McGEE SETTLEMENT - McGEEVILLE
The settlement was founded in 1898 by about 18 members of the J. R. McGee, George Harris and David Lively families. Thirty sections or 19,200 acres comprise the holdings of the Sierrita Mining and Ranching Company, some of which were sold in 1960 to the Duval Mine (Phillips Dodge Sierrita - Grupo
The J. R. McGee (
Construction, hauling and ranching became the major occupations. Their first major project was the construction of Twin Buttes Road for the Twin Buttes Mine. They hauled ore in 1903 from
By 1913, unable to make the payments on Canoa ranch, the families moved back to the Settlement. Canoa was then purchased by L. H. Manning. During these difficult years the family operated communally, pooling their resources.
J. R. McGee had 17 children each of whom has a life estate and the right to a home site. N. E McGee, a son of J. R. was the first child born in the settlement and 3 generations have followed. All five of his children plus almost all of their 43 grandchildren live at the settlement.
Today: In 2001 there were about 300 people living in about 80 homes in the hamlet. More McGees than Harrises live in the settlement and only one Lively family remains. 200 mining claims are maintained today including the Glove Mine although currently (2001) no mining activity is carried on. The mining claims preserve grazing rights and keep copper interests from the land. A non-denominational church ministers to the settlement families; elders run the church. Neither the church nor the community is Mormon (LDS). Children attend the Sahuarita Schools.
Material has been collected and edited by Margaret Bieber, Russ Hartley, Bob Lund and Lillian Monson.
“McGee Settlement-first Outpost,” a newspaper article by Pamela Kahn
An address by Lynn Harris to Hiking Club leaders 1-16-02 summarized by Lillian Monson
Recommended reading: Ranch Schoolteacher, by Eulalia Bourne who taught in a one room school in the Sierrita area for 8 years in the 1940’s. She also wrote Woman in
Additional Material: GVHC Library File 67