Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Life and Death of John W. McKee

Sometimes the best information on a person's life is found after his death. This is true for John W. McKee, formerly of Smithland, Kentucky. Like many men formerly employed in a position dependent upon the rivers, he settled in Cairo, Alexander County, Illinois. The following obituary is found in the Cairo Daily Bulletin of Tuesday, 26 September 1871.  John W. McKee married  on 8 November 1855 in Smithland, Kentucky to his second wife, Mary Smith, daughter of John H. and Rhoda Smith. Mary Smith McKee is buried beside her husband.

Death of John W. M'Kee
The death of Mr. M'Kee took place at his residence in this city (Cairo) on last Sunday morning. The deceased was a man well-known to the community of Cairo, and his death, notwithstanding that he has been in precarious health for months before the event, shocked and saddened his many friends and acquaintances. He has been affected with a troublesome throat disease for the last two or three years of his life. It finally affected his lungs and caused his death.
Mr. McKee was born in the city of Pittsburg, Pa. about the year 1827, and at the time of death was about 44 years of age. While in his minority, he entered the office of the Pittsburg Gazette, then under the management of Mr. Biddle, who was one of the prominent newspapermen of his day. Mr. McKee here learned the art of type-setting, but never followed it to any extent. Removing to Tennessee, he located in Nashville. He here turned his attention to engineering, and made practical use of his knowledge by following the river in the capacity of steamboat engineer. Some 10 or 11 years ago he began to report river news for various newspapers, since which time he has been exclusively engaged as river correspondent for Cincinnati, St. Louis and other papers. He was river editor of The Bulletin since its establishment.
Mr. McKee was married three times. The body of his first wife lies in Nashville, Tennessee, that of his second, who was a niece of Mrs. Captain Williamson, of this city, is buried at Smithland, Kentucky. She left one child, a daughter, now a resident of this city. His last wife and three little children are left to mourn the loss of a devoted husband and most affectionate father.
Fourteen years ago, Mr. McKee united with the Methodist Episcopal church in Smithland, Ky.
His body was conveyed to Smithland, Ky by boat yesterday, where, followed by the grief of aged parents, brothers and sisters and the sorrowing wife, all that is mortal of John McKee will be laid to rest. May he rest in peace.
John W. McKee
Sep. 24, 1871
42 years
John W. McKee was buried in Smithland Cemetery, Smithland, Kentucky.

Published 18 July 2013, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,


Forgotten Passages said...

You are so right about the obituaries, this is a really good one and tell so much information.
Nice post.

Brenda Joyce Jerome said...

Next to cemeteries, I love newspapers most.