Grayson County TXGenWeb
  Van Alstyne Cemetery
McKinney Block

 Samuel Leek McKinney
His footstone below.

His Obituaries are below on this page



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.
 Burial Tuesday
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, La.
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??


Oldest Citizen, Business Man, Church Member in Town Passed Away Monday Morning

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 church.
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. Browning.
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

 Photograph by;



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