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By Joseph Wallace, M. A.
of the Springfield Bar
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, IL

JOHN C. McKEE - A half a century has passed since John C. McKee became a resident of Springfield and five years have come and gone since his demise, yet he is well remembered by many who knew him and who regarded him as one of the capable artisans as well as respected citizens of Sangamon county. In the early days here he worked at the carpenter's trade and assisted in building the old state house. He was a native of Brownsville, Ohio, born on the 28th of February, 1837 . His parents were Mr. and Mrs. John C. McKee, who spent their entire lives near Brownsville, Ohio, and passed away there a number of years ago.

John C. McKee was indebted to the public schools for the educational privileges he enjoyed. He was reared in his parents' home in Ohio and remained in that state until 1853, when at the age of sixteen years he sought a home in the west, believing that he might have better business opportunities in this growing; and rapidly developing section of the country. He had worked at the carpenter's trade to some extent in Ohio and after arriving in Springfield he continued in that pursuit and secured employment on the old capitol building, working in that way for several years. As he demonstrated his ability and trustworthiness he was promoted and became foreman, in which capacity he served for several years. He then began contracting and building on his own account and was thus identified with the material improvement of the city up to the time of his death. Because of his faithfulness and good workmanship many important contracts were awarded him and in many substantial structures of Springfield are seen the evidences of his skill and handiwork.

On the 12th of December, 1858, in Riverton. near Springfield, Illinois, Mr. McKee was united in marriage to Miss Jane C. Flood, a native of Liverpool, England, and a daughter of Patrick and Elizabeth Flood, who were also natives of that country. The father was a stone-cutter by trade and established his home in Springfield, where he too, worked on the old capitol building and on the Springfield College, two historical old structures of the city. Both he and his wife spent their remaining days in Springfield. The home of Mr. and Mrs. McKee was blessed with a family of eleven children: Emma. who is the wife of Abraham Bowser and a resident of Nokomis, Illinois; Willie, who died when quite young; Ida, who is the wife of Herman Hahn and resides in Springfield; Walter, who also died in early childhood; Lessie, who resides with her mother; Roy, who also lives at home; Percy, who is married and lives in Springfield, his wife being Lucy Nickey; J. Charles, who married Katie Jacobson and also makes his hone in this city; Nettie, who married Harry Neer and resides in Spring field; and two who died in infancy.

Mr. McKee's study of the political questions and issues of the day led hint to give an earnest and unfaltering support to the principles of the Republican party and he always supported it by his ballot and put forth earnest effort in its behalf, yet never sought or desired political preferment for himself. He belonged to the volunteer fire department of Springfield until the regular system was established, and was a member of the knights of the Maccabees. He was widely known for his reliability in all business transactions and his word was as good as his bond. He, therefore, enjoyed the respect and good will of all with whom he came in contact and he became a worthy representative of the building interests of the city. His widow and children are connected with the Grace Lutheran church and Mrs. McKee now owns a nice home at No. 1426 East Capitol avenue at the corner of Fifteenth street.

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