William F. McGregor was born in Maury County, Tennessee in 1817. He was the son of William and Sarah McGregor who were originally from North Carolina. In 1836, the part of Maury County that Treasurer McGregor and his family lived in became Marshall County.
During the 1830s and the 1840s, Treasurer McGregor became a partner in the merchandising firm of Hopwood and McGregor in Lewisburg, Tennessee. On May 20, 1845, he married Lucy A. Jones. They had four children, named Walter S., Mary F., William A. and Floren McGregor.
In 1857, Treasurer McGregor was elected as the 6th State Treasurer of Tennessee. He served during the administration of Isham G. Harris. In 1862, during the Civil War, Union forces captured Fort Donelson and Fort Henry and eventually overtook Nashville. After successfully capturing Nashville from the Confederates, President Abraham Lincoln appointed Andrew Johnson as a “military governor” to oversee the occupied area.
Although Johnson was the military governor, Isham Harris still served as the nominal governor of Tennessee until the end of the Civil War. Despite not having a lot of political power in the state, Harris served in the dual roles as Confederate governor and aide and confidant to the high command of the Army of Tennessee.
In February of 1863, Treasurer McGregor became sick and died while still serving as State Treasurer of Tennessee. As a result of the death, Governor Isham G. Harris had the power to temporarily fill the vacancy until the next session of the legislature. Eventually, Governor Harris chose Joel Allen Battle to serve as State Treasurer. Battle was a former brigadier general of the state militia and served as a colonel of the 20th Tennessee Infantry during the Civil War. Battle served in the position until the end of the Civil War in 1865.
Reference: Private Acts of Tennessee, 1835 – 1836, Chapter 35, Tennessee State Library & Archives Collection; Marshall County, Tennessee: A Sesquicentennial History (Marceline, MO: Walsworth Press, Inc , 1986), 155- 156; Tennessee State Marriages, 1780 – 2002, Nashville, TN: Tennessee State Library & Archives; Leroy P. Graf and Ralph W. Haskins, eds., The Papers of Andrew Johnson, Volume 3, 1858 – 1860 (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1972), 295; 1860 United States Federal Census, Nashville Ward 5; “William F. McGregor, State Treasurer of Tennessee, Died,” Chattanooga Daily Rebel, March 1 1863; Sam Davis Elliott, Isham G. Harris of Tennessee: Confederate Governor and United States Senator (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2010), 139; W. Buck Yearns, ed. The Confederate Governors (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1985), 193 – 194.