Title: Armstrong County, Pennsylvania : her people past and present, embracing a history of the county and a genealogical and biographical record of representative families. v.1
Author: J.H. Beers & Co.
THOMAS NEWTON McKEE, M.D., an eminent physician and surgeon of Kittanning, belongs to old pioneer stock of Sugar Creek township, Armstrong county, where he was born Nov. 18, 1867, on his father’s farm, the old homestead place of his grandfather.
His parents were THOMAS VINCENT and MARY (CRAIG) McKEE, and on both sides he belongs to the hardy Scotch-Irish race which has done so much for Pennsylvania.
The Doctor is a great-grandson of ANDREW McKEE, who was born in 1747, in Ireland, and coming to America prior to the Revolution settled in Cumberland county, Pa., near Carlisle. He served in the Revolutionary war from the beginning to the close, in two regiments, in March, 1776, becoming a private in the company of Captain Adams, Colonel Irwin’s regiment, Pennsylvania troops, with which he served sixteen months. In June, 1780, he again enlisted, this time in Captain Zeigler’s company, Colonel Stewart’s regiment, and served till the end of the war.
Afterward he came to Allegheny county, Pa., settling at what is now McKeesport, named after another branch of this family. After several years’ residence there he moved to Armstrong county, first living in what is now East Franklin township, near where Montgomeryville now stands, and there building what was originally known as McKEE’s mill, later the Christman mills. He settled on a heptagonal tract of 403 acres, 136 perches, probably about 1797, and in 1805 and 1806 was assessed at $131, 400 acres, one horse and one cow. By virtue of his improvement, settlement and residence on that tract he had a joint interest in it with Francis Johnston, and in the partition between them McKEE took the southern part, most of which is now in East Franklin township. In the latter part of 1814, or early in 1815, McKEE and John Christman agreed to sell and purchase the formerï¿½s interest, and the latter built his gristmill on Limestone run, with which, 400 acres, one horse and one cow he was first assessed in the last mentioned year, at $307. He built his sawmill five years later. McKEE obtained the patent April 19, 1820, and conveyed to Christman 201 acres, 148 perches, June 27, for $1,100. Charles Campbell conveyed to Robert Orr, Sr., and John Patton 100 acres, 36 perches, which he had agreed to sell to James Fulton, in trust for the persons claiming under Fulton, which they conveyed to ANDREWMcKEE, SR., Dec. 25, 1820, who had agreed to purchase, and had paid the purchase money for the same. It appears 140 acres of this tract was vested in John Brown, for he conveyed that quantity to ANDREW and THOMAS McKEE, Oct. 25, 1819, for $775, which became vested in the latter, who conveyed 115 acres to his son, THOMAS V. McKEE, July 17, 1855, for $800. ANDREW McKEE conveyed 100 acres, 36 perches, to Andrew Rodgers Dec. 27, 1830, for $800, which with another parcel, his heirs conveyed to Joseph and Samuel Rodgers, Nov. 17, 1849, for $1 "as well as other good considerations."
By his will, dated Dec. 11, 1860, and registered March 13, 1862, he divided his real estate equally to his daughters. The Johnston purport is chiefly in what is now Washington township. McKEE’S name appears in several land transactions in Sugar Creek township. From East Franklin township
ANDREW McKEE removed to West Franklin, settling where his grandson, James B. McKee, now lives (and which place is now owned by his great-grandson, JAMES H. McKEE) and where he died in 1835, when eighty-eight years of age. He held several local offices of trust...
His grave is decorated by the Sons of the American Revolution of the State of Pennsylvania; he was a gallant patriot. McKEE married MARY BLANFORD, who is buried beside him, and she was by act of Pennsylvania Assembly, December, 1838, granted a pension as the widow of a soldier of the Revolutionary and Indians wars.
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They had children: (1) William, his eldest son, was the first man buried in the Union cemetery at Cowansville. His father, Andrew McKee, lies beside him; the former was accidentally killed at a barn raising. (2) John. (3) James(4) Joseph settled on a tract of over 400 acres lying principally in Washington township, partly in East Franklin township, and was assessed with 400 acres of it in 1804 at $80. He was later assessed with a smaller quantity, the last time in 1810, with 200 acres.
In Will Book II, page 15, of Armstrong county, may be found the will of Joseph McKee,
dated Aug. 1, 1851: "First I give and bequeath to my son Thomas McKee all the farm we now live on, to my beloved wife Jane, should she survive me, all the household furniture, etc. and the house in which I live during her natural life, cows, brass clock, etc., to dispose of as she sees fit. I direct that my son Thomas McKee pay unto my daughter Sarah Davis, one dollar, to Ann Rasher one dollar, to Joseph McKee one dollar, to Margaret Kelly one dollar, and to Martha Hart one dollar." (5) Rev. Andrew. (6) Thomas (7) Polly married a Stewart. (8) Jane married a Mr. Henry of Armstrong county. (9) Nancy married a Mr. Hanna, a river captain.
THOMAS McKEE was born March 1, 1790 in Cumberland Co., Pa. and died in Aug. 8, 1865.He settled in Sugar Creek Twp.He married MARGARET BLAINE, daughter of JAMES and DEBORAH (BAIRD) BLAINE.He purchased the farm now owned by William Foster, near Adams post office. About 1828 he moved from there to Sugar Creek township, and purchased a farm adjoining ROBERT HAYS, afterward his son-in-law.
MRS. MARGARET (BLAINE) McKEEwas born Aug. 5, 1793, and died Sept. 17, 1859.
THOMAS and MARGARET (BLAINE) McKEEraised fourteen children, seven sons and seven daughters, namely:
1. DEBORAH JANE, married ROBERT HAYS, parent of HON. THOMAS HAYS, of Butler Co., Pa.
2. HARVEY, farmer, merchant in Cowansville, in East Franklin Twp., where he died,
married PHEBE FOSTER, daughter of ALEXANDER FOSTER, no children
3. JAMES B., 93 years of age in 1913, farmer, resideson the place where his grandfather ANDREW McKEE lived and died, married CATHERINE PATTON.
4. WILLIAM, farmer, marriedMISS MARTHA PENCE, both he and his wife died in Lathrop, Mo.
5. MARY ANN, wife of DAVID REED, a farmer of East Franklin township;
his nephew, HON. THOMAS HAYS, owns his old farm.
6. ELLEN, married JAMES HERRON, a farmer of East Franklin township (near Worthington), and they moved to a farm at Joplin, Mo., where they died.
7. NANCY,became the wife of JAMES TEMPLETON, and they moved to near Altoona, Ill., where they engaged in farming and died.
8. JOHN B., went to California in 1849, and in 1874, had four thousand acres in wheat and barley near Salinas Ca., where his family reside. He had children late in his life.
9. THOMAS VINCENT, born May 11, 1829, in Armstrong county, followed farming in both Washington and West Franklin townships, married MARY CRAIG at Craig homestead on March (29), 1854, MARYwas born Sept. 26, 1835, at the old Craig homestead, daughter of John and Eliza (Huston) Craig, and died April 17, 1907.
MR. McKEE died Jan. 3, 1899. They were members of he Worthington Presbyterian Church, and both were buried in the cemetery adjoining that church.
10. MARGARET, married JOHN PATTON, resided in Sugar Creek Twp., both deceased and left a family
11. ELIZA, widow of WILLIAM COWAN, a farmer, now living with her children at Coal Town, Ill.
12. JOSEPH, married MARY MUNSON, moved to California, (where she died; his death occurred in Oregon. Their son, MUNSON McKEE, lives in Pittsburgh.
13. RACHEL, twin of JOSEPH, married SAMUEL J. GIBSON, engaged in farming near
Galva, Ill., where their family now reside.
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14. CYRUS K.,enlisted in the 103d Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, during the Civil War, became sergeant, and died soon afterward in North Carolina, in 1864, while a prisoner of war, married ELVIRA FULTON, who resides in Worthington, Armstrong Co., Pa., with her daughter, MRS. STELLA (McKEE) McCULLEY.