Genealogical and Family History
STATE OF MAINE
Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.
LEWIS HISTORICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY
[Please see Index page for full citation.]
[Transcribed by Sandra Boudrou]
[Many families included in these genealogical records had their beginnings in Massachusetts.]
Luther Franklin McKinney, former clergyman of the Universalist church, later member of congress from New Hampshire, still later minister of the federal government to the Republic of Columbia, South America, and now engaged in mercantile pursuits in Bridgton, Maine, is a native of Ohio and a descendant of an old and prominent Scotch-Irish family which has been seated in the southern border counties of Pennsylvania for more than a century and a half.
His grandfather, John McKinney, was born in Chambersburg, York county, Pennsylvania, in 1758, died in 1850, and even before his time his parents had dwelt in that region, where the people were largely of Scotch-Irish and German descent.
The wife of John McKinney was Rachel Belford, who was born in Virginia and came of one of the well-known families of the "old dominion." Children:
Mary, Rachel, Margaret, Nancy, Alexander, Martha, John, Joseph, William, Samuel, and Robert. Besides these there were two other children, both of whom died in extreme infancy.
Alexander, son of John and Rachel (Belford) McKinney, was born in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, in 1798, and died in January, 1880. He attended the common schools of his native township until he was about fourteen years old, and after that age he made his own way in life, his best equipment for which was a good elementary education, a strong physical constitution and a determination to succeed and establish himself in comfort. He was one of the pioneers in the region now Ohio, having settled himself near what now is Newark, and was a farmer there all his life; thrifty and successful, building from the stump, opening up and developing a fine farm in a frontier region and ultimately attaining the end he set out to accomplish. It is not known that Alexander McKinney was particularly interested in public affairs during the long period of his life in Ohio, but it is known that he early allied himself to the old Whig party and later became a Republican upon the organization of that party in 1856. And he always adhered firmly to the religious teachings of his father, who was a Scotch Presbyterian, the faith of his ancestors.
In 1824 Alexander McKinney married Elizabeth Miller, of Newark, who was born in 1805 and died in 1882. She was a daughter of Abraham Miller of Newark, but a descendant of a Virginia family. Out of this marriage ten children were born:
Eliza, Fidelia, Sarah, Mary M., Luther Franklin, Ann, Martha and Alexander, besides two others who died very young.
Luther Franklin, son of Alexander and Elizabeth (Miller) McKinney, was born near Newark, Ohio, April 25, 1841, and received his earlier education in the common schools of Newark and in private and high schools in Oskaloosa, Iowa, and his higher education at St. Lawrence University in Canton, St. Lawrence county, New York. In the latter institution he fitted himself for the ministry of the Universalist church, and received his diploma and degree there in the year 1870. In the same year he came to Maine and in August began the pastorate of the Universalist society and church in Bridgton, remained there until 1873, then went to South Newmarket, New Hampshire (now Newfields), and took charge of the church in that town during the next two years. In 1875 he was called to the church in Manchester, New Hampshire, and filled the pastorate in that city for the next ten years. Before beginning his university course, however, Mr. McKinney enlisted, in August 1861, in Company D of the First Ohio Cavalry, served with that command under Generals Thomas, McCook and Sherman until February, 1863, and then much to his own regret was discharged on account of disabilities. He himself had enlisted more than half the men of his company, and was its sergeant, and it was his earnest hope that he might be able to continue with them to the end of the term of enlistment, but by reason of sickness contracted in the service he was compelled to accept an honorable discharge and return home. Afterward for a time he engaged in mercantile pursuits in Newark, then sold out his business and taught school in Ohio and Iowa. Mr. McKinney is a Democrat in politics, but never took an active part in political matters until 1884, when, much against his will, he was the nominee of his party for a seat in the lower house of the national congress, but was defeated in that Republican stronghold. In 1886 he was again nominated and was elected, notwithstanding the normal Republican majority against him in the district. He was elected again in 1890. In 1892 he was nominated by the Democratic state convention as its candidate for the governorship of New Hampshire, and while he was defeated at the polls, the fact that he fell short of election by only two hundred and seventy-two votes in that almost overwhelmingly Republican state was to him a source of much gratification as an expression of the esteem in which he was held by the people of the state. In the same year he was appointed by President Cleveland envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to the Republic of Colombia, South America, and represented the United States government in that foreign state during the next four years; and when Mr. McKinley succeeded Mr. Cleveland in the presidency he urged Mr. McKinney to retain his post under the new administration, but the incumbent felt it his duty to decline the proffered office, and therefore returned to private citizenship in Bridgton, Maine, where he has since lived.
After returning from the consular service Mr. McKinney would have preferred to abandon public life and engage in mercantile pursuits, but it was not long time after he had located in Bridgton that he was again pressed into party service in a political campaign where it was hoped that his personal popularity, high character and known qualifications for high public office might turn the scale of doubtful contest. He first ran for congress in this state as the candidate of the Democratic party against Thomas Benton Reed, the Republican nominee, and afterward against a man of such political strength as Amos L. Allen. In both contests Mr. McKinney was defeated, the normal opposition against his party being too great for even him to overcome; and no Democratic candidate in Maine ever could beat "Tom" Reed, that mighty giant of republicanism, and Allen was the peer of Reed with Maine Republicans.
Having given his party long and faithful service, often at the sacrifice of personal interests, Mr. McKinney retired from active participation in politics and devoted his attention to other employments. In 1898, in company with P. P. Burnham, he engaged in the dry goods business in Bridgton, continuing about two years, then sold out and acquired a considerable interest in the Bridgton Furniture Company, with John Roes and Bryon Kimball. Soon afterward he bought Mr. Roes' share in the concern, and upon the death of Mr. Kimball purchased his interest in the business. As now constituted the officers of the company are Mrs. F. F. McKinney, president; Mr. McKinney, treasurer and manager; and Harry McKinney, secretary.
During all the years of his political activity Mr. McKinney never has relaxed his earnest devotion to the church and has given to it at all times the same attention and service as when he was its pastor in various fields. In 1903 he went to Brooklyn, New York, remained there a year and a half in building a parish house. In 1901 for one year was pastor of the Universalist church in Kansas City, and during his residence in Bridgton he supplied the pulpit of his church in that town. Mr. McKinney has again entered the ministry and assumed charge of the Universalist church in Gardiner, Maine. His business in Bridgton is under the charge of his son, Harry W. McKinney. His interest in public affairs also has continued, although the offices in which he has recently served have been local rather than general in character. He has been selectman of Bridgton, and in 1906 represented his town in the state legislature, in the house serving on the committee on libraries and on pensions, and also on the special committee appointed to arrange for the celebration of Longfellow's birthday. Mr. McKinney is a Mason, member of Oriental Lodge, F. and A. M., Oriental Chapter, R. A. M., and Oriental Commandery, K. T., all of Bridgton; a member of Louis Bell Post, G. A. R., of Manchester, New Hampshire; and a member of Ridgley Lodge, I. O. O. F., of Manchester. In Odd Fellowship he has been elected to the exalted office of grand master of the Grand Lodge, jurisdiction of New Hampshire, and grand representative to the Sovereign Grand Lodge, and is member of Wonalancet Encampment of Manchester.
On August 1, 1871, in Bridgton, Mr. McKinney married Sharlie Paine Webb, daughter of Josiah and Elizabeth (Witham) Webb, of Raymond, Maine. Two children have been born of this marriage:
1. James Franklin, born in Bridgton, November 7, 1872. Having graduated from Manchester, New Hampshire, high school, he entered St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York, and graduated from that institution in 1895. He then entered the law department of the University of Maryland, made the course of that celebrated school and graduated with the degree of LL. B. in 1897. He is engaged in active general practice in New York City in partnership with Comptroller Grout, a leading public man in New York municipal political life. Mr. McKinney married Jessie Hanna, of Dennison, Texas and has one child, Robert Franklin McKinney, born January 14, 1902.
2. Harry Webb, born in Manchester, New Hampshire, January 14, 1878. He was educated in Manchester in St. Johns College, Washington, D. C., and in a military academy in Pennsylvania. He went to South America with his father and now is engaged in business as secretary of the Bridgton Furniture Company.