James McKim was born in Cambria county, Pennsylvania, June 19, 1818, being the son of William McKim, a native of Cumberland county. His mother’s birth place was Ireland. His parents moved to Pittsburgh when he was six years of age, remaining five years in that city, where James was for a time employed in a tobacco manufacturing establishment, and afterward in working on the railroad and canal, also in boating. In 1843 he began work in the coal mines which he continued until 1850, then entered the mercantile business, dealing in dry goods and groceries for a period of seventeen years. During this time he made a journey to California spending two years in the gold mines of that State. Closing up his business in Pennsylvania he migrated to Caldwell county, Missouri, remained two years and then came to Daviess county, purchased a farm in Monroe township where he now lives, giving his time and attention almost exclusively to farming. Mr. McKim was married, December 30, 1845, to Miss Elizabeth Piper, daughter of William and Sarah Piper, both natives of England. Mr. and Mrs. McKim have nine children: William, Sarah, Rosalie, John, Elizabeth, Mary, Martha, Laura and Matilda.