WILLIAM P. HACKNEY
William (Bill) Patrick Hackney was born in Jefferson County, Iowa, on December 24, 1842. His parents were Jacob B. Hackney and Lucy Chapman Hackney. In 1850 the family moved to Logan County, Illinois, where he received his education. He worked on the family farm until he joined the Union Army in 1861 at the age of 19. He enlisted as a private and moved up in rank until he was a Captain.
At the battle of Fort Donelson he was promoted to the rank of sergeant; at the seige of Corinth to the rank of orderly sergeant; and at the battle of Ottawa Pass, Georgia, to the rank of captain; at the latter battle he was twice wounded.
He was in the battles of Fort Henry, Shiloh, Nashville, Altoona Pass, Wise’s Forks and many others. He was wounded at Altoona Pass on the 5th of October, 1864, one ball passing through his right cheek and one through his body.
Samuel Watt of Pleasant Valley township wrote, “I served during the war with Mr. Hackney, in the same regiment, the 7th Ill. infantry. He was captain of Co. H. I was present and participated in the battle of Altoona Pass, in Georgia, Oct. 5th, 1864, and was wounded in that battle. Mr. Hackney was shot in that fight through the face and also through the body. His brother was wounded in three places during the same fight, and a brother-in-law was killed.”
“Ambrose’s History of the 7th Illinois Infantry,” says the following: “The hills tremble; the fort is wrapped in fearful flame. Amid dying groans the cannon crashed. Men are falling; their life-blood is streaming. Six thousand strong the rebels are pressing the gallant old 7th, while one continued flame pours from the muzzles of her sixteen shooting Henry rifles. A horde against a handfull! The great battle of Allatoona Pass is now over. Corse, Rouett, Tourtelotte, with the surviving of the gallant fifteen hundred, fling their tattered and blood-washed banners triumphantly over this field of death. We now look around us and behold the fort dripping with blood. We attempt to move through the fort and we find it almost impossible without trespassing upon the dead. We change our position. Who do we see here wounded and bleeding? We look again.
“Tis the Hackney brothers, laying side by side. We are wont to say here we see the embodiment of manhood. They looked but boys before the battle, but they look like men now. Look at that cheek; behold that frightful gash! ‘Tis a mark of royalty. When future years shall have rolled down the stream of time, and when the country is at peace, on that cheek will be a scar that will lead the mind back to the eventful years that saw this nation ‘leap lie a giant from her thralldom of tyranny.’
“We look again. Here lies Lieut. John E. Sullivan of Co. I. He fell fighting like a Spartan. Heroically he braved the frightful tempest and went down crowned all over with laurels of glory. He fell mortally wounded and died about 10 o’clock the next day. We were called to his side as his last moments of life were drawing nigh. Said he: ‘Give my sword to the gallant William Hackney of Company H! (which company he commanded when he fell). ‘Brave men, I will soon leave you--will pass the river of death.’ We stood by his side again, but his spirit had departed and the noble warrior was free from the angry strife of men.”
He was honorably discharged in July of 1965 and started his law studies in 1866 and was admitted to the bar in 1867. In January of 1868, he married Miss Callie L. Vanderventer and they had two children, Lyonel V. and Clyde W. He came alone to Cowley County in 1870 (August) to find a place for his family to live while he established a law practice.
W. P. Hackney moved his family to Arkansas City and built his first home there. In March of 1871, he moved from Arkansas City to Belle Plaine in Sumner county.
At the election in November, 1871, he was elected as a member of the legislature (in the house) from Sumner county, and was re-elected in 1873.
Finding Cowley County to his liking, he moved his family to the county seat in Winfield prior to September of 1875. His father and mother soon moved to Winfield and his three brothers moved to the vicinity of Wellington, Kansas.
. In 1875 he was elected to the house from Cowley county. Being a member of the legislature at the time of the impeachment of State Treasurer Hayes, he was honored by being selected by the members of the house to prosecute him.
He remained a prominent figure in Kansas for over forty years before going to California where he died July 28, 1926. He was elected to the Kansas House of Representatives in 1872, 1874, 1876 and 1905.
In 1880 Hackney was the republican candidate for senator and Charles C. Black the democratic. Kansas was voting on the Liquor prohibition amendment at the same time. Hackney announced that he intended to vote against the amendment: but, if elected and a majority of the voters declared for the amendment, he would support measures to enforce it. Black announced that he was for the amendment. The people believed that Mr. Hackney was sincere and would do as he said, and elected him. And his fine legal ability in framing enforcement laws helped the cause.
He was elected a Kansas State Senator in 1881 and again in 1883. He was elected mayor of Winfield in 1887 and 1888. He was also general solicitor for the Santa Fe Railroad who named a station in his honor. The station became the town of Hackney.
TRAVELER, JANUARY 26, 1881. Senator Hackney introduced a bill for the location and building of an asylum in Winfield for feeble-minded children January 26, 1881. The bill locates the asylum at Winfield, to be built of Cowley county stone, three stories high, with basement, and with suitable conveniences for one hundred and fifty children. The appropriation asked is only $50,000. The ground is to be given by the city and to contain not less than twenty acres. We know of no more suitable place for a lunatic asylum than at Winfield. The main difficulty will be insufficient room. Some provision should be made for the unfortunate outside our county seat.
A temperance bill was also introduced in the Senate on Tuesday of last week by our State Senator, Hon. Wm. P. Hackney. The bill is lengthy, but necessarily so, in that it leaves no loophole through which rascals can creep to take advantage of any technicalities. It is strict--is said to be the strictest, most uncompromising temperance bill yet introduced; but in this, it only reflects the character of its champion. There are no half-way measures with Mr. Hackney, and now that the constitutional amendment has been ratified by the people, he is in favor of a law being enacted and put in force that will carry out the people’s wishes. We do not think the bill will pass, but we know Mr. Hackney will do his best. There are probably a dozen temperance bills before the Senate and House, and all but one of which must go to the wall.
Senator Hackney introduced a joint resolution granting equal rights of suffrage to females and males in February of 1881.
Arkansas City Traveler, November 2, 1881.
“Messrs. Hackney & McDonald, one day last week, disposed of 3,154 acres of land in Spring Creek Township ffor $7,569.”
W. P. Hackney’s son, Lyonel, born Nov. 15, 1877, died young. His other son, Clyde, married Vera McMath in 1908. W. P. Hackney died at the age of 84, in July 1926, at the Sawtelle Soldiers Home in Los Angeles, California.
In 1910 Hackney printed at his own expense a pamphlet under the title, “American Merchant Marine,” in which he advocated subsidies to restore our flag to the seas. He sent a copy to each congressman and senator and to the heads of the government. If his arguments had been heeded the First World War would not have found us dependent upon Europe for water transportation.
His father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Hackney, moved to Winfield in 1878. Jacob Hackney died June 10, 1893. He was survived by his wife, a daughter Mrs. Sarah E Monical of Oklahoma City; and four sons — W. P. of Winfield; O. J. , H. G. and Richard of Wellington.
I suggest you read the accompanying stories in this book: “Hackney’s first Law Case” and “Horse Thieves.”