History of the Restoration Movement

Riley Benjamin Pendleton McKinley


Source: Ancestry.com

The Life of R.P McKinley

Riley Benjamin Pendleton McKinley was born the 1st of January, 1855 in Ohio County, Kentucky. He was the son of John McKinley (1823-1857) and Phebe Ann Ralph (1827-1908).

Raised in the Ralph community, he heard the preaching of the gospel of Christ and obeyed that call, being baptized for the forgiveness of his sins.

He began preaching among churches of Christ at a young age. Opportunities arose during his preaching career that spanned over fifty years to defending the truth of Christ in debates, gospel meetings and revivals.

While most of his preaching was in Kentucky, he spent a few years in Polk County, Arkansas in the early 1920s. Some Kentucky locations were Panther, Beaver Dam, Owensboro, Horse Branch, and Whitesville.

Riley was married to Alice Ward (1864-1910) on January 12, 1881. They had four daughters, Provy Dee McKinley (1881-1969); Phoebe Elizabeth McKinley (1883-1968); Sudie McKinley who died in infancy in 1889; and Myrtle McKinley Ranney (1881-1918).

In 1903 he was noted as having developed a particular kind of quilting frame. Registering it with the U.S. Patent office, he received the patent on April 14th of that year.

Alice passed away February 9, 1910. She was buried in the Oakwood Cemetery in Hartford, Kentucky. He remarried Manerva Josephine "Josie" Whalin, and remained with her until her death June 11, 1936. She was laid to rest in the Ralph Cemetery a few miles south of their home. This burial ground is one of the most beautiful in all of Kentucky as it is located on a high mountain that overlooks the Ralph Valley, the area where Riley grew to manhood. He lived a few more years, but passed in his 87th year, May 12, 1942. Being laid to rest beside Josie, and near his many relatives to await the coming of the Lord.

-Scott Harp, 06.19.2020

McKinley / Todd Debate

Christian Leader
October 1, 1895, page 13

McKinley / Danbury Debate

Christian Leader
July 21, 1896, page 5
-Also appeared in Gospel Advocate, July 30, 1896, page 492

Quilting Frame Patent

The Twice A Week Messenger
Owensboro, Ky, Friday, April 17, 1903, page 6.

The Official Gazette Of The United States Patent Office
Vol. 103. No.7, April 14, 1903, page 1551

Preaching Four Discourses

The Ohio County News, Hartford, KY
Wednesday, October 28, 1908, page 5

Elder R.P. McKinley & Theodore Willis Preaching

The Hartford Republican, Hartford, Ky
Friday, July 9, 1909, page 1

Obituary for Mrs. R.P. McKinley

The Owensboro Messenger, Owensboro, Ky
Friday, February 18, 1910, page 6

McKinley / Taylor Debate

The Ohio County News, Hartford, Ky
August 6, 1913, page 1

Revival At Baymus Church of Christ

Messenger Inquirer, Owensboro, Ky,
Wednesday, October 7, 1931, page 4

82nd Birthday

Messenger Inquirer, Owensboro, Ky,
Sunday, January 3, 1937, page 4

Preaching On The Unpardonable Sin

The Owensboro Messenger, Owensboro, Ky
Sunday, January 24, 1937, page 8

Preaching For 50 Years

Messenger Inquirer
, Owensboro, Ky,
May 11, 1939, page 9

Directions To Grave

R.P. McKinley is buried in the Ralph Cemetery in the Ralph Community in Ohio County. Situated southeast of Owensboro, the area is said to be a part of Whitesville. But, the cemetery is located on a mountain that overlooks the Ralph Community which is just south of Hwy. 54 that runs between between Whitesville and Fordsville on county road 1414. The crave is in the center of the cemetery. The views from the cemetery are breathtaking! A truly beautiful part of northwestern Kentucky.

GPS Location
37°36'54.6"N 86°49'21.1"W
or D.d. 37.615155,-86.822522

Riley P. McKinley - Jan. 1, 1855 - May 12, 1942
Josie - March 8, 1864 -

Photos Taken 06.11.2020
Webpage produced 06.18.2020
Courtesy Of Scott Harp

Special Recognition: Special thanks to Garry L. Hill who assisted me in the location of the grave of R.P. McKinley. We took a day trip to north central Kentucky, visiting several graves of gospel preachers of yesteryear.

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