Remembering W. Grant McNair


A Wonderful Discovery

This week while researching at the Historical Society, I started digitizing obituary and wedding announcements that were scrapbooked in a 1908 wallpaper sample book. Evelyn recently catalogued it, and I enthusiastically dove in to document and discover.

The 1908 Wallpaper / Scrapbook

Personal Insights

Low and behold ... I came across  Grant McNair's local Brodhead obituary! 

I have shared Grant's travels, business, and his living in New York in his later years. 

I also shared Grant's death record, which shows he ultimately died of cancer (of the liver and pancreas). He passed away unexpectedly while traveling on business to Michigan. Mysteriously, according to the local obit, Etta (Grant's second wife) did not attend his services and burial ... she stayed in New York.

Mystery of Etta's absence aside, the words of grant's obituary are beautiful, with rich insight into the man:

William Grant McNair was born in Janesville, Wisconsin, May 21, 1866, the son of the late Miles McDonough McNair and Elizabeth Melendy McNair. At an early age he removed with his parents to Brodhead where he grew to manhood. He received his education in the public schools of this city. Subsequently he engaged in the career of a commercial traveller, which he followed until the time of his death, being connected with the furniture business in the interests of which he travelled widely both in this country and in South America. 
Mr. McNair was a man of genial a nature, was very generous, made many friends and was very loyal to them. He was possessed of a keen sense of humor and was all that is implied by the phrase "good company". He was fond of good literature, was widely read and could quote extensively from memory from the works of great authors.

In 1916 Mr. McNair was married to Mrs. Etta Stevens, of Milwaukee, who survives him but was unable to be present at the last sad rites. He also leaves to mourn his loss, his sister, Mrs. Chas. B. Perry and family and Miss Grace E. McNair, a sister, all of Wauwatosa.

During recent years Mr. McNair made his home in New York City. During the past winter he had been in poor health following an attack of influenza, but the end came quite suddenly at Grand Haven, Mich., on the evening of May eighth.

Funeral services were conducted at Wauwatosa on Monday and interment took place in Brodhead, Tuesday, afternoon, Rev. Osgood officiating. The relatives in attendance here were Miss Grace E. McNair, Mr. and Mrs. Chas. B. Perry, Miss Marian Perry and Mr. Eugene Perry, all of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.