165th jubilee : official publication commemorating McKeesport's old home week celebration, 1795-1960.
McKeesport, Pa.: Wivagg Printing, 1960.
Bruice A. Yount, Editor
THE EARLY HISTORY of McKEESPORT by Walter L. Riggs
MARGARET McKEE married a man named ROBERT McKEE; whether or not he was a distant relative is not known. The only definite record of the two is found in the deed from the brothers and sisters of THOMAS McKEE to JAMES PEEBLES, already referred to. Among the grantors in that deed is mentioned one, “ROBERT McKEE, husband of MARGARET McKEE.”
As has been before stated, MARY McKEE, sister of MARGARET McKEE, married JAMES PEEBLES and settled on the THOMAS McKEE tract of land. MR. PEEBLES, like his father-in-law, was a farmer, and
Pg. 10 LANDMARKES - “Turn of the Century”
PICTURES of: Washington’s Spring Old Fawcett Farm, Walnut Street At Sixth Avenue, and Fifth Avenue At Market Street
(pg. 11) with aid of the McKEE boys he built a modest cabin in the neighborhood of Walnut and Eleventh Streets, wherein his wife, MARY McKEE PEEBLES, raised a brood of six little PEEBLES with loving care, seasoned with a dash of frugality, thrift and discipline. MR. PEEPLES had a 253 acre farm. He made a path through the fields of his father-in-law to Market St., which came to an abrupt end at Ninth Avenue. As time passed, this path widened into a lane, and was used not only by the PEEPLES family, but also by their neighbors in McKeesport. After MR. PEEPLES’ death in 1794, when the McKEES were selling their outlots, being those parts of the farm not included in the plan of McKeesport, they were careful to preserve intact the little lane, then called “Widow PEEPLES’ Lane,” and it is so mentioned in all the deeds for outlots adjoining that lane. (pg. 11) Later on it became Berlin St., and after that it changed to French St.
ROBERT McKEE, son of DAVID McKEE, was drowned while crossing the Monongahela River on horse back at Braddock’s Upper Crossing (Riverton), and the only record of his death comes from the Office of the Register of Wills of Westmoreland Co., where Letters of Administration on his estate were granted to his widow, SUSANNAH McKEE, and his son, DAVID McKEE, on April 5th, 1782. He left to survive him, his said widow and four children, viz., DAVID McKEE, ROBERT McKEE, MARY McKEE TORRANCE, wife of HUGH TORRENCE, and ELIZABETH McKEE SINCLAIR, wife of SAMUEL SINCLAIR, JR., from across the Youghiogheny. The said SAMUEL SINCLAIR, JR., purchased the interests of his wife’s brothers and sisters in the ROBERT McKEE farm, including the double share owned by DAVID McKEE, eldest son of ROBERT McKEE, deceased, for such was the law in those early days. Upon the deathy of SUSANNAH McKEE, widow of ROBERT McKEE, the entire tract to the ROBERT McKEE farm vested in SAMUEL SINCLAIR, JR.
JAMES McKEE, son of DAVID McKEE, as has been recorded, built his cabin at the site of the present City of Duquesne.
DAVID McKEE, JR., son of DAVID McKEE, settled on a tract of land, which he called “Reed Manor,” located across the Monongahela River from the mouth of the Youghiogheny. His cabin was located on the brow of the hill, from where he could view the farms of virtually all of the early settlers of McKeesport. Shortly after the McKEES arrived in McKeesport, JOHN CUNNINGHAM and his family came across the mountains from Virginia, and with him came his wife, MARY, his son, SAMUEL, and four daughters, ELIZABETH, MARGARET, JEAN and MARY. The CUNNINGHAM family settled in Dravosburg. The CUNNINGHAM is reported to have been closely related to the family of Robert Dinwiddie, Governor of the Colony of Virginia. DAVID and JAMES McKEE courted the CUNNINGHAM girls.
When the Indians scoured Western Pa. for victims, since SIR HENRY HAMILTON, in charge of the English forces at Detroit, offered to the Indians a cash bounty for the scalps of colonists. The pioneers joined the colors, and assembled at Fort Pitt including JOHN, DAVID, and JAMES McKEE. SAMUEL CUNNINGHAM formed a company of volunteers, of which (12) he was the captain, DAVID McKEE a lieutenant, and JAMES McKEE a private. They were called frontier rangers, JOHN McKEE enlisted in CAPTAIN MUNN’S Co. as a private.
DAVID McKEE, JR. and his wife, MARGARET, raised a family of five children, DAVID, JAMES, JOHN, SARAH and MARY. SARAH McKEE married THOMAS WHIGHAM, and among their children were WILLIAM WHIGHAM, first President of The First National Bank of McKeesport and grandfather of the late GEORGE H. LYSLE, and JOHN WHIGHAM, grandfather of WALTER L. RIGGS.
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