PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL ALBUM
pg 142, 143, 144
JAMES L. MCKINNEY is descended from two old pioneer families of Clark County—the MCKINNEYS and the LAMMES. The patriotism which he has exhibited, and the musical talent of himself and children, are an inheritance from the paternal line, Samuel MCKINNEY, his grandfather, having been a soldier in the War of 1812, and a pioneer music teacher in this vicinity. Grandfather MCKINNEY died in 1836 when his son Cyrus, the father of our subject, was but little past his majority, he having been born in Clark County in 1814. Cyrus MCKINNEY married Melinda E. LAMME, who was also born in Clark County, and there they made their home, rearing a family of four children, all of whom are yet living. The father breathed his last in 1870, the mother surviving until 1881.
Capt. MCKINNEY, our subject, is well known in Clark County where he lived for many years, and also in Greene County, in which he has been a resident since 1883. At that time he took up his abode in Yellow Springs, which has since been his home, and where, as in his former place of residence, he has been quite active in matters of public import. He has received the appointment of Land Appraiser for Miami Township, for the coming ten years, a position for which his knowledge of values well fits him. He was born April 29, 1839, in Clark County, being the first-born of his parent’s children, and receiving good advantages in the way of home training and school privileges. After completing the studies taught in the common schools, he attended the High School at New Carlisle, becoming well versed in all the branches on the curriculum. He remained at home assisting his father until twenty-six years of age, with the exception of the time spent by him in the service of his country.
The attack upon the Nation’s life aroused in the breast of young MCKINNEY a fervid desire to assist in the preservation of the Union, and in August, 1861, he enlisted in the Sixteenth Ohio Artillery. He was sent to St. Louis, and ere long was at the front, bearing a gallant share in various severe contests, among them being the battles of Pen Ridge, Thompsons’ Mills, Round Hill, Cash River, Duvall’s Bluff, the siege of Vicksburg, Jackson, (Miss.) and Champion Hills. He served faithfully until February, 1863, when his time of enlistment expired and he returned to his home. The struggle still continuing, however, he was not content to pursue the arts of peace, and in May, 1864, he prepared again to take the field. Raising a company, he joined the One hundred and Fifty-third Ohio Infantry, receiving the appointment of Captain of Company E, which he had organized. The command was attached to Grant’s army and saw some very severe service, prior to their discharge September 9, 1864. One of the hardest battles of Capt. MCKINNEY’S experience was at Green Spring Run, where he lost sixteen men of his company. Another severe struggle was an engagement between his company and a part of Gen. Imboden’s command, where the company being intrenched, was able to beat off the enemy, and save a bridge which they had been assigned to guard, losing but two men.
After his meritorious services in behalf of his country, Capt. MCKINNEY returned to his father’s home where he remained until late in the fall of 1865, when he set up a home of his own upon a farm in Bethel Township, remaining there until his removal to Yellow Springs. He still owns a farm of eighty-two acres in Mad River Valley, all improved, and of considerable value. While occupying his rural home, Capt. MCKINNEY served upon the School Board of the township, and he also holds a place in the Educational Board of Antioch College, having been Secretary of that body for five years. He has always taken an active interest in politics, and adheres strongly to the principles of Republicanism. Of temperance he is an earnest advocate. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in Yellow Springs and has held office in the lodge. He also belongs to the Grand Army of the Republic, in which at present he holds the position of Junior Vice Commander, and has been Officer of the Day for years.
On November 28, 1865, the rites of wedlock were celebrated between Capt. MCKINNEY and Miss Lizzie LOWRY, and educated and refined young woman, and the possessor of many womanly and Christian virtues. She is one of three children born to D. W. and Eliza (LAYTON) LOWRY, natives of Clark County, and of old pioneer families. Her grandfather, David LOWRY, was one of the original surveyors of that county, in which he located a home and became well known. She was born in September, 1841, received a good education in the schools of the vicinity, and was herself a teacher prior to her marriage. She had borne her husband two children: Carena and Athella.
The former was graduated from Antioch College in 1888, having completed a full course at the age of twenty years. She is now a member of the faculty of that institution, having been elected a teacher of vocal music. Athella, who is a member of the junior class in the same institution, is also a fine musician, and has a decided talent for painting. She works in both oil and water colors, and has beautified the parental home with many products of her pencil, the mantels and walls being lined with her works.
The MCKINNEY family belong to the Christian Church, of which our subject is a Trustee. The musical talent of the Captain and his daughters is recognized by the membership, and adds to the attractiveness of the church services, all being members of the choir, which Capt. MCKINNEY has led for seven years.
Portrait and Biographical Album Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio
Chapman Bros., Chicago, Copyright 1890