James M. McKeever, a representative farmer and stockman of Southern Kansas, is a native of Iowa, born October 14, 1855, in Wayne county, that State. He is a son of Nicholas and Mary E. (Moore) McKeever. The father was a native of Ohio, born in Belmont county in 1832. He left his native State in 1854, and journeyed west, locating in Iowa, where he followed farming until 1877, when he again went west, this time to Kansas and located on government land in Chisaskia township, Harper county, where he became one of the most extensive farmers in that section, having added to his original holdings until at the time of his death, November 8, 1913, he owned 1,240 acres of land. He was a Democrat, and prominent in local politics, having held various local offices and served one term as county commissioner of Harper county. His wife was also a native of Belmont county, Ohio. They were the parents of eleven children: James M., the subject of this sketch; Minnie; John; Della; Susan; Mary, deceased; Burns; Kye K.; Warren; Valter and Vollie (twins). James M. McKeever was educated in the public schools. of Wayne county, Iowa and came to Kansas with his parents in 1887, and homesteaded a claim in Chisaskia township, Harper county, where he has since resided. His first home in Kansas, was a sod house, and his first few years in the new country were filled with hardships and privations, incident to pioneer life in those days, but he had faith in Kansas, even when the prospects looked most discouraging he stayed with it, and won and now has a farm of 680 acres of some of the most valuable land in southern Kansas, all well improved. In addition to being a successful general farmer, he is a breeder of Polled-Angus cattle, in which he has also been unusually successful, and from which he has realized substantial profits. Mr. McKeever was married June 12, 1901, to Miss Mary Elizabeth Ashlock, a native of Macoupin county, Illinois, born June 29, 1869, a daughter of William J. and Clarinda (Danley) Ashlock, both natives of Illinois. The father was born September 24, 1834, and is a Civil War veteran having served in Company E, One Hundred and Twenty-second Regiment, Illinois Infantry, and served three years. He came to Kansas with his family in 1878, and after spending one year in Cowley county, removed to Harper county, and took up government land. The Ashlock family consisted of six children: John William, born May 28, 1857; George H., born September 7, 1859; Jesse J., born May 3, 1862, died March 29, 1914; Emily F., born July 21, 1865, died in 1867; Charles A., born February 21, 1868, and Mary Elizabeth, now Mrs. James M. McKeever, of this review. To Mr. and Mrs. McKeever have been born three children, one of whom is living, Margaret Lota, born October 21, 1907. Mr. McKeever is a Democrat, and takes a commendable interest in promoting the policies and principles of his party, but has never aspired to hold political office.Pages 145-146 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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