Stories and Documents

Source: History of Marshall County Kansas by Emma E. Forter (1917)

Robert F. McKee was born in the province of Ontario, Canada, in November 1836, son of William and Mary (Finley) McKee, natives of Scotland or of the north of Ireland, who emigrated to Canada and settled on a farm in the province of Ontario. There Robert F. McKee grew to manhood. He married Sarah Crawford, who was born in the city of Newark, New Jersey, May 10, 1844, daughter of Joseph and Anna Crawford, and in 1869 he and his wife came to Kansas and settled in Marshall County. Upon coming to this county, Robert F. McKee homesteaded a tract of one hundred and sixty acres in Center township and there established his home. He built a small house and started in to improve the farm, eventually meeting with much success, and presently had one of the most highly improved and best-developed places in that neighborhood. There he made his home until 1883, when he went to the Western coast, but returned to Marshall County in 1889 and bought a farm in Marysville Township, again establishing his home in this county. In 1900 he sold that farm and bought a farm in Elm Creek Township, where he lived until his retirement from the active labors of the farm in 1905, in which year he moved to Twin Falls, Idaho, where he died in 1909. Robert F. McKee and wife were the parents of eleven children, of whom the subject of this sketch was the fifth in order of birth and all of whom are still living save two.

Robert’s Son:

Edward J. McKee, one of the best-known merchants at Marysville and the proprietor of a well-equipped hardware store at that place, is a native son of Marshall County and has lived here all his life. He was born on a pioneer farm in Center Township, this county, May 22, 1872, son of Robert F. and Sarah (Crawford) McKee, the former a native of the Dominion of Canada and the latter of the state of New Jersey, who became pioneers of Marshall County and later moved to Idaho, where Robert F. McKee died. His widow is now making her home at Portland, Oregon.

Edward J. McKee was reared on the farm on which he was born in Center township, and attended the district school in that neighborhood, the school at that time having been under the direction of Mrs. Forter. Reared to the life of the farm, he early engaged in farming on his own account, and in 1901, the year following his marriage, bought a farm of two hundred and eighty acres near Blue Rapids, where he established his home and where he engaged quite extensively in stock-raising, his Hereford stock coming to be recognized as among the best in the county, his stock being exhibited to advantage at local fairs and stock shows. About three years after taking over that farm Mr. McKee sold the same and became engaged in the real estate business, being thus engaged at Marysville and Axtell until 1910, when, in partnership with Wilard Dexter, he bought a hardware store at Marysville and has ever since been engaged in that business. In 1911 Mr. McKee bought Mr. Dexter’s interest in the store and has since been conducting the business alone and has been quite successful. He carries a complete stock of general hardware and his store is equipped in up-to-date fashion. Mr. McKee is a progressive and wide-awake merchant and has long been recognized as one of the forceful factors in the commercial life of Marysville and of the county at large. He is a Republican, an ardent supporter of the progressive wing of that party in the memorable campaign of 1912, and has ever taken an earnest interest in the civic affairs of the county and state, but has not been included in the office-seeking class.

In 1900 Edward J. McKee was united in marriage to Anna Randolph, who also was born in Marshall County. She was born on November 8, 1883, daughter of Thomas and Martha (Tarvin) Randolph, natives of Pennsylvania and Kentucky, respectively who came to Marshall County from Pennsylvania in an early day in the settlement of this county and settled in Balderson Township. To Mr. and Mrs. McKee four children have been born, Jesse, Cecil, Merlin and Vesta. Mr. and Mrs. McKee are members of the Baptist church and take a proper interest in the various beneficences of the same. They have a very pleasant home at Marysville and take an active part in the general social activities of their home, helpful in promoting all worthy movements having to do with the advancement of the common welfare.