Blanche McKinney will be at the Houston Herald office from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 23, to offer copies of a genealogical study of the McKinneys called “Five Generations of Descendants of Henry McKinney,” which she and her husband, Edgar, worked the past 30 years to compile.
Unfortunately, Edgar passed away Oct. 3, 2021, before the book was completed.
The McKinneys moved from Campbell County, Tenn., to Missouri around 1815, and settled just west of the present-day city of Jefferson City. According to family stories, the town that became Jefferson City had only five houses at the time.
In 1843, one of the McKinneys moved to what later became Texas County, along with 12 of his 13 children. One daughter moved to the Lebanon area, where her husband was a teacher and photographer. Again, family stories say that six members of the family settled on one side of the Big Piney River, and six on the other side. They also claimed that six were Republicans and six were Democrats (whether this is true or not is unclear).
Many of the family stories were recalled by Edgar McKinney. When he was young, his grandparents lived close to the Ozark Cemetery. The family often visited his grandparents on Sundays, and in the afternoon, the men would walk up to the cemetery and swap stories about the relatives who were buried there. Ed listened and remembered many they told. Edgar’s fifth great-grandfather is buried there, as well as all of his other grandparents. Of course, that is where he is also buried.
The 512-page book is a listing of as many McKinney descendants as could be identified. Among them is Virgil Lynch, who grew up on the Jacks Fork River and learned to hunt and trap at an early age. Eventually, Lynch was in the military, and he was in Maine for a time. He was impressed with the hunting available there, and after his discharge, he established a hunting camp in Maine which was very successful. He conducted trips for paying customers, and he caught and sold wild animals to zoos and circuses. He also wrote many articles and some books.
When Lynch finally retired, he moved to Sarcoxie, where his brother lived. The public library there has a room devoted to him. There is also a book written about him: “They Called Him ‘Wildcat.’” It is available on Amazon, or at a better price, on Abebooks.com.
The price of the McKinney book is $45 or $50, if mailed, 200 copies were printed. The McKinneys had kept addresses of people who said they wanted copies when they were available and 148 letters were sent to them recently.
People wanting to visit this Saturday can enter through the Hiett building entrance of the Herald, at the corner of Grand Avenue and Main Street.