NIU Libraries Digitization Projects
Lincoln/Net Prairie Fire Illinois During the Civil War Illinois During the Gilded Age Mark Twain's Mississippi Back to Digitization Projects Contact Us
BACK

Edwards, Richard; Hopewell, M.; Ashley, William; Barry, James G.; Belt and Priest; Casey, John; Hall, W.; Labaum, Louis A.; Leduc, Mary Philip; Lisa, Manuel; O'Fallon, Benjamin; Piernas; Port Folio; Risley, W.; Stoddard, Amos; Williams, Henry W.; Yore, John E. Edwards's Great West and Her Commercial Metropolis, Embracing a General View of the West, and a Complete History of St. Louis, from the Landing of Ligueste, in 1764, to the Present Time; with Portraits and Biographies of Some of the Old Settlers, and Many of the Most Prominent Buisiness Men . St. Louis: Office of Edwards's Monthly, A Journal of Progress, 1860. [format: book], [genre: biography; history; letter; narrative]. Permission: St. Louis Mercantile Library
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=edwards.html


Previous section

Next section

William McKee, Senior Proprietor of the Missouri Democrat.

WILLIAM McKEE was born in New York city, September 24th, 1815. He is of Irish descent, and his father, after emigrating to this country, was successfully engaged for many years in the lumber business. He was captain of a vessel, and plied between Maine and the West Indies, carrying lumber from Bangor to Jamaica.

Captain McKee enjoyed the good-will of all who knew him, and had the confidence which years of integrity in business relations always establish.

William McKee had fair opportunities of education; for, after finishing the programme of common-school education, he was sent to the Lafayette Academy, where he remained for some time prosecuting his studies; and, at the age of fifteen, entered as clerk in the office of Major Noah, who was at that time the editor of the New York Courier and Enquirer. Some time afterward, when Major Noah sold out to J. Watson Webb, Mr. McKee still retained his place under the new proprietor, and remained altogether in the office for five years. At the expiration of that time, Major Noah, having a high opinion of his business ability, offered him a desirable situation in the office of the Evening Star, which he accepted, and remained in that connection till 1841, when, wishing to he a sharer in the advantages which the Western country offered to aspiring spirits, he emigrated to St. Louis.

William McKee enjoyed rare advantages of accomplishing himself in the art of newspaper publication, being so long in the office of Major Noah, one of the oldest editors, and one of the most finished scholars of the day; and on his advent in St. Louis, he determined to turn his knowledge, gained under such auspices, to some account, and purchased an interest in the Evening Gazette, in connection with Mr. Ruth. He remained part proprietor of that paper for two years, and then, disposing of his interest, commenced the job-printing business.

At that time, the political doctrines of the Hunker and Barnburner factions, originating in the empire state, commenced to spread over the whole Union, each party having its advocates. Mr. McKee was a supporter of the Free-soil doctrine, and started a campaign sheet called "The Barnburner" — the first Free-soil paper that commenced its career in the slaveholding state of Missouri. He then, in conjunction with William Hill, commenced the publication of the Signal in 1850, advocating the same political principles; and then, having purchased the Union, the proprietors merged the two papers into a new existence — and the present Missouri Democrat came into being.

It required all the enterprise, the hopeful faith, and energy for which Mr. McKee is so remarkable, to make a paper advocating Free-soil doctrines successful in Missouri; yet he accomplished the difficult feat. He

-- 176 --

purchased afterward the interest of his partner, and, after being some time sole proprietor of the paper, he took into partnership Mr. George W. Fishback, son of Judge Fishback, of Ohio, a gentleman of good attainments, and a fluent and graceful writer. Mr. McKee is still the senior proprietor of the Democrat.

July 18th, 1855, Mr. McKee was married to Miss Eliza Hill, daughter of Samuel Hill, of New York. That he exerts a remarkable influence over the current events of his time, is evinced from the fact that the journal under his control is the organ of the Free-soil party in St. Louis, and, it may be said, of the whole state. He has hosts of warm friends, and the business relations of nearly twenty years' residence in St. Louis have given him the entire and deserved confidence of the community.

Previous section

Next section


Edwards, Richard; Hopewell, M.; Ashley, William; Barry, James G.; Belt and Priest; Casey, John; Hall, W.; Labaum, Louis A.; Leduc, Mary Philip; Lisa, Manuel; O'Fallon, Benjamin; Piernas; Port Folio; Risley, W.; Stoddard, Amos; Williams, Henry W.; Yore, John E. Edwards's Great West and Her Commercial Metropolis, Embracing a General View of the West, and a Complete History of St. Louis, from the Landing of Ligueste, in 1764, to the Present Time; with Portraits and Biographies of Some of the Old Settlers, and Many of the Most Prominent Buisiness Men . St. Louis: Office of Edwards's Monthly, A Journal of Progress, 1860. [format: book], [genre: biography; history; letter; narrative]. Permission: St. Louis Mercantile Library
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=edwards.html
Powered by PhiloLogic