James F. McKee, jurist, customs officer, and state representative, was born in Kentucky in the early 1820s. McKee immigrated to Texas in the early 1840s, eventually settling in Guadalupe County. He married Lou W. Brill on May 28, 1868. This couple had eight children—seven sons and a daughter. He served several terms as county judge, including 1868 through 1870 and 1884 through 1888. He also served as a U.S. Customs officer for approximately eight years. In April 1867, following the passage of the First Reconstruction Act, McKee was identified by Federal military authorities as a potential Unionist replacement for state officials dismissed under the provisions of the Act. In 1870 he won election on the Republican ticket as representative for Guadalupe County to the Twelfth Texas Legislature. McKee died in 1908 while in Schleicher County, Texas, and was buried there. He was an active Presbyterian.