Van Alstyne Library family history files
Pioneer Van Alstyne Resident Succumbs
(Special to The News.)
McKinney, Texas, Feb. 16 - S.L. McKinney, 84, known as Uncle Leak,
for nearly eighty years a resident of Van Alstyne and vicinity, died at
his home here early Monday.
Mr. McKinney was a grandson of Collin McKinney, signer of the Texas
Declaration of Independence and for whom Collin County and the city of
McKinney were named.
He had been in business in Van Alstyne continuously since 1883 and
was active in his work up to the time of his last illness. He had
been a member of the Van Alstyne Methodist Church for seventy-eight years.
Mr. McKinney is survived by three children, Lee McKinney and Mrs.
John H. Neill of Van Alstyne and Mrs. Gus W. Thomasson of Dallas and a
brother, J.D.L. McKinney of Van Alstyne.
Funeral services will be conducted at the First Methodist Church
Tuesday and burial will be in the Van Alstyne Cemetery.
Sherman Public Library genealogy files
Oldest Business Man in City was Also Active Churchman 50 years
(Special to the Democrat)
Van Alstyne - S.L. McKinney, 85, for eighty years a citizen of Van
Alstyne and vicinity, and a grandson of Collin McKinney, early settler
for whom Collin county and the county seat were named, died suddenly Monday
at the home of his daughter, Mrs. J.H. Neill of Van Alstyne. He was
stricken Friday with a heart attack which went into pneumonia.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock
at the Methodist church conducted by the Rev. T.H. Browning, pastor, assisted
by request of the deceased, by J.D.L. McKinney, a brother, and W.F. Barnett
of Waco, as well as by several former pastors of the church. S.L.
McKinney had been an active member and a trustee in the Methodist church
here for over fifty consecutive years. He was the oldest churchman
as well as the oldest business man in the vicinity. Yoder Undertaking
company is in charge of arrangements.
Mr. McKinney is survived by three children, Mrs. Gus W. Thomasson
of Dallas, Mrs. Neill, and Lee McKinney of Van Alstyne. He was associated
with the latter in business. Also surviving are his brother, J.D.L.
McKinney and three grandchildren, Neill McKinney, John H. Neill Jr. and
Gus W. Thomasson Jr., the latter a student at Centenary college, Shreveport,
Mr. McKinney was born Oct. 23, 1846 in Clark county, Ark., the son
of the late Younger Scott McKinney and Sarah James McKinney, and he came
to Texas with his parents in the spring of 1849, settling in Collin county
five miles east of Van Alstyne. The family of Younger Scott McKinney
made the trip in covered wagons of the old prairie schooner type and arrived
at the home of Collin McKinney in February, 1849. The home consisted
of two large rooms made of logs with a large hall between. They lived
here about nine months after which they moved to a farm east of Van Alstyne
now owned by J.D.L. McKinney.
Early Day School
The McKinney boys attended school at a building made of split boards
one mile south of where Cannon community is now located, six miles east
of Van Alstyne. Split logs on pegs were used as benches and desks
and an old stick and dirt chimney four feet wide was used for heating.
In his thirtieth year, Feb. 25, 1887, Mr. McKinney married Miss
Caroline Narcissus Baldwin. He first went into business as an employee
of F.C. Umphress, dry goods merchant. He later was employed by J.W.
Pattie in a furniture store. In 1882 he formed a partnership with
W.H. Cave in the furniture business and later became full owner of a business
which occupied him from then to the time of his death. The brick
foundation for this business house was the first brick laid in Van Alstyne.
In forty years neither the name nor the type of business underwent change.
Prior to going into business he had served eight months in a reserve
corps of the Confederate army located at Tyler. This corps was connected
with Martin's troup camped on the Brazos river bottoms near Marlin.
He registered with the Sixth cavalry but had to be returned home on account
of illness and the war ended before he was well enough to return.
Van Alstyne Leader
Thursday 19 February 19??
SAMUEL LEEK McKINNEY
Oldest Citizen, Business Man, Church Member in Town Passed Away Monday
Monday morning the town went in mourning when it became generally
know that its oldest citizen, oldest business man, oldest church member
and Christian gentleman, Uncle "Leek" McKinney, had passed away at 3 o'clock.
It was known that he had a heart attack a few days before and his condition
was considered grave, considering his age, however it was not generally
known that pneumonia had developed and it was quite a shock to the town
when the news went out that he was dead.
Born in Clark County, Ark., October 23, 1846, the son of Younger
Scott and Sarah Jane McKinney. With his parents Uncle Leek moved
to Texas in the spring of 1849, settling in what is now Collin County,
then moving and settling on a farm 5 miles east of Van Alstyne.
He first worked in the dry goods store of Ed Umphress, then in the
hardware store of John W. Pattie, who was also postmaster, and he assisted
in the post office. In 1883, he formed a partnership with his brother-in-law,
W. H. Cave, and opened a furniture business. In later years he acquired
the sole ownership of this store and owned and operated it at the time
of his death. He was Van Alstyne's oldest active merchant.
On Feb. 25, 1877 he married Miss Caroline Baldwin at Van Alstyne,
who died July 12, 1901. To them were born three children all of whom
are now living, Lee McKinney and Mrs. John H. Neill, who reside at Van
Alstyne, and Mrs. Gus W. Thomasson, who resides at Dallas. He has
one brother, J. D. L. McKinney, who also resides at Van Alstyne.
Although still in his teens, Mr. McKinney enlisted for service in
the Confederacy and although he did not participate in any of the major
battles he rendered such other service as was assigned him. He was
first attached to a Texas company and had joined the Sixth Cavalry and
was en route to Louisiana when he became ill and by the time he had recovered
the war had ended.
Having passed his 84th year, Uncle Leek was apparently in good health
up to the time he became ill, and he said he had been sick very little
in his life. He could be seen going to and from his business daily,
walking, and with apparently more life than many to be seen who were not
half as old as he was. In his place of business he was known as "Uncle
Leek" and for ever being cheerful, having some words of cheer for each
and every one.
His life can be said as being an unusual one. Not only was
he one of the oldest, if not the oldest, citizen of the town, but his business
career extended over a period of years rarely ever surpassed, and that
being nearly fifty years, in the same town and same building. His
church connections also make another record, in that he was a member for
over 75 years, the oldest member of the Van Alstyne church, and had been
a church trustee for over 50 years. He was known to be one who could
be relied upon to do his part and help in any way in the interest of his
Funeral services were conducted by the pastor, Rev. T. H. Browning,
at the First Methodist Church in Van Alstyne Tuesday afternoon at 2:30
o'clock, the casket and remains having been placed in state at the church
at 1:30. Dr. E. H. Homes and Rev. Harrison Baker, former pastors,
made short talks. Dr. Carl Gregory, pastor of the First Methodist
Church in Dallas, Dr. H. A. Weeks, presiding elder, Rev. C. O. Hitt, pastor
of the First Baptist Church here and Rev. J. W. Holsapple, pastor of the
Christian Church here, sat in the pulpit.
One of the last requests of Uncle Leek was that his brother, J.
D. L. McKinney, and his long time friend, Mr. W. F. Barnett, now superintendent
of the Methodist Orphanage at Waco, have a part in his funeral services,
and both spoke with much feeling of his splendid characteristics, the one
as a brother for seventy years and the other as a tried, true friend of
more than thirty years.
A due, "No Never Alone" was sung by Revs. J. D. Harling and T. H.
Active pallbearers, eight in number, were nephews of the deceased,
sons from the families of each of his brother and sisters, all but one
of whom are now dead. Honorary pallbearers were his numerous friends
in Van Alstyne and over the state.
The floral offerings, in quantity, quality and design told a tale
and told it in a language not heretofore observed by this writer in this
community. The banks of flowers at and around and all over the church
altar for the services and later left over the filled grave, furnishes
a proof from no angle controvertible that the deceased had a quiet but
positive hold upon the minds and hearts of his friends and acquaintances
here and over the state and elsewhere excelled by none and equaled by few,
for, it seemed, to at least one observer that they all through these flowers
meant to tell of the love and admiration they had for this good man while
living, in the same quiet, silent manner he had used in all things throughout
his long, rich, ripe life.
Out-of-Town friends attending the services were:
Dallas - Mrs. S. B. Perkins, Mrs. E. Gordon Perry, Mrs. G. Munstroe,
Mrs. Z. L. Felder, Mrs. W. D. Fuller, Mrs. W. D. Garlington, Mrs. A. R.
Thomasson, Mrs. John Elms, Mrs. Gilbert Poindexter, Mrs. Eula Ferris, Mrs.
Virgil Walker, Miss Mary Ann Thomasson, Mrs. Charles Sherrill, Dr. Charles
C. Gregory, Rev. E. H. Holmes, Rev. Harrison W. Baker, Mr. and Mrs. Geo.
A. Bruer, Mr. and Mrs. E. B. Doggett, Mr. and Mrs. Layton W. Bailey, Mr.
and Mrs. Hubert Barry, Mr. and Mrs. F. P. Holliday, Mr. and Mrs. J. J.
Holliday, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Barron, Mr. John Kay, Mr. J. L. Cave, Mr.
Raymond Thomasson, Mr. Vinson McKinney.
Bishop and Mrs. Jno. M. Moore, Dallas, Texas
Mrs. Edgar Darnell, Marlow Okla.
Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Hopper, Dallas
Mrs. R. W. Cosnahan, Dallas
Mr. and Mrs. F. Gordon Perry
Seagoville - Mr. and Mrs. Sewell McKinney and Children.
Telegrams from friends:
Mr. and Mrs. Will Douglas, Mission, Texas
Mrs. J. W. Geer, Dallas, Texas
Miss Edna Barry, Fort Worth, Texas
McKinney - Dr. and Mrs. J. H. Elliott, Mrs. H. L. Davis
Arlington - Mr. and Mrs. Homer Slaughter
Waco - Mr. and Mrs. W. F. Barnett
Oklahoma - Mr. and Mrs. Ernest McKinney, Mr. and Mrs. Collin McKinney
Sherman - Mr. and Mrs. Lee A. Neill, Mr. and Mrs. J. D. Harling,
Mr. and Mrs. Neill Harling, Mr. Will Leslie, Dr. A. H. Weeks
Fort Worth - Mr. and Mrs. Orion Hopkins, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Douglas,
Mrs. George C. Clark