Leonard V. McKee is a prominent banker of Marshall county, Kansas, and president of the State Bank, of Frankfort, Kan. He is a native of Ohio and was born in Allen county August 18, 1845, and is a son of Robert and Sarah (Dunlap) McKee, both natives of Ohio. The father was a cabinetmaker in early life and after his marriage followed farming in Ohio, and in 1872 sold out and came to Kansas. After coming to this State he never engaged actively in business again, but lived retired until the time of his death in 1880. His wife died at Seneca, Kan., in 1875.
Leonard V. McKee was reared in Ohio and educated in the district schools of that State. His education was obtained in the days when school houses were few and far between, and the children sometimes had to walk a long distance, occasionally as much as three or four miles, and the school sessions lasted only a short time each year. After attending school he worked on the farm and assisted his father until early in the year 1865, when he enlisted in Company E. One Hundred and Fifty-first Ohio infantry. He served about six months, when the war closed. During the time of his service he was stationed at Washington, D. C., where a large number of troops were held in reserve, and at the same time affording protection to the National capital. After the war he returned home and remained on the farm with his parents until he was twenty-five years old, when he was married, and began life for himself as a farmer. About a year following he was obliged to leave Ohio on account of his wife's health, and on March 20, 1870, started for Kansas with a team and drove the entire distance and was thirty-seven days en route. He settled on a farm in Marshall county, where he met with success, and remained until 1875, when he removed to Frankfort, where he was engaged in the lumber business about a year. He disposed of his lumber business and opened a new store in Frankfort, this time engaging in the general mercantile business. He was thus engaged about ten years, when he again sold out, and in partnership with Charles Dougherty, a traveling salesman, organized a private bank in Frankfort with a paid-up capital of $10,000.00. They operated as a private bank about three years, when Mr. McKee organized the State Bank, of Frankfort, Kan., and became its cashier. He held that position about ten years, when he was elected president and cashier, and served in this double capacity three years. J. W. Lobley then became cashier of the bank and Mr. McKee continued as president. He has held that position to the present time and has been active in the direction of the policy of the institution to date. The bank is now capitalized at $35,000.00 and has a surplus and undivided profits of $46,000.00, which makes it one of the strongest banks in this section of the State. Mr. McKee has helped organize several other banks, one of which was the Interstate National Bank, of Kansas City, of which he was one of the directors until it was moved from Kansas City, Kan., to Kansas City, Mo. He is also a stockholder in the National Reserve Bank, of Kansas City, Mo., and the Kansas City Trust Company, of Kansas City, Kan. He is a stockholder in the Fire Insurance Company, of Kansas City, Mo. Besides his banking and insurance interests he is a large real estate owner and owns and controls 1,870 acres of land, all of which is located in Marshall county except a quarter section.
Mr. McKee has been twice married. In March, 1869, he married Jane Blair, a daughter of Robert and Sarah Blair, of Allen county, Ohio, where her father was a farmer. She was born in Allen county, Ohio, received her education in the public schools and taught school several terms. She died at Frankfort, Kan., in 1897. There were no children born of this union. In 1899 Mr. McKee married Miss Etta E. Lemons, a daughter of Joseph and Etta Lemons. The Lemons family came to Kansas from Iowa and the father was engaged in farming and stock raising. Mrs. McKee was born in Minnesota and was educated in the public schools of that State and Iowa and later attended Baker University at Baldwin, Kan., and is a graduate of that institution. Mr. and Mrs. McKee have five children: Helen, Harold Leonard, Edgar and Mariam. Mrs. McKee is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and of the Eastern Star. Mr. McKee is a Republican and has served two terms in the Kansas State legislature, the first during Governor Stanley's administration and the second during Governor Bailey's. He has also been mayor of Frankfort. He is a trustee of Bethany College and Bethany Hospital, of Kansas City, Kan., and has served on that board for twenty-five years. Mr. McKee has donated liberally to the college and hospital. He has also contributed in many ways to the betterment of his home town and has been a material factor in its social and industrial development. He is progressive, charitable and public spirited, and has truly contributed to the upbuilding and development of the great commonwealth of Kansas. He is a Thirty-second degree Mason and a member of the Shrine.Pages 457-459 from a supplemental volume of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed October 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM196. It is a single volume 3.
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