Jacob Leffler Mckee

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Jacob Leffler Mckee

Birthplace: Owen, Indiana
Death: Died in Spencer, Owen, Indiana
Place of Burial: Riverside Cemetery, Spencer, Owen, Indiana
Immediate Family:

Son of Joseph Howe McKee and Lucinda Bartlett
Husband of Mary Esther "Maude" Allen
Father of Arthur Dexter Mckee; June Mckee; Ada Mckee; Harland Clifford Mckee; Ephraim Edward ‘Eph’ Mckee and 1 other
Brother of Eliza Ann McKee; Robert Thomas McKee; James William McKee; John Todd Mckee; Albert Branham McKee and 3 others

Managed by: Judith "Judi" Elaine (McKee) Bur...
Last Updated:

About Jacob Leffler Mckee

They bought the property in Spencer of 30 May 1903 another gives as early as 1890. On 18 Sep. 1986 There was an article about daughter June ending living at the house and shortly after that it was torn down.

Their marriage was found recorded as such: Jacob L. McKee to Mary E. Allen} ss: Be it remembered, that on this 1st day of Feby 1876, the following marriage license was issued to-wit: Indiana, to-wit: Owen county, SS: To all who shall see these presents, greeting: Know ye, that any person empowered by law to solemnize marriages is hereby authorized to join together as husband and wife Jacob L. McKee and Mary E. Allen and for so doing this shall be his sufficient authority. In testimony whereof I J. S. Meek, clerk of the Owen Circuit Court hereunto subscribe my names and affix the seal of said court at Spencer this 1st day of Feby 1876 /s/J. S. Meek, Clerk. Be it further remembered that on this 11th day of Feby 1876 the following certificate was filed in my office, to-wit: Indiana, to-wit: Owen county, SS: The certifies that I joined in marriage, as husband and wife Jacob K. McKee and Mary E. Allen on the 3rd day of Feby 1876 /s/Thomas J. Phipp, J.P. Jacob is said to have been named after a cousin "Jacob Lefler" on his grandmother's side of the family – which side is unknown but by all indications its is the maternal side. He was to young too young to enlist in his country's service at the time of the Civil War, but was of great assistance to his father who was active throughout the war in looking after the welfare of the soldier's families while they were fighting for their country. Hardly a day passed that "Uncle Joe" was not seen with his yoke of oxen hauling wood, going to the mill or performing some other act of kindness for his neighbors. His young son, Jacob, was always with him. As with all his brothers, Jacob lived a virtuous life. He set a good example which was uplifting to young and old alike, and his influence was felt in each community where he lived. Being mechanically inclined, Jacob mastered the carpenter trade while very young and was considered one of the best cabinet makers in the country. A letter head in possession of his daughter June, reads:

J. L. McKee Manufacture and Dealer in Furniture and Coffins Dated November 30, 1878 at Freedom, Indiana

At that early date nearly all furniture and coffins were made by hand. In 1879 he was asked to form a partnership with J. M. Foster of Worthington, Greene, In. and their letter head reads:

Foster & McKee Dealer in all kinds of Furniture and undertaking dated 1880 at Worthington, Ind

The paper contains a recipe for mahogany stain. The Pennsylvania R. R. officials had heard of his skill as a carpenter and on August 2, 1881 Jacob was employed by the P. R. R. as a carpenter. He took this job as it offered hope for advancement in the future. By working nights he continued his carpentry work in Freedom for the Foster - McKee establishment until 1885 when he moved with his wife and three children to Worthington, Greene, In.

It was in Worthington that, Ephraim, their fourth child was born in 1889. In 1890 Jacob bought a home in Spencer, Indiana; remodeled it himself to meet the needs of their growing family. The move to Spencer made his work with the R. R. easier due to the sub-office at this location (half-way between Indianapolis and Vincennes, Ind.).

His workload was heavier each year and he eventually was forced to give up all his outside work and devote his full time to the R. R. In times of train wrecks or floods, he was often called in the night for service. His advancements until he made master carpenter were rapid, and his service with the R. R. continued until his retirement 1 Feb. 1922 having served forty years and five months.

After retirement he built a workshop onto the garage in back of his home and continued doing odd carpentry work for the community until the year before his death in 1942. Jacob was a very thoughtful man of his family and would be content to spend all of his time at home when possible. Although some of the children were married, they did not live very far away. He was above average for one of his years in keeping up with every day events and was a constant reader of the daily newspaper and also was a very enthusiastic listener of current happening as reported by various radio commentators. Jacob was talented in music and at a very early age was playing horns of various kinds in a band. He soon became director of the band and continued as director for a number of years. As a young man he became a member of the Christian Church in Freedom in a building erected by his father. Jacob placed his membership in the local Christian Church immediately after moving to Spencer in 1890. He was also a member of the local Masonic Lodge in Spencer.

Jacob's wife Mary Esther, continued to live in the home they had purchased in 1890 after Jacob's death. The youngest child, June, had earlier resigned her position with the P. R. R. to car for her aging parents. She had worked in P. R. R. offices in Indianapolis from 1918 until 1928. The other family members were either married or they were away from home.

Mary Esther was a member of the Christian Church in Spencer and always took a keen interest in the activities of the church, although frail health kept her from attending regularly. She had a deep abiding love for her family and spared nothing that would increase the happiness of her husband or her children. Mary enjoyed playing the guitar and was loved by all who knew her. In the early years of her life, when the Allen family went to church, the small family organ was loaded into the wagon and Mary Esther would play for the services. She possess a sweet alto voice and dearly enjoyed using her talents in the service of the Lord. After the death of her husband, Mary soon became bed fast and passed away at Oct. 13, 1942 just seven months after the death of her husband. This McKee family has had a remarkable record of employment with the Pennsylvania R. R., their combined service totaling more than 161 years! Credit: June McKee The following article was in the ______, Spencer, Indiana Thurs., Sep. 18, 1986 Vol. 73


By Lavoran Weight

Old houses hold a fascination for everyone, and there is a house on West Morgan Street that is of special interest. Not only because it has been there more than 100 years, but because the lady of the house was born there 90 years ago and has lived her all of her life.

She is well known Spencer, resident, June McKee.

Jacob L. McKee bought the little house with four rooms downstairs and one room upstairs from Sarah Walden in the year 1890.

In the year 1896 a daughter, June, was born to Jacob and Mary Esther Allen McKee. The other children in the family were her brothers and a sister: Arthur, Clifford, and Ada who were born at Freedom, and Ephraim who was born at Worthington.

Jacob McKee was a carpenter on the Pennsylvania Railroad. Because of his experience and ability as a carpenter he was able to remodel and add onto the house for his family.

June was graduated from Spencer High School with the class of 1915.

She remembers well the Sunday activities during her youth -- she said that she and her friends attended Sunday School at the Baptist Church Sunday mornings, and then all went to Sunday School at the Christian Church in the afternoon. She had had an active busy fruitful life. After her graduation from high school she enrolled at Lane Business College in Indianapolis. When she completed her studies there she accepted the position of stenographer and bookkeeper in the Division of Engineers Office in the Union Station at Indianapolis. After twelve years she came back to Spencer to help her mother and father, and was bookkeeper for the Spear - MCKEE Chevrolet Agency. However, at the time the Exchange Bank closed the car agency was sold to Frank Wetzel.

Wiley Hastings was named receiver for the exchange, and June was stenographer and bookkeeper during the years Mrs. Hastings carried on that work.

June became bookkeeper in the Owen County Court Houses Offices in the 1930's and worked in every office except the Clerk's office until 1939. At the time she accepted the position of bookkeeper for the Owen County Welfare Department and continued to work there until her retirement in 1963.

She did do all of these things, but in addition, she was a talented musician. For sixty years she was the pianist and organist for the Spencer Baptist Church. She also played the organ at the Spencer Christian Church and when the new pipe organ was installed in that church she was the first organist who played it. It is told that the members of the Loyal Daughters Sunday School Class were instrumental in securing the organ for the church. They started their plans in 1927 and on September 29, 1929, the organ was installed. Ada Rice, Maude Sadler and Nellie Egnor were member and committee. June said she taught Elsie Leapley to play the organ. When June was asked who had taught her to play her answer was that her father taught her more than any of her teachers had taught her. She said her father was a talented musician. She shared her talent in may ways. She played for numerous weddings and funeral through the years. She was a charter member of Spencer, Order of Eastern Star, and was the musician for the chapter year after year. Spencer Chapter was charter in 1918.

Jacob McKee's sons followed in his footsteps and all were loyal employees of Pennsylvania Railroad. Arthur and Ephraim were telegraph and ticket agents.

Even their sister, Ada served as ticket agent in the Spencer Depot on the Court House Square during World War One. June traveled from Coast to Coast by train. She visited relatives in New York, California, Colorado, Niagara Falls and traveled any place she chose to go aboard a Pennsylvania Railroad train. After the death of her parents in 1942, June lived on in the house in which she was born. Her apartment was on the west side, and the east side had been made into a separate apartment which she rented. It is not easy to describe the old house. The architectural style is that of a century ago - perhaps a little Victorian, but perhaps more early American Gothic. Builders of the time termed the style "Gingerbread". It was not really a basic design and so it became known as "carpenters' Gothic". The McKee house fits the "Carpenters; Gothic" description. Above the windows the wood panels seem to have a lace edging or wood. Above each window the roof rises to a point, and these sections are trimmed in a special manner.

June said her father designed and made the front door. There is a carved design in the lower wood panel, and the window above is surrounded by inserts of stained glass. The woodwork in the house is oak, and the bay window in June's living room was made by her father. He also made the fireplace in the living room on the east side. The mantle is oak and rose tinted tile surrounds the fireplace. The back porch is enclosed with old fashioned lattice work. Inside the back porch on the floor there is a door which lifts to reveal the stairs that lead to the "fruit cellar". It really is a well kept century - old house. One of June's hobbies was quilting. She has given quilts to members of her family. She said Ada, her sister, had made some of them. She still has three quilts which will be in her sale in October. After retirement she spent much of her time crocheting and quilting. Now she has sold the house, her home for 90 years, and will go to Bloomington to live with her nephew, Lefler Mckee. Her address will be 2450 Rock Creek Drive, Bloomington, Indiana 47401. It is impossible for June's friends to imagine the feeling she has as she leaves the house which has been her home for 90 years, but she will not be alone. All of her friends are wishing her happiness and contentment in the home with her nephew at Bloomington.

Beside and under pictures was: For more than a century the McKee home has stood in its place in the 300 block on West Morgan Street. The design of the building is American Gothic architecture, better known as Carpenter’s Gothic. Jacob McKee bough the house in 1890. The lot is 75 X 150 and at one time Jacob’s son, Arthur, owned the adjoining lot north which stretched to North Street. Another son, Clifford , owned the lot to the east, adjoining Arthur’s lot. The exact age of the original building has not been learned, but the house had four rooms downstairs and one room upstairs when Mr. McKee purchased it. Pictured to the right is Miss June McKee who was born in the house pictured above and has spent 90 years of her life living here. For sixty years she played the piano and organ at the Spencer Baptist Church. And of Course, she played for the weddings and funerals in addition to the church services. She has many, many friends and acquaintances in the Spencer community and the surrounding area.

NOTE: This house was gutted by fire in Nov. 1987 and will be torn down before too long...I was by on 23 May 1988 and all that was left of the house was a small rubble of cement in what would of been the center of the house.

Land Records Owen County Indiana

Jacob L. McKee from Joseph B. McKee warranty $400 Lots 173 & 174 Freedom dtd. 22 Dec. 1873 Rec. 16 Apr. 1874 Bk. 32 pg. 69 (fully copied under Joseph Bartlett McKee section)

Deed Rec. 32 pg. 70 Owen co. In. Jacob L. McKee to P. S. Buchannan Received for Record April 10' 1874' at 1 P.M.

This Indenture Witnesseth, That Jacob L. McKee of Owen County, in the State of Indiana. Convey and Warrant to P. S. Buchannan of Owen County, in the State of Indiana for the sum of Three Hundred and Fifty ($350) Dollars, the following Real Estate in Owen County, in the State of Indiana to-wit: Lot Number One hundred and seventy three (173) and one fourth 1/4 off the South side of Lot Number one hundred and seventy four (174) all in the Town of Freedom Owen County Indiana With all the privileges thereunto belonging. In witness whereof The said Jacob L. McKee has hereunto set their his hand and seal this 9" day of April A. D. 1874 /s/ Jacob L. McKee State of Indiana, Owen county } SS:

      Before me Joseph H. McKee a notary public in and for said county, this 9" day of April 1874 Personally came Jacob L. McKee and acknowledged the execution of the annexed Deed.

Witness my hand and official seal this 9' day of April 1874. /s/ J. H. McKee, Notary Public I hereby certify that the deed of which the above is a true copy was duly recorded on the 18' day of April 1874 /s/ Emanuel Fulk R. O. C.

Deed Rec. 33 pg. 472 James M. Johnson et al to Jacob L. McKee received for Record Feb.1, 1876 at 11 a. m. This indenture witnesseth That J. M. Johnson and Cornelia Johnson husband and wife and W. H. Johnson of Owen county in the State of Indiana Release and Quit Claim to Jacob l. McKee of Owen County in the state of Indiana for the sum of two hundred dollars the following real estate in owen county in the state of Indiana to wit The south half of the North half of Lot No. thirty (30) as numbered on the town plat of Freedom Subject to the right of Way as granted by. A. J. Minich to the Indianapolis and Vincennes Rail Road Company In witness whereof the Said James M. Johnson Coernelia Johnson W. H. Johnson have hereunto set their hands and seals this 20' day of January 1875 /s/ James M. Johnson /s/ Cornelia Johnson /s/ W. H. Johnson

State of Indiana Owen County ss:

Before me P. S. Buchanan a Justice of Peace in and for said county this 20" day of January 1876 James M. Johnson Cornelia Johnson and W. H. Johnson and acknowledged the execution of the annexed Deed Witness my hand and seal. /s/ P. S. Buchanan, J. P.

Deed Rec. 35 pg. 274 Anderson J. Minich To Jacob L. McKee received for Record March 11' 1878 at 1 o'clock P. M. This Indenture witnesseth that Andrews J. Minnch and Mary J. Minich of Owen county in the State of Indiana Release and Quit Claim to Jacob L. McKee of Owen County, in the State of Indiana for the sum of twenty five dollars the following Real Estate in Owen County, in the State of Indiana Towit the North half of the Horth Half of Lot No. thirty (30) in the twon of Freedom Owen Co Indiana. In witness whereof the said Anderson J. Minich and Mary J. Minich has hereunto set their hand and seals this 28" day of Feby A. D. 1878 /s/ A. J. Minich /s/ Mary Minich

State of Indiana Owen County ss: Before me P. S. Buchanan a J. P. in and for said county, this 28th day of Feby 1878 Anderson J. Minich and Mary J. Minich acknowledged the execution of the annexed Deed Witness my hand and J. P. Seal /s/ P. S. Buchanan J. P.

Deed Rec. 37 pg. 578 J. L. McKee to P. C. McIntosh recieved for Record the 11th day of October 1880 at 4 o'clock P. M. This Indenture Witnesseth, That I J. L. McKee and Mary E. McKee his wife of Owen county, in the State of Indiana convey and Warranrt to P. C. McIntosh of Owen County, in the State of Indiana for the sum of One hundred and fifty dollars, the following Real Estate in Owen County, in the State of Indiana, to-wit: the N 1/2 Lot

Number 30 in the town of Freedom County Ind. In witness whereof the said J. L. McKee and Mary E. McKee his wife have hereunto set their hands and seals this 13th day of Jul. A. D. 1880. /s/ J. L. McKee /s/ Mary E. McKee

State of Indiana, Owen County }ss: Before me F. K. Nugent a Justice of Peace in and for said county, this 13th day of July 1880 J. L. McKee and Mary E. McKee his wife acknowledged the execution of the annexed Deed. Witness my hand and seal this 13th day of July 1880 /s/ F. R. Nugent J. P.

This Indenture Witnesseth, that Jacob L. McKee and Mary E. McKee his wife, of Owen county in the State of Indiana convey and warrant to Arthur D. McKee of Owen county in the state of Indiana, for an in consideration of love and affection and one dollar the following described real estate in Owen county, state of Indiana to-wit: Lot Number Seven (7) in Gallup’s addition in the town of Spencer. In Witness whereof the said Jacob K. and Mary E. McKee his wife have hereunto set their hands and seals this 26th day of May 1903. /s/ Mary E. Mckee /s/ Jacob L. McKee

State of Indiana, Owen county, ss: Before me the undersigned Notary Publicee in and for said county this 30th day of May 1903 Jacob L. McKee and Mary E., Mckee his wife acknowledged the execution of this deed, Wittness my hand and official seal. /s/ Tho A. G. Spangler, ,Notary Public. My commission expires January 29, 1906.

Land Records Greene co. Indiana

Jacob L. McKee from A. J. Clark et al warranty 1 Jul. 1875 $50 Lot 58 Lyons rec. 8 Jan. 1876 Bk. 12 pg. 400

J. L. McKee to Price Simmon warranty dtd 21 Mar. 1876 $200 Lot 58 Lyons rec. 7 Apr. 1876 Bk. 13 pg. 174

Family Record Family

I am assuming this is from a bible but even if it is not it is written in several styles of writing and ink varies too. Entries are as follows:

Arthur Dexter McKee was born March 22nd 1877 at 2 o’clock and 20 min. A.M.

Ada McKee was born November 19th 1880 at 10 o’clock A.m. died June 26, 1962 at 6:45 a.m. Freedom Ind.

Harley Clifford McKee was born April 21st 1885 at 1 o’clock and 30 mins P.M. Freedom died July 31, 1945 2:45 At age 60 years 3 mo 10 days

Eph E. McKee was born February 18th 1889 at 1 o’clock and 30 mins. P.m. Worthington, Ind.

Mary Vada McKee was born July 10th 1892 Spencer In. at 10 o’clock & 20 min pm. Died April 13th 1902 at 1:30 o’clock pm age at death 9 yrs 9 mos 3 days

June McKee was born June 30th 1896 Spencer, Ind. At 9 o’clock and 10 min p.m.

You have to turn on side to read: married Feb. 2, 1887 J. L. McKee died March 27, 1942 at 7:30 p.m.; Mary E. McKee died Oct. 12,  1942 aat 7 p.m.

United States Census Records

1880; Census Place: Freedom, Owen, Indiana; Roll: T9_303; Family History Film: 1254303; Page: 366.2000; Enumeration District: 258;  19/20 Mc Kee J. L. 28 In. Cabinet And Undertaker; Maud 23 In. Awthur 3 In. 

1900; Census Place: Washington, Owen, Indiana; Roll: T623_396 Page: 10A; McKee Jacob L. 47; Mary E. 43; Arthur D. 22; Ada 19; Cliffard 15; Ephraim 11; Mary 7; June 4

1910; Census Place: Spencer Ward 2, Owen, Indiana; Roll: T624_373; Page: 15B; Enumeration District: 159 Washington twp. Morgan St.pg. 146 389/403 McKee, Jacob L. 58 In. m1 34 Carpenter; Mary E. 53 In. wife m1 34 6/5; Ada 29 In.; June 13 In.

1920;Census Place: Washington, Owen, Indiana; Roll: T625_458; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 228; McKee Jacob 68; Mary E 64; Ada 39; June 23

1930; Census Place: Spencer, Owen, Indiana; Roll: 622; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 13; West Morgan St. 322/338 Jacob L 78 In.; Mary E 73 In.; Ada 49 In. Stenographer Insurance office; June 33 In. Stenographer bank -receiver


1. Owen County Indiana Marriages, Bk. 30 Pg. 495, Owen County Indiana Clerks Office, Owen County Courthouse, Spencer, Indiana.

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Jacob Leffler Mckee's Timeline

June 30, 1852
Owen, Indiana
June 30, 1876
Age 24
Spencer Owen, In. [Bk. H-2 pg. 31 & Bk. H-7 pg. 111]
March 22, 1877
Age 24
Freedom, Owen, Indiana
November 19, 1880
Age 28
Freedom, Owen, Indiana
April 21, 1885
Age 32
Freedom, Owen, Indiana [Bk. R-1 pg. 150]
February 16, 1889
Age 36
Worthington, Greene, Indiana
July 10, 1892
Age 40
Spencer, Owen, Indiana
March 27, 1942
Age 89
Spencer, Owen, Indiana
Riverside Cemetery, Spencer, Owen, Indiana