A genealogy blog about the migration generation of my McKee Family line, including bios, transcribed obituaries, photographs, and research notes.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The State Historical Society of Missouri...Part 2

I've persevered with sending obituary requests to The State Historical Society of Missouri. The most recently received obituary has turned out to be a blockbuster...for a brick wall I didn't know I had! Here's the layout of the family unit that I had before I had the obituary.

Jesse Alexander McKee
b. 25 Jul 1956 Coulterville, Randolph County, Illinois
d. 1 Sep 1911 Williamsville, Wayne County, Missouri
m. 4 Dec 1890 Butler County, Missouri
Celia Adeline Skief
b. 13 Dec 1872 Clay County, Arkansas
d. 4 Feb 1954 Dexter, Scott County, Missouri

Child 1: Mary J. McKee
b. Aug 1888 Missouri

Child 2: Jesse Lemuel McKee
b. 6 Jan 1890 Williamsville, Wayne County, Missouri
d. 4 Feb 1971 Williamsville, Wayne County, Missouri

Child 3: John Alexander McKee
b. 26 Nov 1891 Moark, Clay County, Arkansas
d. 28 Aug 1914 Williamsville, Wayne County, Missouri

Child 4: Jesse Franklin McKee
b. 19 Feb 1894 Moark, Clay County, Missouri
d. 30 May 1956 Saint Louis, Saint Louis City, Missouri

Child 5: Julia Ann McKee
b. Jan 1895 Missouri
d. 1972

Child 6: Alice Mae McKee
b. 11 Oct 1896 Williamsville, Wayne County, Missouri
d. 16 Feb 1976 Jackson, Cape Girardeau County, Missouri

Since Child 1 and Child 2 were born before the McKee/Skief marriage, I knew I was missing info...or an interesting story. The obituary I received cleared up the status of Child 1 and Child 2; however, it also introduced another wife for Jesse. Here's the obituary.

Dexter Messenger, 11 Feb 1954, Page 5, Column 4
Celia Adeline Hillis, daughter of John and Winnie Edwards Skief was born on December 13, 1872 and departed this life on February 4, 1954, at the age of 81 years, 1 month and 22 days.
In 1886 she was married to John Stuart, who preceded her in death. To this union a daughter was born, who also preceded Mrs. Hillis in death. On December 4, 1890 she was united in marriage to Jesse A. McKee, and to this union five children were born. Mr. McKee and two children preceded her in death. Surviving this marriage are Mrs. Julia Hillis of Dexter, Jesse F. McKee of St. Louis, and Mrs. Alice Howard of Neeley's Landing, Mo.
On May 18, 1913, she was married to Samuel Hillis, who preceded her in death. Surviving are one step-daughter, Pearl Skief, Kennett, and one step-son, Jesse L. McKee, Pontiac, Mich. Also surviving are 25 grandchildren, 62 great grandchildren, a number of nephews and nieces, and many other relatives and friends.
Mrs. Hillis was born in Ill., and later moved to Williamsville, where she spent the greater portion of her life. She lived her last nine years in Dexter.
She was converted in the General Baptist church at an early age, then affiliated with the Assembly of God church in 1925 and lived a consistent Christian life, having won the respect of all who knew her.
Funeral services were conducted at the Assembly of God church, Dexter, Sunday afternoon, February 7, Rev. W. P. Campbell officiating. The remains were then taken to Williamsville where short graveside services were conducted by Rev. Morgan. Interment in Williamsville cemetery.
Stricland-Rainey service.

As you can see from the obituary, Celia also had a previous marriage (John Stuart) and a daughter (Child 1 Mary J. Stuart...shown as McKee on census records...thus the confusion).

In addition, the obituary lists Child 2 Jesse Lemuel McKee as a step-son. This fact introduces a new (unknown) first wife for Jesse Alexander McKee.

When the McKee/Skief marriage occurs, they are a blended family. The remainder of the children shown for Jesse and Celia are correct. The obituary also notes one missing child who preceded Celia in death...more details to chase down.

Going forward, I've sent for Jesse Lemuel McKee's obituary to see if it by chance lists his mother's name. Finding it in an obituary could short cut a long expensive search to breakdown this brick wall. If the obituary provides enlightening details, I'll be sure to post it.

So all in all, I'm glad I didn't give up on The State Historical Society of Missouri. The society's services have turned out to be faster and better than my first brush with them. So first impressions aren't always right...sometimes it's worth just going with the flow to see what happens.

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