John M. McGee is an enterprising and thrifty farmer and stockman in the vicinity of Steele, in Nez Perces County. He selected a fine piece of land in 1896 and since that time has bestowed his labors in a commendable manner, making it now one of the best farms of the section. He was one of the real pioneers in this region, his wife being the first white woman on Central ridge for a number of months. Mr. McGee makes a specialty of good stock, cattle, hogs and horses and feeds all his farm products to them.

Mr. McGee was born in Taney County, Missouri, on January 18, 1867, being the son of John O. and Samantha (Friend) McGee. The father was a farmer, born in Tennessee in 1837, and now lives in Oklahoma. He was a soldier in the Union army for four years and received a wound at the battle of Pea Ridge. The mother was born in Missouri and is still living. The family came to Iowa when John M. was small, and thence they went to Nodaway County, Missouri.

There the subject of this article was educated and remained until thirteen. The family then went to Cloud County, Kansas, where the father bought land. When fifteen John M. started on life’s pilgrimage for himself. First he went to Solomon City and worked at various callings and next we see him in Beatrice, Nebraska, railroading. From this he went on a trip through western Kansas and Nebraska and into Colorado. Then he returned to Nodaway County. After a visit he came to Waitsburg, in Washington, also staying in Walla Walla. He railroaded on the Hunt system, then went to the sound with an outfit of mules for Mr. Hunt. He came back to Huntsville, got married and settled down to farming and one year later removed to the Potlatch country. He remained there until February, 1896, when he came to his present place.

At Dayton, Washington, in 1891, Mr. McGee married Miss Mattie, daughter of Jackson and Luanda (Walters) McKay. The parents are farmers at Huntsville and are both living. Mrs. McGee was born in western Kansas, in 1870 and has one brother and sister, Ella B. Pearson, in Cottonwood, this County; Allie William. Mr. McGee has the following named brothers and sisters, Martin, in Oklahoma;

Anna Green, also in Oklahoma; James, in Nez Perces County; Reason, Monroe, and May, all three in Oklahoma. Mr. and Mrs McGee have three children: Maria, deceased; Thelma, Ada Myers, the last one is an adopted child. Mr. McGee is an active Republican and often is committee man and holds other influential positions.

He is general manager and stockholder of the Cooperative Telephone Company; being the prime mover in barb wire telephoning in this County. Mr. McGee has donated much for good roads and schools, being an advocate for these things. He has been road overseer and built the Peck grade on Central Ridge.

Back to: Nez Perce Biographies

Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903