Pages 684-685, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




WILLIAM KEES, a well known representative of the farming interests of Woodson county, residing in Neosho Falls township, was born in Washing county, Pennsylvania, February 4, 1833, and has the distinction of being descended from two Revolutionary heroes, both his paternal and maternal grandfather having served in the war of independence. The former owned the land upon which the town of McKeesport, Pennsylvania, was built, and the place was named in his honor. David Kees, the father of our subject, was also a native of the state and there resided until 1858, when he removed to Iowa, where he spent the residue of his days. He was called to his final rest in 1895, when he had attained the very venerable age of ninety-two years. His wife had passed away in 1888, when eighty-four years of age. They were the parents of six children, four of whom are yet living: David Jr., surgeon of the Civil war; William; John, a druggist in Creston, Ia., and Catherine, of Agency, Ia.

William Kees, the second in order of birth pursued his education in the schools of his native state and resided with his parents until they were called to the home beyond. He accompanied them to Iowa in 1858 and cared for them throughout their declining years, rendering them filial


devotion in return for what they had done for him in youth. He was married in 1871 to Miss Emily McKeown, a native of Bradley county, Tennessee, born in 1847. Her father, I. L. McKeown, was a native of North Carolina and married Matilda Reynolds, whose birth occurred in Tennessee, to which state her husband had removed in early manhood. They had three children: Sarah A.; Mrs. Kees, and Livonia Watkins, who is now living in Agency, Iowa. The father, who was born in 1818, is still living in Agency at the age of eighty-two years, making his home with his daughter. His wife died in 1895, at the age of seventy-one years. They had been residents of Iowa since 1865. Mr. McKeown served for three years in the Union army with a Missouri regiment and was on one occasion badly hurt by being thrown from his horse in battle.

After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Kees continued to reside on the old homestead farm in Iowa until after the death of his parents. When the father passed away our subject inherited one of his farms. His own health having become impaired his physician advised him to seek a change of climate where he would not have to undergo the rigorous winters of Iowa and accordingly he came to Kansas, settling upon the farm which is now his home. He sold his property in Iowa and purchased here two hundred and forty acres of land, pleasantly and conveniently situated about two and a half miles north of Piqua. His health has greatly improved and in his business affairs he has prospered, his time being given to general farming and stock-raising. The fields are well tilled and bring him a good financial return for his labors, and the pasture lands afford excellent grazing opportunities for stock.

The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Kees has been blessed with three children: Lois, now the wife of Albert Bailey, of Allen county; Arthur and Ethyl, who are at home with their parents. The son has charge of the farm thus relieving his father of much care and responsibility. The family have a wide acquaintance in the county and the parents and children enjoy the high esteem of many friends. Mr. Kees is a Democrat in his political affiliations and the support which he gives to the party arises from a belief in its principles and not from a hope of the rewards of office holding.

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