Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Rusk County music teacher

I discovered the following news clipping online. Julian Hillary "Sharp" McNiel (1873--1911) was the son of George Thomas McNiel and Susan Wallace. He married Nettie L. Irby and they had several children. Sharp McNiel is buried in the old Gould Cemetery in southern Rusk County. I am guessing he originally lived somewhere between there and Cushing in Nacogdoches County. With Bernard N. Richards, he formed the McNiel-Richards Music Company. This company printed several (at least two, but probably more) seven-shape shape note songbooks in the early 1900s. Some of his titles can be found online HERE. In his song books he often gave his name with the musical sharp symbol -- "# McNiel".

Nacogdoches, Tex., April 24. - Sharp McNiel of Cushing, in this county, a well known citizen, died in the sanitarium here Sunday morning. The deceased was attacked by appendicitis while attending court here about ten days ago and was carried to the sanitarium, where he was operated on. The attack was so severe that little hope was had for his recovery during the operation.
Source: The Galveston Daily News, Galveston, Texas, Tuesday, April 25, 1911; Pg. 4