James Elgin McKinney was born c1812 in Alabama to Thomas and Jane Sharp McKinney. He died Nov 1869 (he is in the 1870 Mortality Schedule - cause of death: Typhoid Fever). On September 4, 1835 James E McKinney (or another of this name) received a land patent in Madison County for the NWSE 18 6S 2E containing 40.16 acres and on August 10, 1850 in Madison/Marshall county NENE 30 6S 2E containing 40 acres. Living near James and family were several other McKinney households including his parents Thomas and Jane. James was married in Madison County, Alabama, 20 Jul 1843 to Mary Ann Clark by Mr. William Green, JP. Mary Ann was born c1816 in Alabama. The children of James Elgin and Mary Ann Clark McKinney were as follows:
By the place of birth given for each child on the census, we know that James and Mary Ann moved from Alabama to Missouri between 1851 and 1853. The family first lived in Wayne County, MO, where James Elgin received a land patent for the S1/2SE 22 27N 4E on 01/03/1856. After moving to Ripley County James received a land patent for 129.47 acres in the 32/33 35N 2E (Iron) and 5 24N 2E (Ripley) on 01/01/1859. Mary Ann probably died in Wayne County, MO, (where few headstones were erected before 1900's) sometime between Dec 12, 1855 and sometime in 1856 when James married second married second Jane Collins Robinson McDowell (widow of William McDowell) in about 1856 (probably in Wayne County, MO, where no records are extant previous to 1893). According to "Come over into Macedonia" by Thelma J McManus, family lore Jane married James based on an old superstition. Supposedly, when an unmarried woman ate salt before going to bed, whoever she dreamed about would be the one she would marry. Well, Jane and her daughters ate salt before bed one night as a lark. When she awoke she told the girls that she had a dream that James had given her a drink of water. They were married soon after. Jane and James are thought to buried in unmarked graves in the Macedonia Cemetery, Ripley County, Missouri for which James donated the land (as well as land for the school and church). Jane was a widow with 5 children and James a widower with 7 children.
From this same book, we learn about the McKinney's. "One of the notable families to come into the Macedonia Community in the late 1850's were the McKinneys. They came from Paint Rock, Madison County, Alabama, stopping briefly in Wayne County, Missouri before settling near the Macedonia Hill. James Elgin McKinney was as active a worker for the fledgling church as was Benjamin Thompson. Close by were two other McKinney men and their families - Jim who settled on the North Prong of Little Black in what became the Shiloh Community, and Tom who eventually went farther downstream from Shiloh and lies buried at Elizabeth Cemetery."
During the 1860 Ripley census the James E McKinney family appeared as follows:
Ten years later, on the 1870 Ripley County census, George McKinney age 14 born MO is living with his step-sister Letty Thompson age 23 born AL and her husband William age 25 born TN. Nearby is the family of Letty's brother George McDowell including widow Jane Collins Robinson McDowell McKinney as follows:
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