For more than fifty years Edson McKee has been identified with Santa Clara County, being one of the pioneer horticulturists and ranchers of Cupertino, Cal. He was born in Calhoun County, Ill., September 28, 1855, the son of James McKee, born October 22, 1818, in Ohio. He came out to Illinois, where he was reared, and in young manhood married Abbie Rice, who was born in Michigan, May 15, 1826. They were farmers in Illinois until they migrated across the plains to Sonoma County, Cal., crossing the plains in 1858 in wagons drawn by horses. From Sonoma County they went to San Luis Obispo, where they resided until 1870, when they located in Santa Clara County. In 1872 James McKee purchased a ranch of 75 acres on the Doyle Road, and on this fertile farm he and his wife spent their remaining days. He died May 12, 1895, his widow surviving him until March 12, 1921. This worthy couple were the parents of four sons: James Frank is a resident of this county; William W. of Los Angeles; Charles died October 30, 1855, aged four years; Edson, the subject of this sketch, received his education in the public schools of California, meanwhile assisting his father on the farm. When sixteen years of age he started out for himself, spending a year at Roseburg, Ore., and thence making his way to Spokane, where he was employed until he had saved some money. He purchased 142 ares of railroad land, which he improved, engaging in general farming.

In Spokane Mr. McKee was married April 2, 1893, to Miss Dora Fine, a native of Missouri, a daughter of J. J. and Frances (Hopkins) Fine, farmers in Missouri until they removed with their family to Spokane, Wash., where they were pioneers and improved a farm. They now reside in Tekoa, Wash. Mrs. McKee was the fifth oldest of their eight children. In March, 1894, Mr. McKee brought his family to Santa Clara County and took up farming on his father's place, running the place for his father until his death, and since then he has set out some orchard and reset some of the trees, and installed a pumping plant not only sufficient for irrigating his orchards, but those of some of his neighbors as well. Mr. McKee now owns and operates about twenty-seven acres located on the Doyle Road, a part of the old McKee homestead. It is very choice land and is set to peaches, cherries, apricots, and prunes, all in full bearing and is bringing in a splendid income. He also owned a place in the St. Thomas district, which he improved and sold at a satisfactory profit.

The union of Mr. and Mrs. McKee has been blessed with nine children: Ora L. is Mrs. Sargent, residing in Oakland; Dollie M.; Alfred served in the Forty-sixth U. S. Field Artillery, being stationed at Camp Kearney until after the armistice, when he was discharged; Jayd, Ralph, Edmond, Floyd, Oliver, and Amos. All of them, with the exception of Mrs. Sargent, are under the parental roof and assisting the parents in their horticultural enterprise. Mr. and Mrs. McKee are liberal and enterprising, aiding as far as they are able movements for the improvement and betterment of the community. In national politics, Mr. McKee is a stanch supporter of the Republican party.

From Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California, published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 1437


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight