James R. McKee, physician, Confederate officer, and state representative, was born in Tennessee in 1814. McKee was raised in Tennessee where he married a woman listed only as Elizabeth around 1839. This couple had three sons and one daughter. Prior to 1843 McKee immigrated with his family to Texas, settled in Fannin County, and established himself as a physician. By 1850 McKee had prospered, boasting $1680 in personal and real estate property, including three slaves. It is unknown whether McKee's wife died or whether the two divorced. In any case McKee remarried on April 15, 1858, to Elizabeth M. Locke. By 1860 McKee owned $7000 in personal and real estate property. In 1861 following the outbreak of the Civil War, McKee volunteered for service in the Confederate Army, joining the Ninth Texas Infantry Regiment as a surgeon. He continued in this capacity for approximately one year, whereupon he returned to Texas and served as a medical examiner for the remainder of the war. Afterward he returned to Fannin County. In 1866 he won election as representative for that county to the Eleventh Texas Legislature. McKee died in Fannin County on March 17, 1886.
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Frances T. Ingmire, Confederate Pension Applications of Fannin County, Texas (St. Louis: Ingmire, 1981). Patricia R. Newhouse, Fannin County, Texas Marriage Book A, 1850–1865 (Honey Grove, Texas: Newhouse, 1983).
Health and Medicine
Physicians and Surgeons
Eleventh Legislature (1866)
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Aragorn Storm Miller,
“McKee, James R.,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed July 05, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
September 29, 2008
This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: