Article 1601

Corp. Martin Van Buren Kees

Martin Van Buren Kees was born March 30, 1841 in Lawrence County, Mississippi to Isham Kees (December 11, 1809 Lawrence Co., MS - October 7, 1861 Lawrence Co., MS) and Mary Polly Lovell (September 28, 1815 Lawrence Co., MS - 1897 Lincoln Co., MS.)

Shortly after turning 21 years old, he joined the Johnson Guards of Lawrence County, which became Company C of the 33rd Mississippi Infantry Regiment. He and his older brother, Perry Commodore Kees enlisted in April 1862. Throughout the war he kept a diary, which has been a primary resource for many of us in researching the 33rd Mississippi.

In July 1862 he was sent to the Oxford (Mississippi) Hospital with the mumps, along with 72 others from the camp. In February 1865 he was furloughed and returned home to Lawrence County. Four days after he rejoined the regiment in South Carolina he was again hospitalized. On April 21, 1865 he was granted a 30 days furlough and five days later the 33rd Mississippi Infantry, along with the rest of the army, surrendered. Kees was paroled with a group of unattached men at Jackson, MS (via Citronelle, AL) on May 19, 1865.From Charity Simmons Kees Bible. Typescript with original source not cited.

On Sunday night of May 24 1891, after an illness of several weeks duration, Bro. M. V. Kees passed from this life.

He was the son of Isham and Mary Kees. He was born Mach (sic) 31, 1841: was brought up on the farm, receiving such education as could be obtained in the neighborhood schools where (he) lived.

In 1860 he professed conversion and united with the Fair River Baptist Church, of which his parents were members, was baptized October 2nd of that year by Elder Wm. Forteberry (sic).

At the commencement of the war he enlisted in company C of the Thirty-third Mississippi Regiment, in which command he served during the war. Just after the close of the war, on the 28th of December, 1865, he was united in marriage with Miss Charity Simmons.

Ten sons were born unto them, eight of whom, and the mother, yet survive.

On the 2nd of October, 1873, he was ordained a deacon of his church, which position he filled until his death.

Bro. Kees was a plain, matter of fact man, always taking a common sense, practical view of things. He was strictly concientious (sic) in all his dealings, and was always on the right side of all questions.

By strict attention to business and good management, he had acquired a competency.

He was a successful farmer and country merchant, and was a useful man in his church and neighborhood and will be greatly missed.

But his loss will be felt most keenly in the home over which he presided.

His surviving companion and eight sons still needed his helping counsel and providing hand; but the Lord has called his servant away.

Bro. Kees was a Christian: He loved and trusted his Savior, loved and trusted to the end.

His Pastor talked with him a short while before he died; he said (“)I am ready; I would like to get well and live a while longer to help my boys get a start in life; they seem so ankious (sic) for me to get well; I would like to do so on their account, but I am resigned and ready to go, if the Lord wills.(“)

“Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord from henceforth; yea sayeth the spirit that they may rest from their labors and their works do follow them.”

E. P. Douglass

REF: Email from Jay Kirkley Kees (

Page last modified on March 18, 2016