William F. McKee takes his place in that large and highly respected portion of the population of the city of Madson, commonly spoken of as retired farmers, and although he is yet a comparatively young man he has achieved success and distinction in the affairs of his life. He was born in the city of Madison, November 1, 1860 and is the son of Dennis and Bridget (Garen) McKee, both of whom were born in Ireland. The father and mother each came to the United States from their native land about 1855, and were married in Madison a few years later. After his marriage the father worked by the month in the city for the first three years, and then bought land in and moved to the town of Fitchburg, in 1864. As a farmer he was very successful and has accumulated a fine tract of land, comprising three hundred and thirty acres, in Fitchburg besides owning property in the city of Madison, where he has lived in retirement since 1902. His wife died in 1871, and although he married a second time he was again widowed in 1891. William F. McKee received his education in the district schools of Fitchburg, and upon reaching manhood decided upon the occupation of a farmer and entered upon his life’s work with zeal and enthusiasm. He had supplemented the knowledge gained in the district schools by attendance during two winters at the Commercial college in Madison, and was thus equipped to employ business methods in the conduct of his affairs. He owns two hundred and eighty acres of fine farming land in the town of Fitchburg, upon which he has made extensive improvements, until it has all the appointments of an up-to-date farmstead. He also owns two nice properties in the city of Madison, in one of which he has lived since he retired from the farm in 1904. The location of his residence being 129 North Franklin street. Mr. McKee was married October 3, 1893, the lady of his choice being Miss Mary A. Smith, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (Garrahan) Smith, both of whom were natives of Ireland, but they were married in the state of New York, and Mrs. McKee was born at Cahoes in that state. The father died in New York and the mother removed to Madison, where she was married to Patrick Duffy, of the town of Westport, where the family continued to reside after the marriage. Mr. Duffy was one of the pioneer settlers of Dane county, locating first on land which he had purchased from the government. Mrs. McKee had one brother, William Smith, who died in Madison in 1887, and she has one half-brother, the Rev. Joseph F. Duffy, the mother and step-father being deceased. Mr. and Mrs. McKee are the parents of one daughter, Lillian, born in the town of Fitchburg, in 1896. Mr. McKee gives an unswerving allegiance to the principles of the Democratic party, and during his residence in Fitchburg served in the position of town treasurer for one year. He and wife are members of the Catholic church.
History of Dane County, Madison, Western Historical Association, 1906, Page 591