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Photos from Days Gone By

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Ben McCainBenjamin Elvis McCain (1866-1937) & Elizabeth Jane Poole (1875 -1950), married in 1905 in Obion County, Tennessee.  They moved to Northeast Arkansas between 1905 and 1910.  They appear in the Arkansas 1910 Census in Big Lake Township, Mississippi Co, Arkansas.  This photo was taken in Jackson, TN a few days after their marriage.  The marriage was the second for Ben and the first for Elizabeth (Bettie).  Ben was born in Hayes, Weakley Co., TN. His parents were Amos Calvin McCain and Margaret Alice Robinson.  Ben and Bettie owned a farm just south of present day Manila, AR. Some of the family is still in Arkansas.

Harold Reid McKeenHarold Reid McKeen, Jr., (1909-1963) was born May 6, 1909, at Edith, Colorado, the son of Dr. Harold R. and Maude (Brush) McKeen.

He attended the public schools in Denver, the University of Colorado at Boulder, and received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1935. Dr. McKeen interned at Denver General Hospital from 1935 to 1937. He then became Physician-Surgeon for the Public Service Company of Colorado where he and his father managed the entire medical program for some five thousand employees. At the same time he served as Assistant in Surgery at the Colorado General Hospital, was on the Fracture Service at Denver General Hospital, and was consultant in Surgery at the Federal Correction Institute on the outskirts of Denver.

On June 8, 1940, Dr. McKeen married Miss Betty Westhaver in Denver. The McKeens had three children: Elsbeth, Harold III, and Rebecca.

The doctor saw service with the U.S. Army Medical Corps from 1942 to 1946. He was activated with the Colorado General Hospital which became the 29th. General Hospital when it was shipped overseas. After a few months in the comparative safety of New Cale donia where, according to his story, all he did was occasionally "sew up a little skin", he managed to maneuver himself out of the 29th. and get assigned to a corps of Engineers. There he was the only doctor and set up his own clinic, a situation very mu ch to his liking. After only a few months of this, and with less than 24 hours' notice, he was flown out to Biak, an island off the coast of Netherlands New Guinea, where his plane landed in the midst of enemy fire. Shrapnel cut a great gash out of his leg as he jumped for a fox hole. He dressed his own wound and went right into combat.

From Biak he went to Leyte and from Leyte with the assault troops to Okinawa. He was now part of the Infantry, and on the boat to Okinawa he was issued combat boots and a gun. For six weeks from April 1, 1945, to the middle of May, he went without rest- -most of the time ahead of the enemy lines, taking care of the wounded and dying. Here he pulled two of the four surviving basket cases of the Pacific off the field. When the island was secured he was evacuated to Guam, then to Hawaii, and eventually ho me. He was discharged disabled in 1946 but refused government compensation of any kind.

On his return to Denver, he pitched in to help his tired and aging father who had been holding down the home front at the Public Service Company of Colorado. Eventually another doctor was taken on, and in 1954 when his father retired, Dr. McKeen, Jr. bec ame Medical Director.

In 1956 Dr. McKeen came to Hawaii to accept the position of Medical Director at the Waialua Agricultural Company on Oahu. Two years later be became associated with the Kaiser Foundation Medical Care Program in Honolulu and later a permanent member of the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group. When the Foundation opened a Clinic and Emergency Hospital at Maili in April, 1961, he was selected to be its Director.

Dr. McKeen died on June 20, 1963, at Maili, Oahu, at the age of 54.

He was a member of the Denver Medical Society, Honolulu Medical Society, Hawaii Medical Association, American Medical Association, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and was listed in "Who's Who in Industrial Medicine". He was also a member of Scottish Rites, Honolulu, Harvard Medical Alumni, Lions' International, Maili and Waianae Community Association.

Dr. McKeen's war experiences left him deeply saddened by man's inhumanity to man, and it was his great desire to return to the South Pacific and help make restitution. Coming to Hawaii was a step towards the realization of this dream, and it was his plan to continue to Maili until he reached retirement age and then go to the South Pacific as a medical missionary.

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