Biography of John Thomas McKinney and Susan Cannon

The McKinney ancestors of John Thomas (Jack) came to South Carolina from Rutherford County, North Carolina. His great, great grandfather John McKinney was active in the Revolutionary War. The family  had come to North Carolina from Ireland or Scotland by way of Pennsylvania. The complete story of his McKinney family can be seen at (

John (Jack) was a carpenter and farmer. He was born on July 4, 1853. He was a “rough” man and always made the grandsons work on the farm. There are lots of stories of the tough treatment and jokes played on the grandsons, but they gathered to spend summers with him almost every year. He was a member of the Sloans Grove Baptist Church. One story is told that he bought a bell for the church, but later he did not agree with something they did, so he took his bell back.
Susan Cannon's ancestors were the founders of Cannon' Camp Ground and church. Her family included Gabriel Cannon who was State Representative and Senator from Spartanburg and later became Lt. Gov. of the State. Susan was born on April 3, 1857. She was described as a very sweet and quiet woman and that she had honey colored hair. My Dad said he only heard her raise her voice once and that was in his defense. Grandpa Jack caught him getting a piece of pie out of Grandma’s pie safe and refused to let him have the pie. Grandma told him in no uncertain terms that William could have pie anytime he wanted. 

The family story is that, for some reason, when Jack and Susan were married, her family disowned her. Only one member of her family, her sister, came to visit her the whole time she lived there on the Glendale/Clifton road.  I would love to know just what happened to make such a harsh separation. It could have been religion, Jack being a rough and undisciplined young man, or even the Civil War.  It was never discussed in the family. 

Susan died on August 22, 1935 at the age of 78, before I was born. My family lived in the house with Jack until his death. When I was 6 mos. old, Grandpa Jack came to our house in Spartanburg and asked my Dad to come to live with him and take care of him. He had stomach cancer and was in his early eighties.  He had mellowed a great deal by that time. He would pout if my sister, Bobbie, and I were disciplined.  If he found a switch that my Mama intended to spank us with, he would break it and throw it out.

Jack died on July 5, 1940 at the age of 87.

(Jack and Susan's House on the Glendale/Clifton Road. House is no longer in the family.)

(Susan and Jack in front of the house in the 1930's.)

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This web site has been started as a public service to share the story of Glendale. The web master and person to contact about putting information on the web site is Mary McKinney Teaster.  Contact her at: or by telephone at (843) 873-8117. See more information about Mary and her Glendale connection at Mary McKinney Teaster.