For many years, the name McGill was a prominent and honored one in legal circles of Benton county, and J. T. McGill, city attorney of Bentonville, ably sustained the traditions of the family in this respect. He also served as mayor of Bentonville and was a native son of whom the town town felt proud. He was born July 2, 1885, a son of Leonidas H. McGill, a leading attorney and highly esteemed citizen of Bentonville.
J. T. McGill, the eldest son in a family of ten children, completed a high school course in Bentonville in 1905 and subsequently entered the law department of the State University of Arkansas, from which he was graduated in 1910. For a time he practiced independently but starting in 1917 was associated with his father, under the firm name McGill & McGill, and they were accorded a large and distinctively representative clientage, connecting them with much of the litigation tried in the courts of the district. Mr. McGill served as city attorney of Bentonville and efficiently discharged the duties of that office. While advancement at the bar was proverbially slow, he made substantial progress, readily mastering the intricacies of the law and preparing his cases with great thoroughness, precision and skill. He had much natural ability but was withal a hard student, believing in the maxim "There is no excellence without labor" and following it closely.
Mr. McGill was affiliated with the Christian church. His political allegiance was given to the democratic party and he was called upon to fill the office of mayor of Bentonville, in which he made a most creditable record, giving to the town a progressive and businesslike administration. He was a member of the Arkansas State and American Bar Associations, also belonged to Kappa Sigma, a college fraternity, and was likewise connected with the Knights of Pythias, of which he was a past chancellor commander. He was always loyal to every trust reposed in him and at all times was actuated by a public-spirited devotion to the general good. His time and attention were concentrated upon his profession, in which he made continuous progress, and he was recognized as one of the able attorneys of Bentonville.
Adapted from the Centennial History of Arkansas, 1922.