Grace E. Edwards
BORN: May 8, 1898, in Dow City, Crawford County, Iowa
DIED: April 3, 1970, in Dow City, Crawford County, Iowa
AGED: 71 years, 10 months
BURIED: Dow City Cemetery, Dow City, Crawford County, Iowa
FATHER: Wallace Edwards born April 27, 1871, in Sanilac County, Michigan
MOTHER: Rose Alice Updike born May 22, 1872, in Bloomfield Twp., Polk County, Iowa
MARRIAGE: to Ralph Henry McKee on April 5, 1917, in Denison, Crawford County, Iowa
1. Nadine Liberty McKee born February 6, 1918, in Dow City, Crawford County, Iowa.
2. Ralph Kingdon McKee born April 19, 1919, in Dow City, Crawford County, Iowa.
3. Patricia Ann McKee born May 5, 1922, in Dow City?, Crawford County, Iowa.
4. Dennis Keith McKee born September 16, 1927, in Dow City?, Crawford County, Iowa.
5. Van Stanley McKee born July 9, 1930, in Dow City, Crawford County, Iowa.
Grace E. Edwards was born on May 8, 1898, in Dow City, Crawford County, Iowa. She was the third child and the second daughter born to Wallace and Rose Edwards. She is first listed in the U.S. Census for 1900 as a little girl only two years old. When the census was taken, the family was living in Hurdland Township in Clay County, Iowa. I don't know why the three Edwards families were in northern Iowa at that time. Up until then, they had always lived in Crawford County. Anyway, by the 1910 census, things were back to "normal," and the family was again living in Dow City in Crawford County. The census listed Grace as an eleven year old school girl.
Sometime in the intervening years between 1910 and 1920, Grace Edwards met a man from Nebraska named Ralph Henry McKee, better known to everyone as "Mike" McKee. They fell in love and got married on April 5, 1917, in Denison, Crawford County, Iowa. Mike McKee worked as a railroad telegrapher until the U.S. entered WW I. Mike volunteered and was sent to France. It was while he was in the Army that their first child, a daughter named Nadine Liberty McKee, was born on February 6, 1918.
By the time of the 1920 census, Mike was out of the Army, and the family was living in Storm Lake, in Buena Vista County, Iowa. Grace was busy keeping house and raising their children. By then the family had increased in size with the birth of their first son, Ralph Kingdon McKee, on April 19, 1919. He was better known in later years simply as "King."
The next census that shows the family was taken on April 28, 1930. By then the family was back living in Crawford County, Iowa. Mike was working as a mail carrier on a rural route out of Dow City. By then Grace was busier than ever because the family had increased in size once again. A daughter, Patricia Ann McKee, was born on May 5, 1922 in Dow City, and a son, named Dennis Keith McKee, was born on September 16, 1927. After the census was taken, another child, a son named Van Stanley McKee, was born on July 30, 1930. He lived just a little over three years and died on October 22, 1933.
I don’t have too many memories of my aunt, Grace McKee. We visited them on occasion, but not as frequently as other relatives. Grace was of average height for a woman at that time; perhaps 5’-6” or so. She was slightly heavy as I recall, but she wasn’t overweight. I remember that she had the same quality of voice as Grandma Rose and Aunt Myrtle. There was a kind of “gravelly” quality to it. Grace also had the staccato type of delivery to her speech, just like her older sister.
Some time in the late 1960s, Grace suffered a bad stroke and was unable to care for herself. Uncle Mike took care of her at home until she died on April 3, 1970. Grace's death was very hard on Uncle Mike. He never seemed to be the same person after that. Grace McKee is buried in the Dow City municipal cemetery.