Walk the Line

McGill's Historic Timeline


Mr. William “Billy” Neil McGill was born on January 7, 1853 in Cincinnati, Ohio and died in March 1923. I found Mr. McGill's and his wife’s head stone in the cemetery at Ely, Nevada. There are many people in McGill who remember the stories of the man and how our town was named after him.

As the history has been said, He came to Hamilton, Nevada as a young engineer in about 1871, and was hired to do some survey work at the O’Neill and Cleveland Ranches in Spring Valley.

William McGill went back to Hamilton to set up the equipment for a survey crew. On a contract he had made with the United States Government to survey the Nevada State Lines from the Idaho border to the Colorado River on the east side of what is now Nevada.

It was in 1872 in the fall the William “Billy” McGill quit the service of the United States Government and started up an engineering and survey office of his own. One of his jobs was at Ward, Nevada, were he was hired by the Martin White Company. But his heart was really in the Cowger Ranch, which he and Mr. Lyons had purchased from Mr. Cowger. “That same ranch that he ate dinner with Jessie James and his gang.”