Lee County Biographies

Contributed by Greg Nickels


Daniel B. McKenney, magistrate, Dixon, was born March 31, 1816 in Montgomery county, New York, and is the son of Peter and Rhoda (Tickner) McKenney.

He removed with his parents in 1820 to Canada, where he resided during his childhood, and came to Dixon in the spring of 1836, when twenty years of age. His father came in that fall, when together they opened a hotel in a log house on Peoria Street, Dixon. In the winter of 1836-37 he drove twenty miles west of Princeton, this state, and purchased one ton of fresh pork, for which he paid $200. The same quantity could be bought the following winter for $25. In the winter of 1836-37 flour was $20 per barrel in Chicago, the nearest port of supply. Soon after this time oats were purchased for eight cents per bushel, and at one time he and his uncle bought up and stored a large quantity, which afterward became a total loss and were thrown away.

In 1841 Mr. McKenney purchased seventy feet front on Main Street, on which stood the first brick building erected in Dixon. Other buildings have been since built, until the ground was occupied. Soon after the purchase of this lot he engaged in merchandising, in which he continued for a number of years. After a life of 26 years, young Daniel was persuaded that it was not "good for a man to live alone," and was united in marriage to Miss Eliza Ann Whitney of Franklin Grove. Mrs. McKenney is a daughter of Nathan and Sarah (Gray) Whitney, of Lee County, noticed in connection with Franklin Grove. In the spring of 1870 the subject of our sketch was elected magistrate in Dixon, in which office he has continued until present, his official acts being held in high esteem by all lovers of justice. In politics the Esquire is democratic in his affiliations, but voted for Abraham Lincoln through personal appreciation.

Source: H. H. Hill "History of Lee County" 1881

In 1854, Daniel B. McKenney served as the representative of China township on the Lee County, Illinois Board of Supervisors. He served as Lee County Coroner from 1854-55.

***1860 Federal Census Lee County IL Pg 100***
McKenny, Daniel B. M 44 Sheriff NY
McKenny, Eliza A. F 38 Wife NY
McKenny, Olive F 16 Daughter IL
McKenny, Jerome M 13 Son IL
McKenny, Nathan M 11 Son IL
McKenny, Dora F 09 Daughter IL
McKenny, Sarah A. F 07 Daughter IL
McKenny, Fred M 6m Son IL
Wilson, Amanda F 10 Servant PA

**Daniel married Eliza Ann Whitney, daughter of Col. Nathan Whitney (one of the original Lee County Commissioners).

(See Col. Nathan Whitney Biography)


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