Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams, and Franklin Counties", published by Western Historical
Publishing Co., 1904.
JESSE 0. McKINNEY resides in
Kahlotus, where he does a real estate business and also operates a hotel.
Mr. McKinney owns nearly all of the town site and has promoted the place.
He is a man of vast experience in the northwest, as will be seen from a
perusal of the outline of his career given below.
Jesse 0. McKinney was born in Bakersville,
North Carolina, on April 27, 1859, the son of William M. and Huldah (Blalock)
McKinney, also natives of North Carolina, where they remained until 1881.
In that year they removed to Gilliam county, Oregon, and there dwell now,
following farming and fruit raising. Eight children were born to them,
Moses N., Mrs. Vista Turner, James D., Mrs. Huldah Solveste, William, Robert,
Mrs. Edith Little, and Jesse 0. The latter received his primary education
in the public schools of his native place and then entered Weaverville
college, where he completed his studies. When nineteen he accepted
a position as bookkeeper of a mining concern, following the same until
1881, when he came to his Uncle, Dr. Blalock, the well known promoter and
capitalist in Walla Walla. After some time with him, he went to what
is now Gilliam county, Oregon, and located a pre-emption near Blalock station.
Two years later he was in charge of the mica mines near Moscow, Idaho,
and after some time in that capacity took a position with Dr. Blalock as
manager and collector of his business for one year. Next we see Mr.
McKinney in Genesee, Idaho, handling a drug store. Two years later he was
with the doctor again and this time remained until 1894. He then
went to Gilliam county again and bought a fruit and truck farm and gave
his attention to handling that until 1900. Then he went to Yakima
and leased Indian land, placing two hundred acres under irrigation.
A year later he was in Washtucna, handling general merchandise with his
brother-in-law, T. C. Martin. In December, 1902, he sold his interests
and located at Kahlotus. Here he built a hotel, started a farm implement
store, and did various improvements to place the town on its feet.
Later he sold the implement business, but still manages the hotel.
He also handled, coal, wood, and lumber. Mr. McKinney has a quarter
section adjoining town, besides the town site, also owns a farm in Gilliam
county and has much other property. He has done good work here and
his efforts bid fair to be crowned with brilliant success. He labors
hard for the progress of Kahlotus and the country in general and is a wise
worker. Already the town is growing well and is mentioned in another
portion of this work.
The marriage of Mr. McKinney and Miss Gertrude
Cooper occurred on January 31, 1889, and two children have been the fruit
of this union, John M. and Violet C. Mrs. McKinney's parents are
John and Ella (Hunsicker) Cooper, natives of England and Virginia, respectively.
They crossed the plains in early days and located near Sacramento, California,
whence they came to Wasco county, Oregon, in 1882. A further review
of their lives is found elsewhere in this work. Mrs. McKinney spent
the earlier part of her life with her parents in Grant station, Oregon,
where she was well educated in St. Mary's Academy. The parents later
moved to Gilliam county, where she was married. She has the following
brothers and sisters: Edgar, Mrs. Claudia Martin, Fred, Marie, and Hazel.
Mr. McKinney is a strong Democrat and always takes an active and leading
part in the campaigns, and is now one of the central committee of the county