Nebraska Authors

James L. McKee

AKA: Jim

Born 1940 Lincoln, NE (USA)

A great-grandson of Lancaster County pioneers, McKee began collecting photographs of Lincoln and related history of the area in the 1950's. McKee is a popular speaker on the Nebraska Humanities Council speakers list.

McKee has published over 1,500 articles and books on Lincoln and Nebraska history and numismatics. Co-authors include Joel Sartore, and Edward Zimmer. He is the leading authority on Lincoln/Lancaster County history, along with local architectural historian Zimmer. He has led local history tours through classes offered at Southeast Community College.

Places Lived

Lincoln, NE

Author Of

  • Nonfiction


Lincoln, Nebraska--History; Paper money--Nebraska


Diploma, 1958, Lincoln Northeast High School, Lincoln, NE
Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology, 1963, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics, 1963, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Owner of Lee Booksellers
Publisher (J&L Lee Co.)
Authority on and teaches courses on Local History

Places Worked

Southeast Community College, Lincoln, NE
Lee Booksellers, proprietor with Linda Hillegass
Proprietor of The Coinery.
Lincoln Journal Star
Nebraska Book Co.
Cliff's Notes


Outstanding Small Business of the Year, Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, 1998
Distinguished Alumni, Lincoln Northeast High School, 2000
Commentation, American Association for State and Local History
Great Commoner Award, Preservation Association of Lincoln
Numismatic Ambassador Award, Numismatic News
2003 Founders Day Award, Wyuka Foundation
Customer Service Award, Nebraska Retail Federation, 2005
Addision E. Sheldon Memorial Award, Nebraska State Historical Society, 2006
Helen Boosalis Award in Historical Preservation, Preservation Alliance of Lincoln, 2010
Friend of Education Award, Lincoln Edication Association-Retired, 2010
Nebraska Literary Heritage Association’s Literary Heritage Award, 2011
Points of Light Award, American Numismatic Association, 2015
Numismatic Legacy Award, Nebraska Numismatic Association, 2016
Lincoln Luminary Award, City of Lincoln/Leadership Lincoln, 2018


Married to Linda Hillegass, former LCL Assistant Director and daughter of Katherine and Cliff Hillegass, founders of Cliff Notes.
Roger Welsch


The Wildcat Banknotes, Scrip and Currencies of Nebraska. 1970.
Lincoln, a Photographic History. 1976 and 1988. (with Arthur Duerschner)
The Lincoln Trivia Game. 1980.
Lincoln, The Prairie Capital: An Illustrated History. 1984.
Short story in October Dreams, A Harvest of Horror. 1989. (edited by David Kubicek and Jeff Mason)
Havelock: A Photo History and Walking Tour. 1993. (co-authored with Ed Zimmer and Lori K. Jorgensen)
Remember When: Memories of Lincoln, 1997. (edited by Linda L. Hillegass)
Visions of Lincoln: Nebraska's Capitol City in the Present, Past and Future. 2007. (with Joel Sartore)
The Art and Architecture of First-Plymouth Church. 2011. (with Pam Thompson, et.al.)
Lincoln's Early Architecture. 2014. (with Ed Zimmer and Matthew Hansen)
The Trolley Car Era in Lincoln. 2020. (with Mike Bartels and Richard Schmelling)
A Postcard History of Lincoln. 2022. (with Ed Zimmer)

His weekly history column appears in the Lincoln Journal Star newspaper

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James L. McKee

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(e.g. Author is buried in Fremont, not in David City / Also wrote for the Daily Nebraskan during her time as a student)