A: Charlotte McCUTCHEON (4) (David McCutcheon-3; Samuel McCutcheon-2; Samuel McCutcheon-1) was born in Mulmur Township, Dufferin County, ON in 1851 and she died on the 17th October 1888 in Mulmur. She married Thomas Robert McKEE (20th April 1847 – 19th January 1916 in Rouleau, SK.) on the 11th January 1871 in Mulmur. Thomas was married twice. After Charlotte died, he married Margaret Rebecca ROBERTSON and sired four more children with her. They are not included here. His parents were Henry McKee and Charlotte Ann Hunter. ♥ ►
Picture courtesy of Donna York, Charlotte’s G Grand-daughter. Left to right: Thomas McKee holding Albert; standing is a sister to Charlotte; seated far right is Charlotte
NOTE: Charlotte McCutcheon died of tuberculosis at the age of 37 years leaving a very young family. Thomas remarried about a year after Charlotte died and moved west with his new wife and his children in 1893. (See attached letter). Thomas McKee was a building contractor and built some of the houses in the “new” village of Rouleau. He also lived in Regina and managed the Queen’s Hotel.
Regina, Assiniboia, NWT,
December 13, 1893
Enclosed you will find $1.00 to renew my subscription to the Free Press for 1894. There is nothing that comes to our place that we are so anxious to see as the Free Press. I can assure you it is eagerly looked for every week. We are having very cold and stormy weather here at present. Last night the thermometer dropped to 45 degrees below zero with an east wind. To-day it is a little milder.
The general business of the country is seemingly at its lowest ebb and the markets are at zero. However, I feel satisfied with my prospects here. No doubt we have not the enjoyments which are common to the Ontario people but I cannot see why a comfortable home cannot be made here by using the same economy that they have to practise in the east.
The land is all that could be desired for mixed farming. I have now with two of my boys secured 480 acres which I intend to move to in the spring, health permitting. My land is situated 1-1/2 miles from Rouleau Station on the Soo line of railway, in close proximity to the Dirt Hills which makes beautiful scenery. We expect to have a town before long.
We had an extensive fire here two weeks ago; twelve stores were demolished in a very short time. The fire started about twenty feet from my home but the wind was favourable for me, otherwise I would have been burnt out. We had everything out expecting the house to go up.
With kind regards to all, I remain, Yours respectfully, Thomas McKee.
►Homestead – Land Grants and/or Letters Patents were applied for. SE ¼ of Section 17, Township 16, Range 3, West of the 3rd Meridian.
♥ Siblings married Siblings: In this case two sisters- Sarah and Charlotte McCutcheon married two brothers, John and Thomas McKee.
~CHILDREN OF CHARLOTTE McCUTCHEON AND THOMAS McKEE WERE~
- David Henry McKEE (5) See i following.
- Thomas George McKEE (5) (Charlotte McCutcheon-4; David McCutcheon-3; Samuel McCutcheon-2; Samuel McCutcheon-1) was born in Mulmur Township, Dufferin County, ON. on the 31st May 1873 and he died on the 12th April 1874 in Mulmur.
- Samuel John McKEE (5). See ii following.
- George Ledingham McKEE (5). See iii following.
- Arthur James McKEE (5) (Charlotte McCutcheon-4; David McCutcheon-3; Samuel McCutcheon-2; Samuel McCutcheon-1) was born in Mulmur Township, Dufferin County, ON. in 1879 and he died in Regina, SK in 1896.
- Mary Louisa McKEE (5) (Charlotte McCutcheon-4; David McCutcheon-3; Samuel McCutcheon-2; Samuel McCutcheon-1) was born in Mulmur Township, Dufferin County, ON in 1881 and she died on the 2nd March 1895.
- Charlotte Ann F McKEE (5). See iv following.
- Sarah Jane McKEE (5) (Charlotte McCutcheon-4; David McCutcheon-3; Samuel McCutcheon-2; Samuel McCutcheon-1) was born in Mulmur Township, Dufferin County, ON. on the 25th October 1885 and she died on the 13th December 1897 in Saskatchewan.
- Albert Edward McKEE (5). See v following.
The entire family of Thomas McKee and Charlotte McCutcheon from the family photo album of Donna York – his G Grand-daughter
DAVID HENRY McKEE (1871-1935)
i. David Henry McKEE (5) (Charlotte McCutcheon-4; David McCutcheon-3; Samuel McCutcheon-2; Samuel McCutcheon-1) was born in Mulmur Township, Dufferin County, ON. on the 25th October 1871 and he died in Winnipeg, MB in 1935. He married Elizabeth SPENCE (1879-?) on the 8th June 1904.
NOTE: It was reported in the Shelburne paper that one time he was travelling by train after visiting relatives; he went to sleep on the train and was robbed of all his cash. The only other knowledge about David is that he had a homestead near Rouleau for a few years. However, I have never found either a Land Grant or Letters Patent in the name of David McKee so it is possible that he lived on some land near Rouleau for a while but neglected to file; then abandoned the farm. David moved to Winnipeg Manitoba where he married and died. They lived in the city center at 804 Logan Avenue and his profession was “Clerk”.
~CHILD OF DAVID HENRY McKEE AND ELIZABETH SPENCE WERE~
- James Henry McKEE (6) B. 13th September 1905 in Winnipeg, MB. D. 12th February 1989 in Salem, OR. He was possibly married more than once. One of his wives was Kathleen Nellie GREENWOOD (1921). Their children: Donna Frances (1935-2003); David Charles (1944).
SAMUEL JOHN McKEE (1875-1942)
ii. Samuel John McKEE (5) (Charlotte McCutcheon-4; David McCutcheon-3; Samuel McCutcheon-2; Samuel McCutcheon-1) was born in Mulmur Township, Dufferin County, ON. on the 4th February 1875 and he died on the 12th March 1942 in Rockglen, SK. He married Violet Maud HART on the 13th July 1904 in Rouleau, Sk. She was born on the 20th July 1885 in Muskoka, ON. She died on the 9th October 1973 in Saskatchewan. Her parents were Alexander Hart and Elizabeth Ann Allen. ►
BUFFALO BLANKETS AND FOOT WARMERS
Samuel McKee was the 3rd son born in Mulmur, Dufferin on the 4th February 1875 to Charlotte McCutcheon and Thomas McKee. When just a young lad of 13, his mother died leaving 6 siblings younger than he to help care for in a family devastated by the death of a mother.
Young Sam had to grow up very quickly while still mourning his mother. As a young man he joined the stampede west, first procuring work on a tugboat on Lake of the Woods hauling log booms.
His father, Thomas, filed for a land Grant in a wilderness area in south central Saskatchewan in 1894. Samuel and the rest of his siblings soon followed, and were living in the area called “Rouleau” by 1901. Sam filed for a homestead in June 1910 on the Eastern ¼ of Section 4 and by the end of 1910 had erected a small house, 14 x 22, a barn and managed to put up hay before the snow fell that year. Mother and 3 children arrived at the farm in May 1911.
The old Steam Threshing machines, as pictured, were thriving concerns in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. They required a large threshing crew and since Sam was a qualified Steam Engineer, he was busy every fall sometimes working until late in the season threshing with crews going from one farm to another.
The winter of 1910/1911 was a winter of heavy snow. The snow was so deep that in order to reach the spring for water, steps had to be carved down in the snow. By the end of the winter, there were 15 steps to reach the fresh water.
Sam McKee was one of the first to arrive on the wilderness plains. There was nothing for miles and miles except the prairie wool, waving in the wind. The wool was so thick that 25 tons of hay could be cut in half a day. The spring and summer of 1911 kept the family busy clearing land, planting gardens and crops, making one or two trips into the nearest town to stock up on provisions such as flour, sugar, molasses and other items that they couldn’t produce themselves. Some of these items were purchased in 100 pound sacks and 45 gallon barrels and stocked up for the long winter months.
And then again in the fall, the threshing gangs. Someone had to feed the gangs. Violet cooked for weeks on end feeding a gang of 15 or so men. Violet was also handy with a firearm. Many a day she spent hunting prairie chickens, ducks and possibly a rabbit or two to supplement the dinner table.
Schools were a problem. Non-existent. The children had to stay in the village and attend school there. They stayed with their grand-father while the parents worked the homestead. Classes were also held at a neighbour’s house, and then later at the town hall. The first school was established in 1917.
Travel on the prairies was an experience also. In the early days there were no roads, no Inns or resting places. In the days before the caboose was used for winter travel, they travelled by horse and open-aired cutter. With normal winter temperatures of 20 below zero, everyone was bundled into buffalo robes and foot warmers with the smoldering charcoal that were placed in the bottom of the cutter. Sometimes the journey took several days, so each night was spent at a different homestead. The farmers fed the travellers dinner, combined their own children into beds to make room for the house guests. No money exchanged hands. The hosts would have been insulted if the guests offered money. And besides, company was scarce so it was a time to socialize and catch up on news from the outside. And the favour was more often than not returned. The prairie homestead was a warm hearth and a friendly port in a storm.
The prairie fire was another real problem. The power behind a raging prairie fire is like watching a river over flow its banks and the water spreading like molten lava. Sam along with his neighbours ploughed a 16 foot fire guard around 2 sections of land. One time, late summer 1913, smoke was spotted west of the homestead. The fire was a long way off and took a week to reach the farm. That fire burned a swath 60 miles long and stretched 25 miles wide. It burned many buildings in its path. Nothing to stop it. Fortunately the fire guard held and the fire bypassed the farm but every able bodied male fought the fire at the front for days.
Many pioneers maintained later that these were the happiest days of their lives. The pioneers built lasting, close-knit bonds with their children and neighbours that began in those little one room houses on the prairies.
NOTE: This story is an adaptation of Samuel McKee’s auto biography presented to the Rockglen 50th Anniversary Committee by Clarence McKee, Sam’s son for the book “Rolling Hills of Home, Gleanings of Rockglen and Area” published in 1978. The actual story is pages 198 to 201 including a very good picture of Sam and his cutter.
NOTE: Violet Hart immigrated to Ramsey, ND in 1893 with her parents and siblings before coming north after 1900 to finally settle in Saskatchewan.
~CHILDREN OF SAMUEL JOHN McKEE AND VIOLET HART WERE~
- Clarence Thomas McKEE (6) B. 19th April 1906 in Rouleau, SK. He married Dorothy Margaret ELLIOTT (1905-1986) on the 30th December 1929 in North Battleford, SK.
- Lester McKEE (6) B 26th April 1906 in Rouleau, SK. D. 1996. He married Mabel EDE.
- Howard Samuel McKEE (6) B. 11th April 1910 in Rouleau, SK. D. 7th May 1989. He married Mary Louise McNAMARA (1915-1973) on the 5th March 1934 in Rouleau, SK. Their children: Leo Howard (1936-2008); Betty Lou (1938); David Harvey (1943).
- Earl Hart McKEE (6) B. 15th June 1916. D. 9th December 2004 in Rouleau, SK. He married Nellie Marie WILLFORD (1922-1978) on the 29th June 1944 in Rockglen, SK. They had four daughters.
GEORGE LEDINGHAM McKEE (1877-1961)
iii. George Ledingham McKEE (5) (Charlotte McCutcheon-4; David McCutcheon-3; Samuel McCutcheon-2; Samuel McCutcheon-1) was born in Mulmur Township, Dufferin County, ON. on the 16th March 1877 and he died on the 17th April 1961 in Victoria, BC. He married Laura Ida Lena BRYCE on the 10th September 1905. She was born on the 5th June 1885 in Ontario and she died on the 9th February 1919 in Edmonton, AB. Her parents were Hugh Bryce and Sarah Agnes Jones.
NOTE: George Ledingham McKee was named after the Anglican incumbent, George Ledingham, at Whitfield. It has been stated in stories that George also had a homestead at Rouleau. However, I have not found any documentation for applications of a Land Grant or Letters Patent. George and Laura moved to Edmonton, AB. Circa 1911. Their residence was listed as 10119 – 83 Avenue. However, he was a farmer.
~CHILDREN OF GEORGE LEDINGHAM McKEE AND LAURA IDA LENA BRYCE WERE~
- Gordon Bryce McKEE (6) B. 1st August 1906 in Rouleau, SK. D. 13th September 1932 in Edmonton, AB.
- George Vernon McKEE (6) B. 9th February 1908 in Rouleau, SK. D. 1st March 1976 in Vancouver, BC.
- Harold Murton McKEE (6) B. 15th June 1909 in Rouleau, SK. He married Madeline Mary TAYLOR on the 19th September 1942. One known son.
- Ethel Corrine McKEE (6) B. 1st May 1912 in Edmonton, AB.
- Doreen May McKEE (6) B. 27th April 1916 in Edmonton, AB. D. 4th January 2009. She married Arthur Donald RAMSEY. ☺☺
CHARLOTTE ANN FLORENCE McKEE (1883-1918)
iv. Charlotte Ann Florence McKEE (5) (Charlotte McCutcheon-4; David McCutcheon-3; Samuel McCutcheon-2; Samuel McCutcheon-1) was born in Mulmur Township, Dufferin County, ON. on the 26th July 1883 and she died on the 27th May 1918 in Moose Jaw, SK. She married Sidney MOWAT (1868-1939) on the 25th July 1904. His parents were Alexander Mowat and Elizabeth Fisher.
NOTE: Charlotte Ann married Sidney Mowat, a well-known rancher and business man in Rouleau. Charlotte Ann died of tuberculosis at the age of 34.
~CHILDREN OF CHARLOTTE ANN McKEE AND SIDNEY MOWAT WERE~
- Florence Grace MOWAT (6) B. 29th November 1906 in Rouleau, SK. D. 6th April 1960 in Hennepin County, MI. She married Howard Clarence ARNOLD (1898-1988) circa 1927. They had 3 known children.
- Marjorie MOWAT (6) B. 14th July 1910 in Rouleau, SK.
- Hazel Sydney MOWAT (6) B. 25th May 1912 in Rouleau, SK.
ALBERT EDWARD McKEE (1887-1966)
v. Albert Edward McKEE (5) (Charlotte McCutcheon-4; David McCutcheon-3; Samuel McCutcheon-2; Samuel McCutcheon-1) was born in Mulmur Township, Dufferin County, ON the 24th August 1887. He died on the 13th February 1966 in Cold Lake, AB. He married Susan Mae GOWAN (1889-1971) on the 15th September 1913. Her parents were David Gowan and Mary Sears. ►
These two land grants are for both brothers: Samuel John and Albert Edward McKEE. The farms were located very near to each other.
NOTE: Albert Edward McKee was the youngest in the family and was only fourteen months old when his mother died. He migrated west with his family when still a boy. He filed for a homestead in the Willowvale District near Rockglen. This farm had springs near the site they picked for the house. He and Susan moved onto this homestead as honeymooners and 5 children were born to them in the tiny one room house. Slowly, as more children came along, the house was added onto.
The railway spurred the growth of Rockglen and in 1927, Albert and Susie moved with their children to Rockglen and started the Quality Meats Butcher Shop. Three more children were born to them here. However, the business didn’t survive the depression years; other work had to be found.
Their son Donald owned the original homestead. Their other son, Robert McKee has the old McKee family bible given to Charlotte McCutcheon McKee by her father David McCutcheon Senior.
ROULEAU SASKATCHEWAN: The McKee family homesteaded on farms near the small town of Rouleau, SK. Rouleau is situated in the heart of the rural region of Saskatchewan called the “Breadbasket of Canada”. It was incorporated as a village on the 23rd July 1903. The town is well known for the filming location for the CTV Television series “Corner Gas”. A full-size mock gas station and coffee shop was built at the western entrance of the town for filming, causing confusion among visitors thinking Corner Gas and The Ruby were real establishments. “Dog River” was painted on Rouleau’s grain elevator. The grain elevator appears as a back-drop in many episodes of the series.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper played a cameo role in the television show Corner Gas for an episode which aired in early 2007 when he stopped there.
Other notable people who hail from this small village were Daryl Seaman, hockey hall of famer born in 1922 in Rouleau and Keith Aulie, defenseman for the Toronto Maple Leafs. The village was named after Justice Rouleau, a 19th century territorial Judge.
►Homestead – Land Grants and/or Letters Patents were applied for.
~CHILDREN OF ALBERT EDWARD McKEE AND SUSAN MAE GOWAN WERE~
- Donald McKEE (6) B. 1914. D. 25th June 1914. D. 23rd November 1914 in Edmonton, AB.
- Thomas Gowan McKEE (6) B. 13th July 1915 in Rouleau, SK. D. 2000 in Moose Jaw, SK. He was married twice. He married Margery Gertrude ELLIS and Olive Griffin JEPSON.
- Alice Etoyle McKEE (6) B. 6th November 1917 in Rouleau, SK. D. 5th July 1982 Santa Clara. CA. Alice married Francis Claire (Frank) HUGGINS (1916-2000). Their children: Dale Clinton; Female.
- Donald Lyman McKEE (6) B. 23rd June 1920 in Rouleau, SK. He married Edna Marie PANZER. (1923). They had five daughters.
- Lyle Melville McKEE (6) B. 27th February 1922 in Rouleau, SK. D. 8th August 1988 in Cold Lake, AB. He married Phyllis S BAUERFIND (1927). They had 1 child.
- Robert David McKEE (6) B. 27th September 1924 in Willow Vale, SK. D. 15th May 2000 in Edmonton. AB. He married Mary KORDICH (1932) on the 13th September 1956. Their children: Billie Rae; Toni Lynn; Lana Leigh; Mary Lou; Andrew Michael (Andy now has the family bible that Charlotte inherited from her father, David McCutcheon Senior).
- Norma Marion McKEE (6) B. 25th August 1927 in Rockglen, SK. D. 19th February 1988 in Cold Lake, AB. She married Russell Marselis McMILLIAN (1918-2010). Their children: Orlin; Don; Laurie; Connie; Kim.
- Margaret Maxine McKEE (6) B. 13th July 1930 in Rockglen, SK. D. 24th April 2007 in Moose Jaw, SK. She married William Hunter YORK (1928-2001). Their children: Bert Donald; Donna Lynn; Robert William; Norma Delee (1954-1969).
- Helen Violet McKEE (6) B. 25th March 1932 in Rockglen, SK. D. in Ponoka, AB. She married Norman Osborne SMITH (1924). They had a son and a daughter.
CONCLUSION: Information for this entire McKee family was found in the book “Rolling Hills of Home, Gleanings of Rockglen and Area” published in 1978 by the Rockglen 50th Anniversary Committee. They are mentioned in 10 pages. It can be found online at: www.ourroots.ca.