McKEE, R. B., farmer, Union township, post office, Rossvine, was born April 18, 1820, in Brown township, Knox county. He was the first white male child born in Brown township. His mother died in 1864, and his father in 1874.
Mr. McKee manied Clarinda Mix in 1839 and settled on the old farm. His wife died in 1857 and left four children.
In 1858 he married Matilda Caster. They lived on the old farm for about twelve years, then moved to Howard township; remained eighteen months, then went to Berlin township, Knox county; remained three years, and then came to their present farm. He had six children: Mary Ellen, Squire, Scott, Amanda, John, William, and Irus, who died in her eighth year.
R. B. McKee was compelled to take his schooling near home, and his graduation at the plow handles.
He still retains some. of the sayings of John Blair, the justice of the peace, which are as follows:
"That feeling heart I yet retain,
It lies within my breast,
And through coming life I shall remain
A friend to those distressed.
"Though many friends I used to have,
My foes have turned to be,
When I am silent in the grave,
Will doubtless think of me.
"The man that led them through the vale,,
Wherein they were distressed,
That hostile foe I did assail;
By whom they were distressed.
"The scenes of sorrow passed away;
All tribulation is o'er,
The shade of night is turned to day,
They need a friend no more.
"These lines are from my hand and pen,
And you may thus conclude,
They will remind malignant men
Of their ingratitude.
" I challenge all malicious men,
And thus conclude my song,
To fairly state the place, and where,
I shall have done them wrong."
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