1.6 Alexander McKee
b. 28 Feb 1827 Northern Ireland
d. 10 Jan 1886 Randolph County, Illinois
m. 12 Dec 1850 Randolph County, Illinois
b. 28 Aug 1829 Steeleville, Randolph County, Illinois
d. 27 Aug 1907 Coulterville, Randolph County, Illinois
Child 1.6.1 Robert John McKee
b. 1852 Randolph County, Illinois
d. 2 Jan 1890 Sparta, Randolph County, Illinois
Child 1.6.2 Mary M. McKee
b. 1 Dec 1854 Randolph County, Illinois
d. 21 Aug 1855 Randolph County, Illinois
Child 1.6.3 Jesse Alexander McKee
b. 25 Jul 1856 Coulterville, Randolph County, Illinois
d. 1 Sep 1911 Williamsville, Wayne County, Missouri
Child 1.6.4 Lemuel M. McKee
b. 15 Apr 1859 Sparta, Randolph County, Illinois
d. 27 Jun 1935 Maplewood, St. Louis County, Missouri
Child 1.6.5 Margaret M. McKee
b. 7 Jun 1861 Randolph County, Illinois
d. 2 Nov 1873 Randolph County, Illinois
Child 1.6.6 Jennie Elizabeth McKee
b. 4 Mar 1866 Coulterville, Randolph County, Illinois
d. 25 Jan 1942 Kirkwood, St. Louis County, Missouri
Child 1.6.7 Cora Bowerman McKee
b. Jun 1873 Randolph County, Illinois
d. 2 Aug 1873 Randolph County, Illinois
Transcribed from The Plaindealer, Friday, 15 Jan 1886
Mr. Alex MCKEE died at the residence of Joseph THOMPSON on Saturday, Jan 9, of pneumonia. His funeral was held at Cutler on Monday. We are told that Mr. MCKEE was about 58 years at the time of his death. He has a great many friends in Sparta and vicinity who mourn his departure.
Alexander is ten when his family leaves Ireland and comes to the United States. For a ten-year-old boy, an Atlantic sea voyage on a sailing ship must have been the adventure of a life time. He is old enough to remember that adventure but too young to have appreciated the danger.
Because Alexander is so young when he comes to Randolph County, it’s easy to imagine that as he grows up Alexander is the most American of his family. He would have fewer memories and fewer regrets over what the family may have left behind in Ireland.
Alexander appears with his family in early censuses. He makes his first appearance as an adult when he acquires land. On 27 December 1848, twenty-one-year-old Alexander purchases 40 acres in Randolph County just on the border with Perry County, Illinois.
As the 1850’s begin, Alexander does another very grown up thing. On 12 December 1850, he marries Miss Susan BOWERMAN. Susan is born in Steelville, Randolph County, Illinois on 28 August 1829. She is the third child of Jesse and Margaret BOWERMAN. Jesse along with his parents and siblings migrated from Tennessee, arriving in Randolph County, Illinois in 1808. The BOWERMAN homestead near Steel’s Mill is a well-documented Randolph County landmark. Susan is born on the family farm and grows up in the area—not far from the MCKEE family farms.
Over the course of their marriage, Alexander and Susan have seven children that I know of—three of whom died in childhood. The remaining MCKEE children grow up on the family farm. Three sons and one daughter survive to adulthood.
Alexander, like so many members of his family, is a farmer. He works his farm and lives out his life on that farm. Tragically, he dies at 58 of pneumonia while in the care of his niece’s family. With the passing of Alexander, all of the male members of the migration generation are dead. Only a few of the women remain and they die over the next few years.
When Alexander is buried in the Old Mound Cemetery in Perry County, he joins his three deceased daughters. Susan is reunited with Alexander and their daughters when she dies in 1907.
Each member of the migration generation contributes something to the continuation of the family. In Alexander’s case, it is his three sons who in turn have many sons and grandsons. They are the primary standard bears of the name MCKEE for this family.
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