first tragedy in Monroe County’s history resulted in the
death of John McGee and his daughter. In 1824, Mr.
McGee decided to move from Howard to Monroe County. He
first came to Jackson township, southeast of Paris, and
built a cabin, to which he moved his family.
returning with the last wagon load, he and his grown
daughter, Molly, were caught in a prairie fire at the head
of Brush Creek, near the David McKamey farm. The tall,
dry prairie grass burned rapidly and the fire moved towards
them with such speed that it was impossible to escape. They
were driving hogs at the time. Seeing a small ravine at
the right of the road, the hogs were driven into it, and
then they laid down in the ravine. Mr. McGee removed
his coat and attempted to shield his daughter with it. In
a few minutes, however, the fire was upon them, and both
were so severely burned that they died eight days later. There
was not physician near than 40 miles.
Article from the 13 Aug 1931 Monroe County Appeal Centennial
Edition. Submitted by Mary Beth Kirtlink.