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In 2003 my 2nd cousin, Kip Webster wrote a story about the 6 McKinnon brothers who fought for the Union during the Civil War. I have also done research on Ancestry.com and the Find a Grave web site from 2017 until the present.

The oldest brother, Pvt. Isaac McKinnon (1828-1903) is my mother's, Ethel M. (McKinnon) Wetzel-20611, great grandfather and my 2nd great grandfather.

Isaac McKinnon (1828-1903) was a Blacksmith / Axe maker who worked and lived with his 1st cousin, William McKinnon (1816-1873) who started the McKinnon Axe Co. (Est.1845) in Rockaway, N. J. Isaac McKinnon (1828-1903) lived in Rockaway, N. J. with his cousin in 1850, was married in 1856 and left Rockaway, N. J. about 1862 and removed to Wisconsin to join his brothers in the Civil War. After the Civil War, Isaac McKinnon moved to "Wynockie" (Wanaque) New Jersey in Dec. 1865 and continued to make axes until at least, 1900.

The first McKinnon brother to die was Pvt. Alexander McKinnon (1842-1862) killed in action on Sep. 14, 1862, at South Mountain, Md.

Next to die was Pvt. Cornelius McKinnon (1844-1863) who was wounded at Antietam on Sep. 17, 1862, and died in Chambersburg, Pa. on June 19, 1863, after the town was occupied on June 16, 1863, by Confederate calvery.

"June 16, 1863: The Evening Sun headline, "Pennsylvanians know where Lee is heading", The panic is even more palpable at Chambersburg, directly in the path of the advancing Rebels. A column of Confederate cavalry led by Gen. Albert Jenkins occupies the town, confiscating weapons, demanding supplies and rounding up any African-Americans the Rebels can find, presuming them to be runaway slaves and sending them south in chains".

"Macomb Journal (Macomb, Illinois)
June 19, 1863
The Latest News.
The latest news from the East is of an exciting character. It appears that Lee's whole army is on the move northward, and there is no doubt that an extensive plan of invasion in intended. – Lee's army is said to number 93,000, divided into three grand divisions moving upon different points North. A rebel force of 20,000 cavalry are reported at Chambersburg, Pa."

Pvt. Isaac McKinnon (1828-1903), Sgt. Angus McKinnon (1832-1891), Sgt. Milton McKinnon (1836-1908), and Pvt. Manning McKinnon (1839-1925) all survived the Civil War.


C. Wetzel-20609

The Fighting McKinnon's 002.jpg (201.88 KB, 69 downloads)
The Civil War, The Fighting McKinnons, by Kip Webster, 2003
Isaac McKinnon 1828-1903, circa 1862 001.jpg (96.78 KB, 69 downloads)
Pvt. Isaac McKinnon (1828-1903)
W. McKinnon Mark, 1845-1873 (1).jpg (65.18 KB, 69 downloads)
W. McKinnon axe mark on the left (1845-1873)
Last edited by C. Wetzel-20609; 01/01/2024 08:06 PM.
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Very cool, My great grandfather and his two brothers fought in the civil war for the union, all three survived.

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Some of the dates of "The Civil War, The Fighting McKinnons", by Kip Webster are questionable. The birthdates come from the Isaac McKinnon family bible which is in the care of Walter McKinnon (my 1st cousin, 1x removed) of Haskell, N. J.
Isaac McKinnon had a son, William I. McKinnon (1862-1899) born 1862 in Wisconsin. Isaac McKinnon's son Cornelius McKinnon (1860-1942) was born at Mount Hope, Morris Co. N. J. and probably moved back to Wanaque, New Jersey in 1865 with the rest of his family, not "years later" as in the end of this story.

Isaac McKinnon served as a Private, in Co. A 27th Wisconsin Inf. with his brother, Sgt. Milton McKinnon and his brother-in law, Sgt. Lowell P. Fisher. The three all enlisted on Aug. 15, 1862. Isaac McKinnon, Milton McKinnon and sister, Mary A. (McKinnon) Fisher were living in Kewaunee, Wisconsin on Aug. 15, 1862.

Civil War Records: Isaac McKinnon, CO "A" 27 Wisconsin, Rank: Private, Enlisted, Kewaunee, Wisconsin on Aug. 15, 1862 & mustered out, May 31, 1865, (Source: U.S. Civil War Records, Film # M559 Roll 20).

Isaac McKinnon moved to "Wynockie", Pompton Twp. Passaic Co. N.J. (present day Wanaque Boro, Passaic Co. N. J.), after serving in the Civil War, abt. Dec. 1865. (Source: Tax Record of Dec. 1865) and continued to make axes in Pompton Twp. until at least 1900. (Sources: 1870; 1880; 1900 census). Isaac McKinnon's family Bible still survives with his great grandson, Walter McKinnon of Haskell, N.J.

Research notes: The picture of the two axe heads is from "The Tool Shed", number 177, Sept. 2014, "The McKinnons & the Rockaway axe", by Bob Garay.
Text: "Comparison of two McKinnon axes. Left is earlier (circa 1845-1873), William McKinnon (b.1816-d.1873), axe that follows closely the New Jersey pattern. On right is a later axe made by his son William McKinnon (b.1855-d.1905), that shows the full development of the Rockaway pattern".

Research notes: axes marked "W. McKinnon" are from 1845-1873, axes marked "McKinnon Bro's. Rockaway N. J." are from 1873 to 1883, axes marked "Wm. McKinnon, Rockaway N. J." are from 1883 to 1907, axes marked "McKinnon Rockaway N. J." are from 1907 to about 1920.

McKinnon ad post 1873 001.jpg (96.61 KB, 42 downloads)
Wm. McKinnon axe advertisement, 1883 or later.
Last edited by C. Wetzel-20609; 01/07/2024 07:00 PM.
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A very rare, early hewing broad axe, maker marked W. McKINNON above I. McKINNON, was sold on the popular auction site for the buy it now price of $99.00 on 22 Nov. 2023.

This 9.5" 6lb. axe was probably made about 1850-1861 in Rockaway, New Jersey by William McKinnon (1816-1873) and his 1st cousin, Isaac McKinnon (1828-1903), my 2nd great grandfather.

I had never seen this mark before and it is further proof along with the 1850 Rockaway Twp., Morris County, New Jersey census that William McKinnon (1816-1873) and Isaac McKinnon (1828-1903) were working together at the McKinnon Axe Co. (Est. 1845) in Rockaway, Morris co. N. J.


C. Wetzel-20609

Web capture_20-1-2024_212048_www.ebay.com.jpeg (44.89 KB, 24 downloads)
A very rare, early hewing axe, maker marked W. MCKINNON above I. MCKINNON
Web capture_20-1-2024_212329_www.ebay.com.jpeg (38.93 KB, 24 downloads)
A very rare, early hewing axe, maker marked W. MCKINNON above I. MCKINNON
Last edited by C. Wetzel-20609; 01/21/2024 03:27 AM.

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