McNary was born in Abington, Massachusetts, McNary attended the public schools of Abington and graduated from the Boston English High School. He engaged in newspaper work.
McNary was a reporter and managing editor of The Boston Commercial Bulletin from 1880 to 1892.
McNary engaged in the insurance business and a dealt in real estate.
Early Public Service Career
Boston Common Council
McNary served as member of the City of Boston Common Council in 1887 and 1888.
McNary served in the Massachusetts Legislature as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1889 to 1890 and from 1900 to 1902 and as a member of the Massachusetts Senate from 1891 to 1892.
Boston Water Board
In 1893 Judge Robert Grant resigned his position on the Boston Water Board, in July 1893 McNary was appointed by Mayor Matthews to fill the vacancy. McNary's appointment was confirmed by the Board of Aldermen and he served as a member of the Water Board from 1893 to 1894.
Democratic State Committee
McNary was secretary of the Democratic State committee from 1898 to 1900, and served as the chairman of the committee from 1900 to 1904.
Democratic National Conventions
McNary was an alternate delegate at large to the Democratic National Convention in 1892. and as an at large delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1900 and was also a delegate in 1904.
1892 and 1894
In 1892 and 1894 McNary was the Democratic Nominee for Congress in Massachusetts 10th Congressional District. He was unsuccessful in both of these elections. At the time the Massachusetts 10th Congressional District consisted of South Boston, Roxbury, Dorchester, the City of Quincy and the Town of Milton.
Although he was the official nominee of the Democratic party, McNary lost the 1892 election to independent Democratic candidate Michael J. McEttrick. That contest was a four way race between McNary, McEttrick, Harrison Atwood the Republican nominee and independent Republican candidate Richard C. Humphreys. McNary came in third behind Atwood and the winner McEttrick.
McNary again was the official nominee of the Democratic Party in the 1894 general election. McNary ran against incumbent Congressman independent Democratic candidate Michael J. McEttrick, Republican nominee Harrison H. Atwood, independent Republican candidate Frederick W. Peobody and Socialist candidate Michael D. Fitzgerald of Lynn. In this five way race McNary lost the 1894 election to Atwood.
1902 and 1904
In 1902 the incumbent congressman Henry F. Naphen wanted to run again, however McNary who was chairman of the Democratic State committee wanted the nomination and McNary forced Naphen to retire from the race. As McNary controlled the apparatus of the districts Democratic party Naphen decided to quietly drop out of the race rather than after a fight.
In the 1902 general election, McNary as the nominee of the Democratic party faced Republican nominee William W. Towle and Socialist candidate John Weaver Sherman. McNary won the election with a 6,195 vote plurality over the second place candidate William W. Towle.
In the 1904 election McNary was again the nominee of the Democratic party, in the general election he faced Republican nominee J. B. Crawford and Socialist candidate W. T. Richards. McNary won the election receiving 19,211 votes to 12,740 votes for Crawford and 1,572 votes for Richards.
In 1910 McNary ran as a candidate for the Sixty second Congress, he sought the Democrat nomination for the Massachusetts Tenth Congressional district, against Boston City Councilor James Michael Curley and incumbent Congressman Joseph F. O'Connell, in the primary election McNary came in third behind Curley and O'Connell.
McNary continued his business pursuits in Boston, Massachusetts.
McNary retired from Congress in 1907 to form The Drake and Hershey Company, a company that dealt in furniture.
In 1915 McNary was one of the founders of the Hanover Trust and was also one of its directors.
Later Public Service
Massachusetts Harbor and Land Commission
Boston Port Directors
McNary was an associate member of the Boston Port Directors for two years.
Waterways and Public Lands Commission
Death and Burial
McNary died in Boston on June 26, 1930 and he was interred in St. Joseph's Cemetery, West Roxbury, Massachusetts.
- Rand, John Clark Monroe (1890), One of a Thousand: A Series of Biographical Sketches of One Thousand Representative Men Resident in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, A.D. 1888-'89, Boston, MA: First National Publishing Company, p. 689
- A Catalogue of the City Councils of Boston, 1822-1908, Roxbury, 1846-1867, Charlestown 1847-1873 and of The Selectmen of Boston, 1634-1822 also of Various Other Town and Municipal officers, Boston, MA: City of Boston Printing Department, 1909, p. 276
- A Catalogue of the City Councils of Boston, 1822-1908, Roxbury, 1846-1867, Charlestown 1847-1873 and of The Selectmen of Boston, 1634-1822 also of Various Other Town and Municipal officers, Boston, MA: City of Boston Printing Department, 1909, pp. 276–277
- A Catalogue of the City Councils of Boston, 1822-1908, Roxbury, 1846-1867, Charlestown 1847-1873 and of The Selectmen of Boston, 1634-1822 also of Various Other Town and Municipal officers, Boston, MA: City of Boston Printing Department, 1909, p. 277
- Bacon, Edwin Monroe (1916), The Book of Boston: Fifty Years' Recollections of the New England Metropolis, Boston, MA: Book of Boston Co., p. 193.
- "Member of Water Board. Hon William S. McNary to Succeed Judge Grant. His Appointment Sent to the Board of Aldermen Yesterday. Its Confirmation Looked Upon as a Foregone Conclusion", Boston Daily Globe, Boston, MA: Boston Daily Globe, p. 1., Aug 1, 1893
- United States Congress (1906), Official Congressional Directory, Washington, DC: United States Congress, p. 52.
- United States Congress (1904), Official Congressional Directory, Washington, DC: United States Congress, p. 50.
- "ONLY ONE OUT OF THIRTEEN; MASSACHUSETTS DEMOCRATS NOT HOPEFUL OF SUCCESS. Possibly They May Elect Congressmen in the Fifth and Tenth Districts, but Only the Ninth Can Be Counted on as Certain – The Republican Delegation Will Be Practically the Same as at Present – John Simpkins in the Thirteenth", The New York Times, New York, NY: The New York Times Company, p. 9, October 29, 1894
- "FIGHTING 10TH. District Captured by the Republicans. Atwood Leads in the Exciting Race. Elected to Congress Beyond Doubt. McEttrick Second and 1029 Behind. But He Led McNary by No Less Than 1655 Votes. Fitzgerald in 9th Defeats Jesse M. Gove. Both Cronan and Coakley Left Out in the Cold. FITZGERALD'S FIGHT. How He Defeated Jesse Gove in the 9th Congressional District. FULLER THE VICTOR. He Defeats Both Cronan and Coakley for the Senate", Boston Daily Globe, Boston, MA: Boston Daily Globe, p. 1., November 7, 1894
- "NAPHEN INDUCED TO RETIRE. Democratic Chairman McNary Wants the Nomination for Himself", The Washington Post, Washington, D.C.: The Washington Post, p. 1, August 22, 1902
- "The American Almanac, Year-book, Cyclopaedia and Atlas", The American Almanac, New York, NY: Published by New York American and Journal, p. 777., 1903
- Beatty, Jack (2000), The Rascal King: The Life and Times of James Michael Curley (1874–1958), Cambridge, MA; New York, NY: Da Capo Press, pp. 114–117., ISBN 0-306-81002-6
- A Catalogue of the City Councils of Boston, 1822–1908, Roxbury, 1846–1867, Charlestown 1847-1873 and of The Selectmen of Boston, 1634-1822 also of Various Other Town and Municipal officers, Boston, MA: City of Boston Printing Department, (1909) pp. 276–277.
- Bacon, Edwin Monroe.: The Book of Boston: Fifty Years' Recollections of the New England Metropolis (1916) p. 193.
- Bridgman, Arthur Milnor.: A Souvenir of Massachusetts Legislators (1901) pp. 180–181.
- Official Congressional Directory of William S. McNary from 1904
- Official Congressional Directory of William S. McNary from 1906
- United States Congress. "William S. McNary (id: M000584)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.
|Party political offices|
|| Chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party
|U.S. House of Representatives|
Henry F. Naphen
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 10th congressional district
March 4, 1903 – March 3, 1907
Joseph F. O'Connell