W. C. McHaney, a retired merchant and respected old resident of Lexington, was born In Pittsylvania County, Va., in 1818, and is the son of Cornelius and Patience (Hurt) McHaney. The father was also born in Pittsylvania, County, Va., in 1780. He was of Irish extraction and a farmer by occupation. In 1835 he immigrated to Henderson County, Second Civil District, where he became possessed of 1,000 acres of land. He was one of the early settlers of West Tennessee, and died August 19, 1849. The mother was of Scotch descent, born in Charlotte County, Va., in 1796, and died in 1836. They had a family of ten children; seven sons and three daughter; only three of the family now living. Our subject was the fourth child and came to Henderson County when seventeen years of age, having clerked for two years previous to that time. In 1886 he was employed by Gladden, Gorin & Co., of Lexington, in a general merchandise store, where he remained two years. In 1840 he embarked in the grocery business for himself, sold out three years later and established a dry goods house but sold out in 1847. He then moved to the Third District and gave his attention to farming. From 1865 he was interested in a general store at Crucifer, and in 1872 re-opened a dry goods store, which he turned over to his two sons. In 1878, Cornelius F; and John C., and two sons-in-law, Hon. John M. Taylor and Judge Levi Wood. He has, since that time, led a retired life. In 1841 he married Miss Louisa Henry, a native of Smith County, Tenn., born in 1821, the daughter of Felix and Caroline Henry, and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. To this union were born twelve children, seven of whom are living: Cornelius F.; Amanda L., wife of Hon. John M. Taylor, present congressman from the Eighth Congressional District; Mary S., wife of Hon. Levi S. Wood, present circuit judge of the Eleventh Judicial District; John C.; Elizabeth, wife of William T. Lawler; Nannie L. and Henry A.
Mr. McHaney was for forty years one of the solid business men of Henderson County, possessing ability and other characteristics which have enabled him to succeed in all he has ever undertaken. The welfare of the community was always dear to him and he extended a helping hand to all beneficial enterprises. In 1840 he cast his first presidential vote for Harrison but has since been a stanch Democrat. He was elected by the county court in 1842 to fill the unexpired term of S. M. Horton, county register in 1846-47; served as deputy sheriff for two years. He was also one of the commissioners who supervised the building of the courthouse.