Jefferson County Historical Society

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William J. McMahon, timekeeper in the railroad shops of the Iron Mount-
ain Railroad at De Soto, was born near where the battle of Shiloh was
fought in Hardin County, Tenn., January 25, 1858 and is a son of Robert
C. McMahon, also a native of Tennessee, who immigrated to Paducah, Ky.,
in 1862, during the late war he was captain and pilot on the Tennessee,
Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, in the service of the United States, and
he it was who had to turn his boats at Johnsonville to keep the rebels
from capturing them.  William J. McMahon was reared and received his
early education in Paducah, Ky., afterward attending the A. and M.
College of Lexington, Ky.  His father died in 1877, and being obliged
to leave school he learned the trade of fancy wood moulding and scroll
work, at which he worked six years.  He went to St. Louis in 1882, and
January 28, 1883, came to De Soto, where he followed his trade six
months, and then became clerk in the timekeeper's office of the Iron
Mountain Railroad shops.  He was promoted to the position of timekeeper
in August, 1885, which position he still holds.  Mr. McMahon is a Royal
Arch Mason, and a prominent member of the A. O. U. W.