Biography of James B. McKean
FROM OUR COUNTY AND ITS PEOPLE
A DESCRIPTIVE AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD
OF SARATOGA COUNTY, NEW YORK
PREPARED AND PUBLISHED UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE SARATOGIAN
THE BOSTON HISTORY COMPANY, PUBLISHERS 1899

A-Historic Newspapers Online

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JAMES B. McKEAN.

HON. JAMES BEDELL MCKEAN, an able lawyer and the man who raised the One Hundred and Fifteenth Regiment and went out as its colonel, was born at Hoosick, Rensselaer county, N. Y., August 5, 1821, a son of Rev. Andrew and Catharine (Bedell) McKean. When he was an infant the family removed to this county, settling on the battlefield of Saratoga. After residing for some time in the town of Saratoga they removed to a farm in Halfmoon, near and southeast of Round Lake.

James B. McKean was educated in the common schools, and by individual reading. He taught several terms in the district schools of the vicinity, and was also, for a time, one of the professors in Jonesville Academy, and when but twenty-one years old was elected town superintendent of common schools for Halfmoon. While still a young man he was elected colonel of the One Hundred and Forty-fourth Regiment of New York State Militia and commanded that regiment for some years. He read law in the office of Bullard & Cramer at Waterford, and in 1847 was admitted. He began practice at Baliston, but in 1851 removed to Saratoga Springs.

His service in the Civil war is elsewhere noticed in this work. In the fall of 1854 he was nominated for county judge by a Republican convention held at Ballston Spa, believed to have been the first Republican convention held in this State. He was elected and served four years. In 1858 the Republicans of the Fifteenth district elected him to Congress, and re-elected him in 1860.

In the spring of 1865 President Lincoln sent him to Spanish America to exchange the ratification of a treaty with the government of Honduras. Afterwards he was tendered the appointment as consul to San Domingo, which, however, he declined. In 1870 President Grant appointed him chief justice of the Superior Court of Utah Territory, a position which he held for five years. For a number of years subsequent he engaged in private practice in Salt Lake City.


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