Frederick Kees was born in Baltimore, MD, on April 9, 1852. He worked for architect E.C. Lind in that city from 1865-1871, and again from 1872 to 1878, with a brief hiatus in Chicago in 1871-1872. Kees moved to Minneapolis in 1878 and entered the office of Leroy Buffington. He became a partner of B.W. Fisk from 1882 to 1884 and then joined Franklin Long in partnership. After the firm dissolved in 1897, Kees practiced on his own until 1899, when he formed a partnership with Serenus Colburn. Colburn died in 1925 and for almost two years afterward Kees was a partner of H.G. Bowstead. Kees died in Minneapolis on March 16, 1927.