Convention Member Thomas McKean

Convention Member
Born August 21, 1810, in the borough of Burlington located in Bradford County, Pennsylvania. He entered the United States Military Academy in West Point in 1827, and graduated four years later, standing 19th out of 33 cadets. General McKean was commissioned a brevet second lieutenant in the 4th U.S. Infantry on July 1, 1831. His service in the U.S Army consisted of several stints of garrison duty over the next three years, during which he was promoted to second lieutenant on September 15, 1833. General McKean resigned from the U.S. Army the following year on March 31. After resigning in 1834, he took up work as a civil engineer. He then participated in the Seminole Wars in 1837–38, serving as adjutant of the 1st Pennsylvania Volunteers, with the rank of first lieutenant. He resigned on March 31, 1838, and returned to Pennsylvania and the profession of an engineer. In 1840, he relocated to Marion in the Iowa Territory, and in 1844 he was part of the constitutional convention aimed at creating the state of Iowa. He was elected Marion’s mayor in 1865, and took up farming close to the city until 1869. He served as a delegate to the Republican convention in Chicago, Illinois, in 1868. McKean was offered the position of pension agent of the eastern Iowa district in early 1870, but he declined it. He died in Marion, Iowa, on April 19, 1870, and was buried in the city’s Oak Shade Cemetery.