University, Boston, Mass., and has been practicing law for 10 years. Prior to his advent in Chicago he was an accredited member of the law firm of McGill & McGill of Jacksonville, Fla. in which place enjoyed the distinction of being a member of the state bar as well as being admitted to practice in the he United State Supreme Court. He is attorney for the Chicago Defender and several other corporations. He has been a member of the Illinois state bar for eight years.

Mr. McGill's appointment in Chicago is one more example of the Defender's contention that the North is the only place for our Race in this country. His appointment could have happened only in a place where there is social equality, upon which all other forms of equality are based. In the South, in spite of all the Interracial commissions, our people are Jim Crowed and humiliated at every turn.

Even in Florida, where Attorney McGill's ability as a lawyer was recognized, he could never aspire to be anything more than a practicing lawyer, and even then not entirely secure. The Defender urges our people to come and live where a dollar is worth at least 98 cents and you have a chance to fight for the other 2 cents. In the South a dollar is not worth 1 cent in your hands.

Attorney McGill, whose wife is Mrs. Idalee McGill, is a brother-in-law of Robert S. Abbott. The couple have two boys, N.K., Jr., and S.D., 6 years and 9 months old, respectively.

Chicago Tribune (IL)
Nathan K. McGill Sr.

Nathan K. McGill Sr., 67, of 5806 South Park way, Negro attorney, former general manager of the
Chicago Defender, and a former assistant state attorney general, died yesterday in his home. He had been a resident of Chicago since 1925. Mr. McGill is survived by his widow, Beatrice; three sons, Nathan K. Jr., Simuel, and Winston, and by two brothers and two sisters. Services will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow in the chapel at 3800 S. Michigan av.

From the Chicago Defender Newspaper
May 1946
Nathan McGill, Sr.

Death Ends Colorful Career of N.K. McGill

A simple morning service at the Jackson Funeral Home Tuesday solemnized the death of Atty. Nathan K. McGill, 57, one of Chicago's most colorful business and political figures.

McGill was former general counsel and secretary for the Robert S. Abbott Publishing Co. Inc., publishers of the
Chicago Defender. He died at his home, 4806 South Parkway, Tuesday morning (May 8, 1946). His widow, Mrs. Beatrice McGill and oldest son, Nathan Jr., were at his bedside

Following the funeral service, during which brief remarks were made by Bishop William J. Walls, presiding over the AME Zion Church's Second Episcopal District; Rev. Arthur D. Gray, pastor of Good Shepherd Congregational Church and Rev. Harold M. Kingsley, of Los Angeles, the body was shipped to Jacksonville, Fla., for final rites and interment.

Born in Quincy, Fla, on Nov. 29, 1888, McGill began his law practice at Jacksonville in 1913 and served as publisher of the Florida Sentinel in Jacksonville from 1916 to 1920.

In 1925, he came to Chicago to assume the duties of general counsel and secretary with the Abbott Publishing Company. He was Assistant States Attorney for Cook County from 1925 to 1926, Assistant Illinois Attorney General from 1929 to 1933, and became the first Negro appointee to the Chicago Library Board where he remained six years.

McGill had also been a member of the bench of the Superior Court of Illinois and Florida. At the time of his death he was a practicing attorney.

Accompanied by his son Nathan Jr., McGill went to Mayo Clinic on March 18 of this year where he remained until March 23. He had been ill for the past several months.

In addition to his widow, he is survived by three sons, Nathan K., 28, Samuel, 21 and Winston, 11, two sisters, Mrs. Sarah Jackson of Gary, and Mrs. Mary McGriff, of Newark, N.J.; and a brother, Attorney S.D. McGill, of Jacksonville, Fla.

Obituary of Nathan McGill, Jr. (Nathan 1888-1946's son)

Edition: Chicago Tribune
Nathan K. McGill, Nov. 12, 1962, of 6242 S. University avenue, beloved father of Kara L. and Nathan K. Jr.; loving son of Idalee; fond brother of Simuel and Winston McGill. Visitation Friday, 8 p.m., at Jackson Funeral Home, 7350 Cottage Grove avenue. Funeral Saturday, 10 a.m. Interment St. Mary's cemetery. ST 3-3522.

Information submitted by descendant Nathan K. McGill -


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