82. Benjamin Benedict6 McAtee (George5, William4, William3, Edmund Charles2, Patrick1) was born in Franklin County, Kentucky March 1, 1812. Benjamin died March 21, 1893 in Linn, Kansas, at 81 years of age.
Although it isn't certain when Benjamin moved to Kansas, in the previous letter from his father to another son, Benjamin was mentioned as "doing well" and had named his son George Henry for his father and his wife's father. That was in 1849, and is a reasonable date for which he had established his family in Kansas. In 1874 the Kansas prairie homesteads where set upon by mass quantities of locusts or grasshoppers ("hoppers" as the locals called them). Benjamin was 62 years old at the time, and though we have no letter mentioning the invasion, it must have been a great hardship. Many Kansas pioneers left the area during this time, but Benjamin fought it out and remained with his family. "August 1, 1874, is a day that will always be remembered by the then inhabitants of Kansas... For several days there had been quite a few hoppers around, but this day there was a haze in the air and the sun was veiled almost like Indian Summer. They began, toward night, dropping to earth, and it seemed as if we were in a big snow storm where the air was filled with enormous-sized flakes," wrote Mary Lyon, a Kansas pioneer woman who witnessed it all. The locusts descended on prairie land inches thick on the ground, eating up everything in an orderly fashion. The corn was first to go, quickly followed by grains, fruits, vegetables, then eating bulb and root vegetables out of the ground. Onions were a favorite. Finally they turned to weeds, leaves and bark on trees, wooden tool handels, fences, leather, window curtains, even the clothes you wore. Chicken, turkeys, and pigs ate the locusts until they were sick. The hogs and poultry took on the insect flavor and became inedible. Locusts even hampered the rail road, making the rails slippery and slimy. Railroad crews had to put sand on the rails to get any traction. The locusts remained in one place until everything was eaten, usually 2 to 3 days leaving ravaged farmhouses, barren fields, and buried in the soil, the eggs for next year's infestation. The infestation continued the following years but in 1877 it seemed to pan out.
He married Helen May Bufford in Missouri, October, 1844. Helen was born in Cumberland Gap, Tennessee March 5, 1825. Helen died January 4, 1926 in Clyde, Kansas, Cloud County, at 100 years of age. The following text was composed for Helen's 100th birthday:
Grandma Mc Atee celebrates
Her 100th birthday
Her memory recals many
recollections of Early Days,
now makes her home
To have lived a century, to have taken part in the affairs of this world for a hundred years, watching the progress of science and industry and the changes that each generation brings, keeping ones mental capacity so that all these things might be observed and appreciated would be the greatest desire of most people. Yet how few are permitted to live one hundred years, or if they do they are so incapable of enjoying life because the infirmities of old age have weakened their mental capacity to such an extent they are no longer interested in the things that are happening all around them. But Grandma Mc Atee of Clyde has lived out this wonderful stretch of years and is still able to enjoy life reasonably well and has a mind as clear as one would expect to find in a young person. She celebrated her 100th birthday March 5 at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Shurleff in Clyde, surrounded by four generations of her decendents. Miss Mable Hakes baked the big birthday cake and upon it placed one hundred candles. Mrs. Mc Atee received cards, letters and other gifts from friends in several states. Many of her friends gave her a silver shower and she received $87.16 as a token of the esteem in which she is held. Helen Bufford Mc Atee was born near Cumberland Gap, Tenn., March 5, 1825 and when nineteen years old moved to Missouri. When she was 22 she was married and in the year 1869 the family came to Washington county, Kansas and homesteaded west of Linn. The Mc Atee school house and district are named for the Family. This homestead was the family home through many years or until the death of the husband, March 3, 1893, he having reached the age of 81 years. Six years ago Mrs. Mc Atee went to Clyde to make her home with her daughter, Mrs. Shurtleff who is seventy-eight years old. These two good women enjoy the friendship of a host of friends by whom they are surrounded. Grandma Mc Atee is the mother of eight children, five of whom are living. She has seventeen grandchildren, twenty-two great-grandchildren, and four great great-grandchildren. Pictures were taken at the celebration of the five generations. When a young woman, Mrs. Mc Atee made the good confession and for over seventy years has kept that faith. She and her husband joined the little band of disciples at Reiter when the school house was the only place of worship. She has always been a Bible student and can tell you anything in the Bible you ask her about. She has always taken an active interest in politics and is yet very well read and posted on the events of the day. She was always ready to help care for the sick and unfortunate about her in her younger days when she had the strength to work and to do for others. About ten years ago she fell and broke her hip and since that time she has been a cripple and so is denied many privileges that might otherwise be hers. Her memory includes recollections of early days and she states that Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln have been visitors in her home, and her relatives fought in all the wars of the county and her parents were early settlers in Virginia.
The following text was Helen's Obituary posted in the Clyde, Kansas Newspaper:
Helen Bufford Mc Atee was born near Cumberland Gap, Tenn., March 5th 1825, and when nineteen years old moved to Missouri. The same year she was married to Benedict Mc Atee and in the year 1869, the family came to Washington county, Kansas, and homesteaded west of Linn. This homestead was the family home until the death of her husband, March 3, 1893, he having reached the age of 81 years. The Mc Atee district and school house are named for the family. These good people were the parents of eight children, five of whom are living. There are seventeen grandchildren, twenty-two great grandchildren, and four great great grandchildren. When a young woman, Mrs. Mc Atee became a Christian and for over seventy years has kept the faith. She and her husband joined the little band of disciples at Reiter, when the school house was the only place of worship. She has always been a Bible student and was familiar with the entire book. Not a day passed that she did not read the Bible, until the last few months, when her eyes failed so that she could not read. Grandma Mc Atee was always ready to help care for the sick and unfortunate about her in her younger days, when she had the strength to work to do for others. About ten years ago she fell and broke her hip and since that time has been a cripple, and so denied many privileges that might otherwise have been hers. Her memory included recollections of early days in which Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas were visitors in her home. Her relatives fought in all the wars of the country and her parents were early settlers in Virginia. About seven years ago, Mrs. Mc Atee came to Clyde to make her home with her daughter, Mrs. Shurtleff, who is now almost seventy-nine years old. These two good women have enjoyed the fellowship of a host of friends in this community. Last March, Grandma Mc Atee celebrated her 100th birthday with four generations of her descendants present. Since that time her strength has gradually failed and on January 4th, 1926, at 10:15 p.m. she quietly passed away having reached the age of 100 years and 10 months. The funeral was conducted by Reverend C.E. Hall, Wednesday, January 6th, and the body buried by that of her husband, in the Reiter cemetery, near Strawberry.
Helen became the mother of Emma McAtee 1847. Helen became the mother of George Henry McAtee 1849.
Benjamin became the father of Emma McAtee 1847. Benjamin became the father of George Henry McAtee 1849.
Historical events during the life of Benjamin Benedict McAtee: Congress passes 1st foreign aid bill on March 3, 1812; birth of Friedrich Nietzsche, Ubermensch on October 15, 1844; Thomas F. Bayard becomes 1st US ambassador on April 3, 1893.
Benjamin Benedict McAtee and Helen May Bufford had the following children:
89 i. Irene7 McAtee.
90 ii. Emma McAtee was born 1847. Emma died 1945.
91 iii. Julia McAtee.
92 iv. Ettice McAtee.
93 v. Bell McAtee.
94 vi. Lucy McAtee.
+ 95 vii. George Henry McAtee was born 1849.
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