John McKay, the wide-awake proprietor of the Woodbine Cigar Store, at 450 Alvarado street, Monterey, was born in Toronto, Canada, September 19, 1871. His father, who also bore the name of John McKay, died in Canada, but his mother, Mrs. Ann (Hellams) McKay, came to California, where she passed away. All who knew them testify to their superior worth, and the good name they left our subject is his greatest inheritance.
John McKay of this review attended the public schools of Canada and then pushed out into the world to still further broaden his education. At the age of seventeen he crossed the line into the United States, and during a period of seven years’ residence in Chicago he was made a citizen. After about three years, spent on the west. coast, he went to Alaska during the gold rush, remaining there one year.
In 1908 Mr. McKay came to Monterey county and for a year he was engaged -in the cigar business in Pacific Grove, giving the men of that locality a little something different and better than they had had before. At the end of that period he opened his present store in Monterey, in which business he has met with success, for he has made his place a proper rendezvous where old friends might meet to have a heart-to-heart chat while enjoying an old-fashioned, soulful smoke. Mr. McKay belongs to the Monterey Chamber of Commerce, and he is also identified with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the Knights of Pythias and the Canadian Foresters. In national politics he is a republican, and he stands first, last and all the time for sound business methods.
Mr. McKay married Miss Margaret Sherwood, also a native of Canada, and a member of an old English family. Four children have been born to this union: Theodore, Florence, John and Adeline.
Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California’s history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925.