Interesting Stories and Events In Honey Grove’s Early History

Honey Grove Signal-Citizen, [specific date unknown; likely Spring, 1938] (B1)

Written by H.P. Allen, assisted by W.J. Erwin

Honey Grove Preservation League

Saving and Documenting the History of Honey Grove, Texas


The McKee Family

Among the very early settlers about Honey Grove and Lane's Academy were the McKee families. The writer became personally acquainted with each of them in later years, but never learned much of their history. There were four brothers and one sister, the sister becoming the wife of Franklin Wood. Of the brothers, two were medical doctors, James and Samuel. James settled in Bonham, where he practiced his profession the balance of his life, and reared a family of three sons, Bruce, Marsh and Joe. Dr. Sam McKee settled near Lane's Academy, where he spent most of his life, practicing medicine and preaching, for he was an ordained minister in the Presbyterian church. Was pastor of that church in Honey Grove two periods. Truly he was a man who went about doing good. Often after a busy day, if there was a protracted meeting going on anywhere near him, he would, though tired, go to be helpful. He had a matchless voice for singing, and sometimes when the services were prolonged, interest would lag, and he would stand up alone and sing "The Old Ship of Zion," which would revive interest.

When this writer was about five years of age he had a long drawn out spell of typhoid fever. Dr. McKee was the family doctor, although he lived eight miles away. One morning the family found me in a coma state, and I continued in that state all through the day. In the evening my father sent for Dr. McKee and also called in Dr. Baird and Dr. Pettus. When they all arrived they gave me a close examination, and the first I knew Dr. McKee was holding a candle close to my eyes and raising my eyelids to see the condition of the pupils; when through with the examination he turned to my distressed mother and told her to dry her tears, for "he is on the very verge of recovery," which proved true, for when he came to see me the next morning my mother told him that I had been begging for more to eat all day.

Dr. McKee was twice married. I think his first wife's name was Wilson. His second wife was Miss Sallie Slaughter, the daughter of a Dr. Slaughter, who was an early settler here. I think some of their children are now living at or near Dial.

The next of the McKee brothers was Alec, who married a daughter of David Baird, a Kentuckian, who came early and settled about four miles east of Honey Grove. He was the father of J. B. McKee who was in the mercantile business here many years. Had also a large family of sons and daughters; all but one son, who lives at or near Spring Hill, and two daughters, who live in West Texas, have passed away.

The fourth of the McKee brothers was Dan. He also chose a wife from the Wilson family. She was the first of the family to die, leaving three sons and four daughters. Sam, the oldest son, was the first one of the boys to marry. He chose his wife from the Scears family. Sam died a comparatively young man, leaving his wife and two young sons, Frank Scears, who was the head of the of the family since the father, William Scears, died, took the boys and reared and educated them quite well, and they are very promising young men. One of the McKee daughters married a Wood.

All the early history we know of the McKee family is that they were originally from Carroll County, Tenn. to Texas, stopping a few years in Bowie county before coming to Fannin County.