Biography of Benjamin F. McKinney

BENJAMIN F. McKINNEY. The incidents in the early life of the original of this notice were not materially different from those of other boys living on farms. He was taught to work, to make himself useful around the pioneer homestead, and, in common with other boys, to attend the winter schools at intervals, and to assist in improving the farm during the summer. His birth occurred in Smith County, Tennessee, in 1838.

He was the eldest of six children born to R. S. and Ann S. (Roe) McKinney. The other children were named as follows: William died in infancy; Jordon Stokes died in Tennessee; Mary, wife of Richard Moore, died in Taney County; Sarah, wife of William Hinsley, resides in this county; and John died in Taney County. The mother of our subject was a native of Smith County, Tennessee, and resided there for some time after her marriage. Later the parents came by ox-team to Cedar County, Missouri, and a few years later settled in Taney County, where they purchased a claim a few miles east of Forsyth. They were among the pioneers of Taney County, and contributed their share toward its improvement and advancement. Mr. McKinney was the only one of his family to settle in Missouri. He was never much of a hunter, although the woods abounded in game when he first settled here. After living for many years on their farm, Mr. and Mrs. McKinney removed to Forsyth, where the mother, born August 18, 1814, died on December 28, 1858, and the father, born August 29, 181I , died June 13, 1860.

Mr. McKinney was a carpenter by trade, but also followed farming. Although a native of Tennessee, our subject has resided in Taney County since a mere boy, and all his recollections are of this county. His educational advantages were limited, but he possessed any amount of good common sense and judgment, and, being a close observer, is perhaps as well posted as one-half the men. In the year 1861 he was married to Miss Belveretta C. Casey, daughter of Levi and Mary Casey, who were natives of East Tennessee, where they were reared and married. About 1830 Mr. Casey and family moved to Greene County, Missouri, and subsequently to Taney County, locating near Forsyth, on Swan Creek. There Levi Casey, born April 23, 1805, died on January 10, 1859, when fifty four years of age, and Mrs. Mary Casey, born December 10, 1803, died on January 18, 1881, when seventy-eight years of age. The father was a farmer by occupation, and a colonel in one of the early wars, being known as Col. Casey. He was a man of considerable prominence, was county judge at one time, and was a popular man. He was the father of six children, three sons and three daughters, as follows: Marion, of this State, was a soldier in the Confederate Army; Sarah is the widow of Henry Laughlin; William, deceased, left a family; Amanda is the wife of Andrew McHaffie; Newton died young; and Belveretta is the wife of our subject. The last named was born in Taney County.

In 1862 Mr. McKinney joined Company B of Col. Green’s regiment of Price’s army, and remained with the regiment until the close of the war, operating principally in Arkansas and Missouri. He was in the Missouri raid, and surrendered at Shreveport, La., at the close of the war. Following the war, he resumed farming, and for twenty-eight years has lived on his present property. He has 300 acres, with about 100 cleared, all fine bottom land, and he has made nearly all the improvements himself. He started out for himself with nothing, and what he has gained in the way of this world’s goods has been the result of his good fighting qualities. He and wife have no children of their own, but they have reared six children. Mr. McKinney handles considerable stock, and is considered one of the most substantial and prominent citizens in the county. Honest, industrious and persevering, no man is more universally esteemed. Socially he is a Mason of Forsyth Lodge No. 453, and he and wife have been members of the Methodist Episcopal Church for a number of years.


A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region: comprising a condensed general history, a brief descriptive history of each county, and numerous biographical sketches of prominent citizens of such counties. Chicago: Goodspeed Brothers Publishers. 1894.

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