JOHN McKINNEY emigrated from the neighborhood of Mt. Airy, North Carolina, into this section, while it was yet
a part of Washington County some time between the years 1785 and 1800. He settled on what is now known as Red Hill,
near the village of Pattonsville, Virginia. He acquired a large landed estate and undertook the growth of cotton
on a large scale with the many slaves he had brought with him from North Carolina. The climate of this section,
however, not being suited to the successful growth of cotton, he directed his attention to the cultivation of tobacco.
He grew tobacco on a large scale and manufactured it into cigars and plug tobacco. He also planted large apple
and peach orchards on different parts of his large plantation.
It is thought that he sustained a close and familiar relationship with Daniel Boone, if not a kinsman, as the following
letter found among his papers seems to disclose:
“Tuscaloosa County, Allabama.
“Dear Brother Sister I onc mor Right you a few Lines to Inform you that wee ar all well at this time only muself
I have ben Down about tow month and am very sik at this time wee have Received a letter from our Dauter at Brother
James they are all well at that time you have Rot to mee concerning my part of that land I dont know hardly what
to Right. I am willing to take Sixty Dollars for my part but I Dont how I am to get from here to their after it
I am in great need of it but propety wont sute mee. If you have a mind to giv mee that and can send it to me by
the mall it will obled mee very much.
So nothing more only Remains
It is thought that reports of the country made by Boone, who came from an adjoining county In North Carolina, influenced
McKinney to settle In this section.
in 1804, he was appointed captain of militia for Lee County by the Governor of Virginia. He represented the County
of Lee in the General Assembly of Virginia from 1906 to 1809. When Scott County was organized, be was a member
of the first court, and in September, 1815, he was the ruling magistrate or chairman of the county court. In 1815,
and again In 1816, he was appointed commissioner of the revenue for the North Side. In 1816, he qualified to celebrate
the rites of matrimony. In 1818, and again in 1824, he was made school commissioner for the school district In
which he lived. In 1819 and In 1820, he qualified as sheriff of the county. It is said that while living in the
same house, he was sheriff of Lee County, and then later sheriff of Scott County when It was formed.
In partnership with W. H. Carter and a Mr. Osborne he discovered and made salt at what is now known as Blackwater,
Virginia. Many of John MeKinney's papers, in an excellent state of preservation, are in possession of his descendants.
Some of them date back to the year 1775 and show a wide range of business transactions.
He leaves no descendants in this section bearing his name; branches of the Morison, Harris, Young, and Carter families
are descended from him.
He died about 1824 or 1825, and his wife died in 1840.
He is buried in an unmarked grave on Red Hill, about one mile south of Pattonsville, Virginia.
History of Scott County, Virginia
By: Robert M. Addington
Privately Printed 1932
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