McKee City, New Jersey

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McKee City, New Jersey
McKee City is located in Atlantic County, New Jersey
McKee City
McKee City
Location within Atlantic County. Inset: Location of Atlantic County within New Jersey.
McKee City is located in New Jersey
McKee City
McKee City
McKee City (New Jersey)
McKee City is located in the United States
McKee City
McKee City
McKee City (the United States)
Coordinates: 39°27′01″N 74°38′27″W / 39.45028°N 74.64083°W / 39.45028; -74.64083Coordinates: 39°27′01″N 74°38′27″W / 39.45028°N 74.64083°W / 39.45028; -74.64083
Country United States
State New Jersey
Named forColonel John McKee
 • Total4.83 sq mi (12.52 km2)
 • Land4.82 sq mi (12.48 km2)
 • Water0.02 sq mi (0.04 km2)
69 ft (21 m)
 • Total9,758
 • Density2,024.90/sq mi (781.79/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
GNIS feature ID878219[3]

McKee City is an unincorporated community located within the Mays Landing section of Hamilton Township, Atlantic County, New Jersey, United States.[4] The community was named after Colonel John McKee (1821–1902), an African American property speculator. Although its name includes the word "city", McKee City is not an actual city — it is currently a crossroads of commerce that has replaced tenant farmers with retail stores and residential neighborhoods.

McKee City was the site of the former Atlantic City Race Course, and is home to numerous commercial businesses, including the Hamilton Mall, which opened in 1987.[5]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[6]


McKee City was founded by Colonel John McKee in 1884. It was originally a farming community, along with a sawmill, a schoolhouse, a general store, a community hall, and several farms near the former Pennsylvania-Reading Railroad (currently the site of the Black Horse Pike). Colonel McKee intended to build a 4,000-acre (1,600 ha) planned community where African Americans from the south could settle after the Civil War. A number of dormitory-type houses were built without frills like inside plumbing or heating.[7] Leases were carefully designed to ensure that the tenants improved the land. The Colonel had great plans for this settlement, but he died before they could all be realized.[8]

Upon his death, Colonel McKee made a bequest of $2 million (equivalent to $62.6 million in 2021), to be administered by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia headed by Archbishop Patrick John Ryan, to be partly used "to build a Catholic church, rectory and convent in McKee City..."[9] However, the will was disputed by McKee's family, the funds were not distributed, and the facilities Colonel McKee envisioned were not built.


  1. ^ "ArcGIS REST Services Directory". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 11, 2022.
  2. ^ "Census Population API". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 11, 2022.
  3. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: McKee City, New Jersey
  4. ^ Locality Search, State of New Jersey. Accessed June 9, 2016.
  5. ^ Jim Waltzer; Tom Wilk (2001). Tales of South Jersey: Profiles and Personalities. Rutgers University Press. ISBN 0-8135-3007-5. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
  6. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  7. ^ Byles, Samantha (October 1, 2012). "Colonel John McKee, Unsung Hero of Fatherless Boys in Need Of Scholarships, Finally Gets Tombstone". The Philadelphia Inquirer; Good Black News. Retrieved November 6, 2013.
  8. ^ Taylor, Grace (November 11, 2007). "McKee City". (Egg Harbor Township). Archived from the original on October 23, 2012. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  9. ^ Ryan, Patrick (February 26, 2010). Archbishop Patrick John Ryan His Life and Times: Ireland - St. Louis - Philadelphia 1831-1911. AuthorHouse. ISBN 978-1-4389-9822-0. Retrieved January 6, 2013.