J. D. FEE, the subject of this sketch, is descended from Scotch ancestry, the original name being McDuffie, by which a well-known clan in the early history of Scotland was known. The clan McDuffie was early subjected to religious persecution, in consequence of which the majority of that name were compelled to flee their native country and take refuge in Ireland, where in time the name became changed to McFee. Still later, the clan was represented in England, where the name subsequently became anglicized to Fee, by which it has been known since about the year 1700. In 1780, several representatives of the Fee family came to America and settled in Pennsylvania, thence later to Kentucky, where, as early as 1798, the name was well-known among the settlers of Maysville and Boone's Fort. The ancestors of J. D. Fee were among the early pioneers of Clermont County, Ohio, where his grandfather, Rev. Elijah Fee, acquired some celebrity as a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Jacob and Elizabeth (Camrey) Fee, parents of J. D., were both natives of Clermont County, Ohio. They had a family of eleven children, nine of whom are now living, J. D. being the youngest. The subject was born in the town of Moscow, Clermont County, Ohio, March 3, 1841, and received a practical education in the schools of his native town. He was raised on a farm, and remained under the parental roof until the age of seventeen, when he entered the army, enlisting August 1, 1802, in company D, Second Ohio Artillery, with which he served two years. During that tie he took part in several active campaigns, and bore a gallant part in some of the bloodiest battles of the war, including Shiloh, Stone River, Lookout Mountain, Nashville, and numerous minor engagements. At the expiration of his term of service, he was honorably discharged, and immediately thereafter returned to his native county, and engaged in farming, which he followed about two years. In the spring of 1868, he came to Edinburg, where, until 1888, his principal business was painting and paper hanging. In February, of the latter year, he purchased an interest in the hardware store of L. Compton, and the firm of Compton & Fee is now one of the leading business firms of the city. They carry a large assortment of general hardware, tinware and stoves, their stock representing a value of $6,000. Mr. Fee is an active member of the G. A. R., I. O. O. F., and W. O. H., and in politics supports the principles of the republican party. He has always manifested a live interest in municipal of affairs, and is at this time a member of the town board of Edinburg. November 1866, he married Miss Hattie A. Parker, daughter of James E. and Catherine Parker, of Clermont County, Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Fee are members of the Edinburg Methodist Episcopal Church.
Transcribed by Cheryl Zufall Parker
Banta, D.D. History of Johnson County, Indiana. Chicago, IL: Brant & Fuller, 1888.