McKinney, John - Macoupin County IL
©1996-2009 Walter Fuller



Before me, Elmo Jeffers, a Notary Public in and for Navarro County, Texas on this day personally appeared Mrs. Helen V. Marshall, who being duly sworn upon her oath to the truth, deposes and says:

My name is Mrs. Helena V. Marshall, I reside in Venus, Johnson County, Texas. I live with my son, C. C. Marshall, who is cashier of the First National Bank 0f Venus. I am over eighty one(81) years old. I am now visiting friends in Corsicana, Navarro County, Texas. I was born near Wheeling, West Virginia, in the year 1821 but immigrated with my father and his family to Morgan County, Illinois. In the year 1836 the county was subsequently divided, however, we then lived in Cass County, Illinois. I made frequent and long visits from Cass County, Illinois to Macoupin County, Illinois, during and subsequent to the year 1840. In the year 1876 I moved from the State of Iowa to the State of Texas, and remained one year. I returned to Texas again in 1880, and have since lived in Texas.

While visiting in Macoupin County, Illinois in the year 1841 I frequently met and conversed with one John McKinney then an elderly man. Before meeting John McKinney, however I met his wife Catherine Eaves McKinney, in the month of January 1841, and met John McKinney about Oct. 1841. I fix these dates at this late day to the election to the Presidency of the United States of William Henry Harrison recalling as I do that the presidential campaign was in progress when I was first visiting in Macoupin County and Harrison was seated in the spring of the next year. I met John McKinney and his wife both at the home of their son, Hampton McKinney and also at the home of their daughter, Mrs. Nancy McKinney Kendall. John McKinney, through his son's wife, Mrs. Hampton McKinney (Nee Mary Banes Clark) was related to my family, and in this way I became quite intimate with he and his family.

John McKinney and his wife Catherine had seven children, as follows: Hampton McKinney, who married Mary Banes Clark; Jefferson McKinney, who married Lucinda Sams; Jubilee McKinney, who married a Miss Story; Susan McKinney, who married a Mr. Otwell; Diana McKinney, who married a Mr. William Hadley; Mary McKinney, who married who married a Mr. Gillam; and Nancy McKinney, who married a Mr. Fenwick Kendall.

To Hampton McKinney and Mary Clark McKinney were born the following children: Lucinda and Louisa, twins, both of whom died unmarried; Nancy McKinney, who married John Marlin; John and Thomas McKinney, were twins, John having died unmarried and Thomas having married Mary Jane Petty; Monroe McKinney, who married a Luisa Johnson; Jane McKinney, who married Major Alexander Beaton; Catherine McKinney, who married Ham Morrell; Mary and Martha, twins, Mary having married Major J. L. Miller, and Martha having died unmarried; and Diadema McKinney, born in Madison County Illinois in 1821 and died in Corsicana, Texas, married in 1840 in Illinois to Levi Jester, born in Delaware, died in 1850 in Waverly, Illinois. The following children were born: Charlie Jester, who married Eliza Rakestraw; Martha Louisa Jester, who married Thomas Jefferson Kendall; George T. Jester, whose first wife was Alice Bates and second wife was Fannie Gorden; Mary D. Jester, who married James Hamilton; Vina Jester, who married Robert Bates; and Levin Jester, who married Minnie Cain.

To Diana McKinney and her husband, William Hadley, were born the following children: Strage Hadley, Jestina Hadley, Cynthia Hadley, Wilbur C. Hadley and W. Flavius Hadley. Affiant has not been requested, and therefore does not undertake to give the names of the other grandchildren of the said John McKinney.

To Nancy McKinney Kendall and Fenwick Kendall were born the following children: Catherine or Kate, who married Mr. Cook; Mary, who married Mr. Dixson; Susan, who married Mr. Fred; Joseph Kendall, who died during the Civil War unmarried; Helen; Betty, who married Mr. O'Neal; Jennie, who married Mr. Ashford; Cyrus Kendall, who married Mandora House; and Emma, who married Mr. House. To Thomas Jefferson Kendall and wife Martha Louise Jester the following children were born: Edgar Jester Kendall born Nov. 22, 1865, married Willa Dean in 1890 (died 1944); and Charles Paul Kendall born Feb. 6, 1869, married Dec. 20, 1889 to Minnie Allen.

Now referring again to the said John McKinney; when I knew him I was a young woman, about twenty years of age and spent much of my time at the home of Hampton McKinney, where John McKinney and his wife lived about half of their time. John McKinney was a small man, being perhaps five feet six or seven inches high and weighing about one hundred and thirty pounds, fair complexion and had blue eyes; when I knew him his hair was perfectly white. He was an excellent conversationalist, was a great reader, had fine memory for historical dates, and was exceedingly tidy in his dress. Prior to the time I knew John McKinney he had lived on a farm in Madison County, Illinois but had broken up housekeeping and spent the remainder of his days with his children. I was accustomed during those days to talk with John McKinney for hours at a time, and he was to me, then a young woman, a most interesting character. I took a great deal of interest in hearing him tell of his services under General Francis Marion of South Carolina in the war of the American Revolution. I remember at the time we had a published volume of the life of General Francis Marion which I read aloud in his presence, and he added much to the book's interest and instruction by supplementing it with explanatory remarks and illustrations in connection with the items of history upon which it touched. Many of the places referred to in the book, he said he had been over and was with General Marion and his men on many occasions to which it refers. In fact I heard John McKinney tell scores of times of his services under General Francis Marion. The following is a brief subsume as I now recollect it of Mr. McKinney's statements to me as to his services in the Colonial forces, etc.

I will not be positive that he stated he was born in South Carolina, though the impression left upon me was that he was born there, and enlisted in there, and further evidence of the fact that he lived in South Carolina, or at least married there is this: as before stated, he married a Miss Catherine Eaves, whose mother was a sister of General Wade Hampton's great grandfather and they, as I understand it were South Carolinians; they named their oldest son Hampton. I do not recall from what place he enlisted, nor do I remember in what place in South Carolina he lived, he always referred to it as simply South Carolina.

He stated at about the age of Sixteen he enlisted in the Colonial Army, and my impression is he served during the remainder of the war; he stated he served under General Francis Marion. He may have stated he served under other officers, but if so I do not recall now under whom else he stated he served. Near General Marion's camp lived a certain influential and wealthy Tory family who made frequent calls at Marion's camp and pretended great friendship for Marion and the Colonists. But Marion suspected him of duplicity, and of real sympathy and friendship for the British, whereupon he called for some one who would undertake the task of a spy in order that the true attitude of this suspected (Tory) might be ascertained. Young McKinney volunteered to act out the roll, and was chosen. He dressed in ragged citizens clothes and at night was carried to a creek bottom some twenty miles from camp, and was there left alone; by degrees he worked his way towards the Tory house and in the course of a few days reached his destination. There he begged something to eat, and a place to sleep, and finally procured a position as a hireling there on the place. By pre-arrangement he was to communicate with Marion by means of an improvised secret post office system, and general Marion was thereby kept informed. After remaining for two weeks or more young McKinney learned for certain of the Tory's disloyalty to the colonists, and was instrumental in bringing about the capture of the Tory farmer and quite a few British officers and soldiers who were at the Tory's house enjoying a feed. It seems that the British were at the Tory's house feasting at night preparing to attack Marion's men the following day, but while yet feasting, and ill prepared for battle, Marion and his men made an attack on them and succeeded in capturing the entire force, officers and men. Young McKinney (had) succeeded in procuring a horse from the pasture, and (had) carried the news to General Marion. McKinney, under the pretext of watering the horses and doing other chores about the place, would go to the improvised post office agreed upon, and there communicate by writing such matters as were of importance, and at night a carrier from General Marion's camp would come to the post office and get the latest bulletins and convey them to Marion.

In recognition of these services, I was told by Mr. McKinney (during the conversation referred to) that General Marion had presented to him a pair of silver spurs and had also afterwards written him a personal letter making mention among other things the spurs which he had presented him and of this services to his country, and in addition to this he told me he had his honorable discharge from the American Army.

Upon being told of this by John McKinney, I expressed an intense desire to see the spurs and letter and discharge. He told me that they were at his old home in Madison County, Illinois but that he would have some of the boys, referring to his sons to get them the next time they went to Madison, and that I might examine and read them. Not long after this, Hampton McKinney (his eldest son) brought the spurs and letter and discharge to his home where his father was staying and I then had the privilege of examining and reading the letter and discharge, and discussing them with the said John McKinney. I distinctly recall that the spurs and letter and discharge were all brought together in a leather box.

It would be quite impossible at this late date to state even in substance the entire contents of the letter which purported to have been written by General Marion to John McKinney. I distinctly recall, however, that he addressed him "Dear Johnnie" and wrote to the following effect; that it was not the largest men that did the most to accomplish our liberty for you were one of the smallest men in my command and did more to trap the old Tory than any dozen men had done. You richly deserve the spurs I gave you. I wish they were gold. I also distinctly recall that he mentioned the recent death in Virginia of an officer who was a great friend of McKinney. It was a friendly kindly letter, and Mr. McKinney prized it very much. I cannot be positive as to the place from which the letter was written, though it seems to me PeeBee was the place. I do positively recollect that frequent reference was made in the letter to PeeBee.

The question asked to which of his sons to give the spurs seemed to worry John McKinney not a little. Hampton (the oldest)suggested in my presence to give them to Jubilee(the youngest)and his father replied that he knew Jefferson would not be pleased. It was apparent the father preferred Jubilee should have the spurs, but he did not care to offend Jefferson. It was thought by all that I(Affiant)was engaged to be married to Jubilee McKinney, and John McKinney placed the spurs in my keeping, exacting of me the promise that I would never part with them unless to give them to Jubilee. I took the spurs from him and left them at Hampton's house for safe keeping, where John McKinney died a year or two afterwards. Hampton McKinney's wife afterwards told me that a few hours before his death John McKinney asked her to bring him the spurs, and after looking upon them, fondly admonished her to tell Helen (the Affiant) to remember her promise. The spurs remained there until the morning Jubilee, with several others, started for the first time to the then Republic of Texas, to inspect the new country. Desiring to escape the further responsibility, I presented the spurs to Jubilee as a parting gift. He took them with him, and I had not seen the spurs since until August 5th 1902, when one of the spurs was exhibited to me by Mr. C. Lee Jester, a son of C. W. Jester, and a great-great-grandson of John McKinney, and I readily recognized it as one of the same spurs(except that the rowel was missing) which John McKinney had shown me and placed with me more than sixty years before. The other spur I have heard was lost or stolen some fifteen years ago. This spur is now, I am told, kept in a time locked safe in the vault of the Corsicana National Bank, at Corsicana, Texas by C. W. and George T. Jester, great-great-great-grand children of the said John McKinney but the spur actually belongs to Mr. J. Preston McKinney, who lives near Corsicana, Texas, son of Jubilee McKinney.

Referring again to the letter and discharge mentioned, About the year 1846 I attended in Macoupin County, Illinois the wedding of Nancy McKinney and John Harlin at her father's (Hampton McKinney) house. I remember on the day of the wedding (at which there was naturally something of a family reunion) that Jefferson McKinney was looking over his father's papers and he came across the letter from General Marion and discharge which were at that time kept in an old leather pocketbook and he read them aloud and passed them around to the company for examination, after which he placed them back in the pocketbook and said he intended to keep them as long as he lived.

It has always been my impression that Jefferson McKinney brought these documents with him to Texas when he and his family, Hampton and his family, and Jubilee, who was at that time unmarried, immigrated to Texas in the year 1846, a few days after the marriage of Nancy McKinney to John Harlan.

As stated before, I came to Texas in the year 1876 and spent about a year, and here I frequently met and conversed with Nancy McKinney Kendall, a daughter of John McKinney, and I inquired about the letter and discharge her brother Jefferson McKinney had during his lifetime, he having died several years previous to this time. She told me that she had seen the letter and discharge after they came to Texas, but thought that possibly Clinton McKinney, a son of Jefferson, had them in his possession. Clinton McKinney is now dead. I am informed that up to this time the letter and discharge have not been located by these descendants of John McKinney in whose behalf this affidavit is being made.

Witness my hand at Corsicana, Texas, this August 11,1902

(Signed) Mrs. Helena V. Marshall
Sworn to and subscribed before me at Corsicana, Texas, this the llth day of Aug. 1902

(Signed) Elmo Jeffers
Notary Public in and for Navarro County, Texas

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