McKee Colony

Larissa is a rural community off Farm Road 855 twenty miles northwest of Rusk in northeastern Cherokee County. The area was first settled by Isaac Killough, his wife, and the families of his four sons and two daughters, who moved there from Talladega County, Alabama, in 1837. The following year, fearing attack because of unrest among the Cherokees living in the vicinity, Killough and his relatives fled to Nacogdoches. The Indians assured them that they would be safe harvesting their crops in the fall, but when they returned home a war party attacked the settlement, and most of the inhabitants were killed or carried off (see KILLOUGH MASSACRE). One member of the family later returned to the area, but resettlement did not occur until 1846, when a group of settlers from Tennessee led by Thomas H. McKee moved to the area. For a time the settlement was known as McKee Colony, but the following year McKee's son, T. N. McKee, laid out a townsite that he named Larissa, for an ancient city of learning in Greece. McKee, a Presbyterian minister, wanted a separate town from nearby Talladega, reportedly because that community had a saloon.

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

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McKee Colony is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Larissa)

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