:- t .
§1 . ./.
J. A. KECK.
fjisfon) of the -f(eck f?an)il£.
By J. A. KECK.
Written in 1901.
In taking up this work we find we will have a pretty big
task to carry out what we have undertaken. In the fall of
1898, while on a visit to my childhood home in Greensburg,
Penn., I became somewhat interested in looking up the history
of our ancestors, and while there secured some dates to start
from. But one great hindrance was, all of the immediate
Keck family had left for the West. I visited the cemeteries to
get what I could there, for up to that time we scarcely knew
anything of our ancestors farther back than our grandparents,
and very little of them. On our return home we opened up a
correspondence with all who we thought could give us any
information on the subject. At first our object was to get the
family records, of births and deaths in the families, with the
dates and then it widened out until we concluded to get it in
the shape of a history, and now our object is to present what
we have and hand it down to our posterity, and some day it
may be useful in tracing the different families where there is
a detailed estate, in hunting up the heirs and establishing their
claims. Anyway it will be a satisfaction of having the history
to trace the different branches. There are still many things that
we would like to know in regard to our ancestors, but we fear
they have passed beyond recall, which might have been secured
while our parents were still with us. But w r e feel higly grati-
fied in securing as much as we have. Our taking up this work
has induced a number of others to write up their families and
so the work goes on, and incidentally they have designated me
as Joseph, the Historian. Before taking up this work my life
had been a busy one, but now we have more time to devote to
this subject and are interested in carrying it forward to com-
pletion, as we believe that we have secured about all that we
can at this time, but w T e thought the same a year ago, when new
2 HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY.
mines were discovered, and opened np. With the new dis-
coveries, one was that of finding the Lehigh County. Pa., pio-
neers, which gave a good history of the founder of the Keck
family in America. We had it before in part, but not so full
We know but little of the early life of our ancestors, and
all we know we secured from our uncle, John Keck, who was
known as Esquire John, who had it from the lips of his grand-
father, George Keck, who was a son of our ance?ior, and in
1853 had writen a brief history of what he knew of the family,
and which was found recently among the family papers, and
was unknown to any of them. In our wincing to Lida Urm-
ston, his daughter, for the family records, she came across the
history and sent me a copy from which we will make some ex-
tracts. Her parents both died at her home and she had the
papers in her possession.
He says in the paper that Henry Keck was a nati/e of
Basle, Switzerland, and could not give any account ot his par-
ents. When twelve years of age he found himself in the em-
ploy of one of the generals of Alexander the Great. During
that desolating war many families were scattered, here and
there, who were never reunited, and it is reasonable to suppose
that many children were left to wander without parents or
home, and so it was with him.
Dr. Karl Keck, of Aisleaheim, Upper Austria, says the
family records were destroyed in the year 1709, when the
French took that part of Germany. They bombarded the city
of Regensburg, and all the houses were burned, with all the
family papers. Uncle John gives the signification of the name
"Keck." It is a pure German name and signifies valor,
courage, bravery, etc., and there is no doubt that the first Keck
obtained his name by some feat of bravery or heroism, and the
people said, he is a ''Keck" and ever afterwards called him by
that same name. One strong reason to force us to this con-
clusion is that the Swiss people are one of the bravest and most
warlike, as well as free and independent nations of Europe,
.and the name must have been a very honorable one. Uncle
[ohn was a very fine German scholar, and was well qualified to
give the meaning of the name. In his history he could give
mi dates, as all was traditional.
During the summer of 1901, we took a trip to Mercer
county, Pa., to visit friends and gather up more history. We
HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY. 3
took a run down to Allentown, Pa., where the founder of the
Keck family located, and while there we had the good fortune
to come across a copy of the History of the Pioneers of Le-
high county, Pa., which was put out in 1884, which gives a
pretty full account of our ancestor, and we were much pleased
to have the privilege of copying from it, as it threw more light
on the first families than we could give and corrected many
things in regard to the family. .
The Pioneer History says that Henry Keck was a native y*
of Upper Pfalls, Bavaria,. He left his native home with his
wife, a Miss Peterson, of Holland, on board the English ship
Clyde, for America, and arrived at Philadelphia, October 17,
1732. Before landing he had to take the oath of allegiance to
King George II. When they reached there he and his wife
were sold to a man in Chester county, Pa., for their passage
money. They were called redemptioners as they had to serve
for bringing them over. They served the time agreed upon,
some three or four years. After this they came to Northhamp-
ton, now Lehigh county, and settled on a tract of 100 acres
of land one mile south of Allentown, which afterwards he pur-
chased and is still in the hands of his descendants. The tract
of land was warranted to Joseph Zimmerman, June 21, 1734,
and the title was still in him Dec. 20, 1753, when in considera-
tion of 18 pounds he conveyed to Henry Keck, who receiv-
ed on payment of fifteen pounds and ten shillings, a patent for
the land, with the seal of King George attached and the signa-
ture of James Hamilton, as governor of the province, dated
March 19, 1754, The patent is now in the hands of Charles
Keck, of the Allentown National bank. When Henry Keck
came to this place about 1740, there was a clearing, a log house
a log barn and an apple orchard. About ten years after the
purchase he built a two story stone house, which stood until
1 8 18, when it was torn down and rebuilt by his grandson, Sol-
omon Keck, who built a stone house on the site of the old one,
and it is still standing.
When Henry Keck came here, and for several years after,
all his grist was taken to Sandy Run, Montgomery county,
Pa. The children of Henry Keck and wife (Peterson) were
Frederick, Henry, John, Eli, George and Andrew and a daugh-
ter, who married a Mr. Berger and moved West and are lost
trace of. Frederick and Eli went to South Carolina after the
Revolutionary war and are lost sight of. George also left
4 HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY.
after the close of the war about 1 789. Henry married and set-
tled in Salisbury township, on the Little Lehigh, where his
descendants still live. He died in 1828. John married a
daughter of Nicholas Uberath of Salisbury township, and
moved on the old homestead. He died young and left three
children who came to Allentown, where his descendants still live
Andrew after John's death, purchased the homestead and mar-
ried Barbara Blank, and settled there and remained until his
death in May, 1828, (he was born in 1772,) at the age of
76 years, leaving George, Solomon, Andrew, John, Jacob,
David and Charles and two daughters, Maria, wife of Solomon
Knauss, and Elizabeth, wife of Wm. Horlacker. With the ex-
ception of Andrew who went to Indiana about 1840, they all
settled in Salisbury township and Allentown. Frederick,
Andrew and George, sons of Henry Keck, 1st, were in the
Revolutionary war in the battles of Germantown and Brandy-
In the war of 18 12, George, son of Andrew, was second
lieutenant in Peter Reich's cavalry company. John and David
were in Abram Rinker's company.
We have in our possession the services of Henry Keck in
the Revolutionary war, which we obtained from the librarian
at Harrisburg, Pa., as follows:
Office of State Historian, Harrisburg, Pa.
To Whom it May Concern: X"
I hereby certify to the services of Henry Keck in the war
of the Revolution as follows : Henry Keck was a private
soldier; enlisted February 26, 1777, in Captain YostDries-
back's company from Northampton county. Pa. First com-
pany of Baron de Ottendorff s corps. See Pennsylvania Ar-
chives, second series. Vol. XI, page 94.
Andrew Keck, son of Andrew Keck, married Rebecca
Rothrack in Pennsylvania in 1808, and lived near Allentown
until 1840. To them were born ten children, Barbara, George,
Elizabeth, Asenath, Mary, Joseph, Jonas, Rebecca and Jacob,
All the children came West. George settled in Fairport, Iowa.
Jonas in Tamera, 111., the rest of the family have their home in
Indiana. Joseph started West on coming of age, stopping in
Ohio, and two years in Indianapolis, Ind., where he learned
the cabinet maker's trade and in 1842 came to Washington,
Iowa, where he married Elizabeth Jackson in 1844. They
have a family of five children namely, Irving, Mary, Viola,
HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY. 5
Luella and Charles, all of whom are married. The father died
July 16, 1 90 1, in Washington, Iowa. He was married three
times; by his last marriage he had one daughter, Kathryn.
He had been in the banking business many years ; his son Char-
les is cashier in the bank, and resides in Washington, Iowa;
Irving in Florida; Mary Simmons in St. Louis, Mo.; Viola
Keck Phelps' in Salt Lake, Utah ; Luella Keck Crandall in Dav-
enport, Iowa. Mr. Keck was a shrewd business man and ac-
quired a good deal of this world's goods; was charitable.
The cause of his death was appoplexy. For three years he
had softening of the brain and was unfit for business.
The big Lehigh springs where Henry Keck settled is now
called Crystal Springs and it supplies the city of Allentown,
witih 35,000 population. The city is divided by the Lehigh
river. But the main part lies on the west side. The city is
largely German. While there we met W. G. Keck, a nephew
of David Keck, whose descendants held a reunion in Illinois a
few years ago. He told me that they were descendants of
Henrv Keck. We were also informed that all the Kecks that
went out from Allentown were descendants from the family as
there had been no new importations to that place, so we can
determine if we meet a Keck from there that he belongs to the
Keck family. We now have written up about all we know of
the branches of the first family with the exception of our great
grandfather.,; George Keck, which we will now take up and his
George Keck, son of Henry Keck, 1st, was born in North-
ampton county, Pa., about 1748, and in 1769 was married to
Catharine Helen Shaub in th same county and lived there some
twenty years. To them were born twelve sons and one daugh-
ter, ten of whom grew to manhood and womanhood as fol-
lows : Henry, born Jan. 17,1770; Peter, born Dec. 10, 1771 ;
Catherine, born April 12, 1774; Joseph, born Sept. 10, 1775;
Abraham, born May 26, 1780; George, born March 10, 1783;
Daniel, born May 10, 1785; Isaac, born Jan. 9, 1789; Philip,
born 1773; Christian, born 1782, died of smallpox in 1794.
It was his intention to leave Allentown after his marriage
and go to Westmoreland county, Pa., then called the back-
woods, and had made preparations to go, but was detained
from going as the Revolutionary war was then threatening to
break out and there would have been no safety from the In-
6 HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY.
dians. He volunteered his services to the army of Washing-
ton and was in the battles of Germantown and Brandywine.
At the close of the war about 1789, he removed with his family
to Hempfield township, Westmoreland county, Pa., then al-
most a wilderness, with but a few settlers, where he com-
menced his farm in the woods, and upon which he raised his
numerous familv, and continued to live there until his death
which occurred in 1816. His wife died some five or six years
previous. He was a large man. six feet in height, while his
wife was very small and could stand under his arms. Before
leaving Allentown he bought a farm on the site of a battle-
ground and in tearing down the cabin, to rebuild a new one,
they found under the hearthstone a two gallon jar filled with
gold and silver which they took with them to their new home.
The ground around the place was strewn with accoutrements
of war such as canteens, powder horns, etc. The children were
all born near Allentown before they came West, and all came
with the parents. Isaac may have been born in Westmoreland
county, as that was the year fixed for their removal West.
The Keck homestead contained 150 acres and was six miles
north of Greensburg, the county seat. When the writer first
knew it there was a two story hewed log house, rather a double
log house suitable for two families, a two story log spring
house, a log barn, also a horse stable and a still house on an-
other part of the farm and was operated as late as 1840.
There was also a large apple orchard and an abundance of
pears and cherries.
The Lehigh County Pioneer History gives no account of
George and Eli, but makes a blank of them and also a blank in
the Revolutionary services. As George Keck had left the
county about 100 years before the history was written, there
was none to tell where he settled, or that he ever existed.
We will now proceed to take up the children of George
Keck and Catharine H. Shaub in the order they were born.
Henry Keck the eldest son was born near Allentown, Pa.,
3 January 17, 1770, and died February 1, 18 13 on the home-
stead. He married Catharine Gottleab in Westmoreland
county. Pa., in 1798. She was born in 1784, and died Dec.
12, 1863. She was but 14 years of age when she married. To
them were born five sons and two daughters, namely : Esther
Keck, born Jan. 31, 1799, died February 16, 1859; John, born
May 4, 1801, died July 31, 1880; Henry, born April 14, 1804,
HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY. 7
died June 10, 1863; Samuel, born August 12, 1806, died Dec.
19, 1 88 1 ; Peter, born Sept. 10, 1808, died July 1, 1832 ; George
born June 9, 1810, died Dec. 14, 1864; Elizabeth, born Nov.
15. 1812, died Feb. 4, 1833.
The children were all born in Hempfield township.
Henry Keck, after marriage, settled on the homestead and
afterwards became the owner of the farm, and his parents also
lived there till death. His father outlived his son Henry some
three years. Henry was taken from his family in the prime
of life, and was interred in the Brush Creek Cemetery. A few
years after his death she was married to Frederick Shaffer, a
widower with seven children, living one-half mile east of
Greensburg. After her marriage, the children that were old
enough, were put out to learn trades, and some were taken by
the brothers, as it was not thought prudent to put the two famil-
ies together. F. Shaffer owned a good farm, but the buildings
were old. John was put in Mr. Carr's store in Greensburg;
George learned tihe tanner's trade with Samuel Kuhns, in
Greensburg; Peter the hatter's trade and Henry the tailor's
trade with Peter Rummel. Elizabeth was taken into the home
of her uncle, George Keck, while Henry found a home with
his uncle Isaac Keck until old enough to learn a trade, while
Esther married Samuel Allshouse a few years after her father's
death. Of the early life of Catherine Gottleab Keck very little
is known, as she never cared to talk about it. She had a sister
and a brother. She had three children by Shaffer, Sallie, Wil-
liam and Catherine, when she separated from him on account of
his drink habit. She returned to the Keck homestead, taking
her children with her. She lived there until her daughter
Catherine was married to John Fry, when she went with them
to Harrison City, a short distance away, and when they moved
to Ohio in 1856, she accompanied them there. She made her
home with them until her death. She died at her stepson's,
Jacob Shaffer, while there on a visit and is interred in Green-
wood cemetery. She was industrious, frugal and a good
woman. We always enjoyed a visit with her as she was so
kind and attentive. She was of German descent. Her child-
ren all did well and were an honor to her.
Peter Keck, second son of George Keck and his wife Cath-
erine, was born in Northampton county, Pa., Dec. 10, 1771,
and was married to Christina Smith in Westmoreland county.
He came with his family to Westmoreland about 1789, and re-
8 HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY.
moved to Mercer county, Pa., in 1797, and setlled on a farm
on the outskirts of Greenville, now known as the Benninghoff
farm, on which is located the rolling mills. They had a family
of eight children, four sons and four daughters, namely, Benja-
min, Amos, David, Joseph, Catherine, Hannah, Mary Ann and
Eliza. The boys never married. Benjamin went to Missouri
and died there ; David lives in Illinois ; Eliza married Peter
Seiple and Mary Ann married Vincent Draper, and lives near
Greenville. They have no children. All are dead but David,
Eliza and Mary. Peter Keck reached the age of 76 and died
April 5, 1843, a t his home near Greenville. His wife was
born in 1776, and died May 22, 1872. Their son Joseph died
Dec. 22, 1 85 1, at the age of 33. Amos died Oct. 1, 1869, was
born in 1833.
Philip Keck, third son of George and Catherine Keck,
was born May, 1773, in Northampton county. Pa., and in 1780.
with his parents, removed to Westmoreland county, Pa. where
he married Ann Catherine Klingensmith, Oct. 31, 1797, and
settled on a farm near Gree,nsburg,*Pa., where he continued to
live until his death which occurred May 2y, 1808. She was
born in Westmoreland county in 1776, and died in Clarion
county, Pa., in 1854. Unto them were born six sons and a
daughter, towit : Elizabeth, Joseph, Philip, Solomon, George.
David and Conrad. Mrs. Keck when a child was in the
blockhouse fort in Hannastown, three miles from Greensburg,
during the destruction of the town by fire by the Indians. July
13, 1782, often rehearsing the terrible times to her children and
grandchildren. It was the county seat at the time and was
afterwards moved to Greensburg. After the death of her hus-
band she continued to live on the homestead and care for her
children. In 1818 she moved to Clarion county, Pa., with her
three youngest children, George, David and Conrad, first
camping in the woods until she could procure a better home.
She could make a hand at reaping, weaving, etc. This was the
beginning of the Keck tribe in Clarion county, who endured
many privations and hardships, and she showed a strong
Christian spirit in keeping her children together and having
them all brought up in the Lutheran church at an early age.
She died at the home of her son Conrad at the age of 78 years
and is interred in the Shannondale cemetery. The eldest child.
Elizabeth, remained in Westmoreland county and was mar-
ried to Peter Wanamaker, and had four sons and a daughter.
HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY. 9
namely, Solomon, Lewis, Jeremiah, Elias and Flora. Joseph
Keck, the eldest son of Philip Keck, married in Westmoreland
and had two sons, William and Solomon. He went to Clarion
county about 1822. His wife died and he married Rachel
Vandeer. Philip Keck, Jr., married and had six sons and six
daughters. He lived on a farm near Shannondale. The fol-
lowing are the names of the children : Mary, Caroline, Luan-
da, Catherine, Agnes, Royal, Lewis, Henry, Peter, George,
Uriah and Gideon. Mary married David Klingensmith, lived
on a farm four miles north of Greensburg. Solomon Keck,
fhird son of Philip Keck, died in Westmoreland county at the
age of 17 years.
George Keck, son of Philip, born Sept. 9, 1804, married
Susanna Yeany, had two sons and three daughters, and lived
on a farm two miles east of Shannondale. David Keck, fifth
son of Philip Keck, born June 9, 1806, married Salome Minin,
had one son and two daughters, Israel, Esther and Elizabeth.
He lived on the farm until 1855, s °ld out and moved neai
Brookville. He died Feb. 22, 1881, and was interred near his
mother. Conrad Keck, the youngest son of Philip Keck, was
born Oct. 15, 1807, was married to Magdalena Mohney, Sept.
4, 1835. T° them were born nine children, namely: Cather-
ine, Rachel, Solomon, Abraham, Benjamin, Jacob, Lydia,
Philip and Maria. They were all born on the farm one mile
east of Shannondale, Pa. Catherine Keck married Solomon
Stahlman and had five children as follows : Conrad, Aaron,
Benjamin, Joseph and Ida. Rachel Keck, second daughter,
married Isaac Shaffer and had two sons and a daughter, Sol-
omon, Abraham, Philip and Lydia; all died young. Benjamin
Keck, son of Conrad Keck, lives on the old homestead ot his
father, is married and has four children as follows: Fllen,
Emma, Reed B., and Frank. Marie Keck, youngest daughter
of Conrad Keck, was born in 1851 and married John H. Yeany
and have eight children, six sons and two daughters ; live one
mile north of Shanondale.
I. J. Keck, the youngest living son of Conrad Keck and
Magdalena Mohney Keck, the writer of the Clarion county
Keck tribe, to whom we are indebted for the writeup of the
family of Philip Keck. It was the last missing link of the
family of George Keck. I. Jacob Keck, was born in Clarion
county. Pa., Oct. 12, 1842, graduated at Iron City Commercial
College in 1870, served in the 57th Pa. Regt. during the war
io HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY
of the rebellion. In 1874 he was married to Sadie M. Shannon
a daughter of C. S. Shannon, the founder of Shannondale, Pa.
They have one son living, Harry S. Keck, who graduated at
Clarion State Normal at the aee of 16, taught three years in
the public schools in Clarion, Pa., and one year as principal of
the Salem schools, was employed in the Second National Bank
of Clarion, when he was unanimously elected cashier and put
in charge of the Gold Standard Bank of Marionville, Pa.
I. J. Keck is now living in Clarion, Pa., serving his sixth
year as commissioner's clerk of Clarion county. Was elected
county surveyor and served two terms, was taken up in the
Democratic convention last June again for county surveyor and
elected by 600 majority, but refused to qualify or serve. With
this we close the history of Philip Keck, one of the twelve sons
of George Keck and Catherine H. Shaub Keck.
Catherine Keck, only daughter of George Keck and Cath-
erine H. Shaub Keck, was born in Northampton county. Pa.,
in 1774. and came west with her parents in 1789 to Westmore-
land county and was married to Mr. Dunmire in 1794. They
only kept house four weeks when he took the smallpox and
died. After his death thev buried the bedding on whicn lie
lay to cleanse them of smallpox and then took them home to her
fathers and Christian, her twelve year old brother took the dis-
ease from sleeping on the bedding and died. She was mar-
ried to Frederick Everhart in 1799, in Westmorelan 1 county,
and then moved to Mercer county, Pa., in 1800, and settled on
a farm a few miles from Greenville. She was the mother of
nine children by Everhart as follows: Polly, born in 1800,
married Joseph Hoomer; Catherine, born 1802. married Peter
Harnet, died Feb. 24, 1878; Paul, born 1804, married Hannah
Hoomer; Priscilla, born 1806, married Joseph Koonce of
Clarksville. Pa. ; George, born 1808, married Rebecca Rice,
died in Girard, Ohio; Abram, born 1810, married Susan Hay-
wood in Middlesex, Pa. ; Betsy, born 18 13, married Hugh Mc-
Kay, lives in Evansburg, Pa.; Phoeba, born 1816, married
Mathew Collins, lives in Espyville, Pa. ; Maria, born 1823, died
aged four years.
Catherine Keck Everhart was a hard working woman and
she required the children to be busy about the work, as she
thought that wa»s the all important thing in life, and if the
children wanted any favors they would go to the father for
them as he was kind and indulgent to them. As they were in
HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY. n
moderate circumstances they were obliged to work out, both
boys and girls. Mrs. Everhart had the care of Henry Keck,
son of Henry Keck and Elizabeith Klingensmith, until he was
three years of age, after which he was taken by his father to
Westmoreland county. Pa. Mr. Everhart soon after going to
Mercer county, operated the first pottery in Mercer county on
his farm near Greenville, which he continued many years.
Afterwards his son Paul carried on the business. Fred Ever-
hart was in the war of 1812, from Mercer county, was drrftecl
and served six months in the Mercer Blues as fifer of the
company. They went to Erie to resist the invasion from the
north and during his service he (had his fingers frozen so iliat
they were stiff all his life. He also had his feet frozen, as-dul
many others. Later on he had his arm crushed in a rock qaarry
while at work so that it had to be amputated. They both lived
to a good old age and died at the home of their daughter, Betsy
McKay, at Ewansburg. He died April 15, 1856; she died
April 12, r862. While east last summer we had the pleasure
of visiting Mrs. McKay and also Mrs. Koonce who is in her
96th year and is bedridden since last spring with paralysis, but
her mind was active. We received much of the family history
Priscilla Everhart. daughter ot Fred and Catherine Keck
Everhart was born near Greenville, Pa., April 2, 1806, was
married to Joseph Koonce in Mercer county, Pa., in 1824. To
them were born 12 children as follows: Samuel Koonce,
born April 4, 1825, died Oct., 1830; Catherine, born Aug. 29.
1826, still living; Jacob, born May 20, 1828, dead; Elizabeth,
born June 30, 1831, living; Lydia, born Oct. 12, 1832. died in
1834; Nancy A., born June 17, 1834, living; Phoeba, born
June 18, 1836, died Dec, 1883. Abraham, born April 12, 1838.
living; Sarah, born March 27, 1841, died Oct. 15, 1855; Em-
ma J., born Aug. 29, 1843, married R. Hewitt ; Henry M., born
Dec. 11, 1845, living; Joseph M., born Feb. 20, 1847.
Mrs. Koonce has always lived in Mercer county until 1893
when she went to live with her daugfhter, Mrs. Emma Hewitt
at Orangeville, Ohio, and is in her 96th year. Emma J. Koonce
married R. D. Hewitt July 28, 1861. To them were born two
children, Elmer and Ellsworth. Elmer A. married Maggie
Ferguson Dec. 27, 1883. Two children were born to them.
Joseph Keck, son of George Keck and Catherine H.
Shaub, was born in Northampton county. Pa., Sept. 10, 1775.
12 HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY,
and came to Westmoreland county about 1789 and was mar-
ried to Catherine Klingensmith in Westmoreland county in the
fall of 1796. He with other land prospectors went to Mercer
county and took a claim and put up a log house, then returned
and was married, and in 1 797 moved out and took possession of
his new log house. The railroad junction, Shenango, is now
on the farm on which he first settled. His brothers, Peter and
Abraham, lived an adjoining farms, and lay on the west slope
of the Shenango valley and was heavily timbered. The coun-
ty was still wild with plenty of game and fish. It was 100
miles travel through the woods from Greensburg, most of the
way without roads to speak of. Unto them were born ten
children, eight sons and two daughters, namely : David, Eliza-
beth, Jacob, William, Esther, Joseph, George, John, Abraham,
and Henry, the youngest of the family and from whom the
facts relative to the family were obtained and who is the last
living member of the family and lives in Greenville. We had
the pleasure of visiting with him and his wife the past summer.
He is a genial good fellow. Joseph Keck was besides farming,
actively engaged in business matters of the early upbuilding
of that section of the country. He owned and operated a
flouring mill where is now standing the three story brick mill
of Mathers & Co., he also owned and laid out in town lots the
most valuable part of Greenville known as Keek's addition
Lot No. 1 is now occupied by L. L. Keck & Son where they
have a large store room filled with choice goods and employ
several clerks. L. L. Keck is a grandson of Joseph Keck.
The sons of Joseph were all inclined to seek their fortunes in
commercial pursuits. He donated the lots on which are locat-
ed the Presbyterian and Methodist churches and was held in
high esteem by all who knew him. He died at the home of his
son Henry at the age of 79 years. He died May 26, 1854.
His wife died June 17, 1847. We were entertained at the
home of L. L. Keck and wife for a couple of weeks and we en-
joyed our stay with them so much. They have a lovely home
and entertain royally.
Abraham Keck, son of George Keck and Catherine H.
Shaub, was born in Northampton county, Pa., May 26, 1780,
and died in Mercer county, June 18, 1854. Was married to
Matalena Klingensmith June 20, 1804, in Mercer county, Pa.,
and settled on a farm adjoining his brother Peter on the south.
They had a family of 17 children, of which eight daughters and
HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY. 13
three sons grew to manhood and womanhood as follows :
George married Miss Roberts ; Elias married Miss Brumstet-
ter; David married Miss Elean Miller; Elizabeth married Sol-
omon Bortz; Louisa married Rev. Sizer; Susan married Mr.
Everhart of Greensburg; Rebecca married Mr. Free; Rachel
married James Law; Emeline married Mr. Bortz, Euty mar-
ried Mr. L. Shuble and Catherine married Mr. McCoy.
The children are so widely scattered we cannot follow
them. Matalena Klingensmith, daughter of Daniel Klingen-
smith, was born August 19, 1788, and came with her parents
to Mercer county in 1797. The family were pioneers and came
from Westmoreland. He had three sons and three
daughters, towit : Peter, John and Daniel Jr. Mary was
married to Jacob Loutzenriser ; Catherine to Joseph Keck.
John was the father of Elizabeth Klingensmitn, the mother of
George Keck, son of George Keck and Catherine H. Shaub
was born in Northampton county, Pa., March 10, 1783 and
died in Westmoreland in 186 1. He came west with his par-
ents in 1789 ; he was married to Catherine Sarah Snell April 16,
1 8 12, and owned and lived on a farm near his fathers. They
had no children but they took the youngest child, Elizabeth,. of
his brother Henry's, after his death and she made her home
with them until she was married to Peter Rummel. After her
death they took her son Henry Rummel to raise. His mother
died while he was a babe. We said that they had no children,
but he had a son George : through a liason before his marriage
to his wife. His son was married to Miss Hugus, and raised a
large family. They kept hotel in Salem for many years. We
always enjoyed a visit with Uncle George and Aunt Sally, as
we called her. Her mother was a Rummel, and accounts for
the care bestowed upon the mother and child of the Ruiiunels.
Mrs. Keck was born July 23, 1794, and died at the home of her
adopted son, Henry Rummel, Feb. 9, 1888. They were a fine
old couple, she was so kind and sweet in all her ways. Peace
to their ashes.
Daniel Keck, son of George Keck and Catherine H.
Shaub. was born near Allentown, Pa., May 10, 1785. His
baptism certificate is held by Mrs. Daily, his daughter. He
came to Westmoreland when a boy with his parents, and when
he grew up he was married to Rebecca Haun and settled en a
farm near Greenville, Pa., on Big Run. He and his brother
14 HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY,
Jacob came together to Mercer county some years after the
other brothers, as they were still in their teens when the others
caame. Unto them were born eight children, five sons and
three daughters, to-wit : Sarah, George, Samuel, Lambert,
Leah, Ann, Levi, Ephraim and Lydia. Samuel and Lambert
died in early manhood. Ephriam was a soldier in the war of
the rebellion and lost his life there. Sarah was born June 27,
1 8 19, and married Martin Daily who died in Nebraska; was
captain in the civil war. George married Jane Law, had one
son Sylvester, postoffice, Leache Corner, Pa. Sylvester's ad-
dress is Greenville, Pa. Levi Keck, born 1832, in Mercer
county, Pa., lives in Maquoketa, Iowa, is a lawyer and married
Amelia Mann, Feb. 6, 1867. To them were born Frank H. ;
he was born August 1, 1870; Lenetta, born April 14. 1876;
Walter L., born Jan. 13, 1882. Frank H.- Keck married Myrtie
Nickerson, June, 1895; lives in Maquoketa, Iowa; Allie Keck
died in infancy ; Levi Keck is a full cousin to my father, Henry
Keck. Lydia Keck married Henry M. Donaldson. To them
were born two sons, Daniel and Harry. To Sarah Daily were
born two sons and two daughters, towit : Fletcher died in in-
fancy ; Theresa and Cloe. Theresa married Albert McEldow-
ney, now dead, no children living; Leah Ann Keck, daughter
of Daniel Keck, not married makes her home with her sister,
Mrs. Daily. Daniel Keck, the father, son of GeOrre Keck,
died near Greenville on his farm Jan. 26, 1873. We visited
Mrs. Daily and family the past summer and got a good deal of
information from her of the Keck family. We also visited
with Levi Keck at Moquoketa, Iowa. He is the only one of
the Mercer county Kecks that we know of in Iowa.
Jacob Keck, son of George Keck and Catherine H. Shaub.
was born in what is now Lehigh county, Pa., April 5, 1787,
and died on his farm near Greenville, Pa., March 25, 1830.
Was brought by his parents to Westmoreland county, Pa., in
1789, where he grew to manhood, when he and his brother
Daniel went to Mercer county a few years after his brother
went there and where he married Elizabeth Loutzenhiser and
settled on a farm near his brother and sister, near Greenville.
To them were born three sons and four daughters, namely :
Elizabeth, Mary, Daniel, Isaac, Jacob, Anna and Esther.
Anna married Henry Hum ; Esther married Stephen Drake ;
Elizabeth married Ross McLean; Mary married Mr. Powell,
postoffice Mt. Corry, Ohio ; Daniel married Maria Rice ; Isaac
HISTORY OP THE KECK FAMILY. 15
married Evilen Spier; Jacob married and went to California
and died there but left no children. Elizabeth McLean had a
number of children among whom was Prof. A. C. McLean of
Pittsburg. Pa. Daniel Keck had two sons and three girls as
follows : Isaac D. Keck, Frank, Sarah, Esther and Julia.
Isaac D. married a daughter of Jacob Loutzenhouser, postoffice
Grove City, Pa. ; Sarah married Davis C. Fuller ; he was a sol-
dier in the civil war ; left no children ; Frank Keck married a
daughter of Charles Fry of Greenville; Esther married Alvin
Foulk, now deadi had one daughter ; Julia married Thomas
Jaxtheimer, one son and daughter.
Isaac Keck, youngest son of George Keck and Catherine
H. Shaub, was born Jan. 9, 1789, about the time his parents
moved to Westmoreland county, and died April 30, 1869; was
married to Pheoba Smith in 181 3. She was born March 1,
1795, and died June 15, 1862. To them were born twelve
children as follows : Joseph, Isaac, George, Peter, Samuel,
Israel, Elizabeth. Catherine, Mary Ann, Caroline, Leah, and
Sarah. The children all remained in the county except Sam-
uel and Leah. Samuel, after his marriage, moved to Green-
ville, Pa., and remained there a few years and returned to
Westmoreland, and there died a few years ago, 1899. Leah
married A. Berlin and now lives in Kansas City, Kansas, at
116 Virginia avenue. The parents owned and lived on his
farm five miles north of Greenburg, until their death.. We
had th*e pleasure of visiting" them frequently in their home,
while we lived in Greenburg. He was of a social nature and
was quite a conjuror, having the gift of stopping the flow of
blood in man or beast and people would go for miles to him for
relief. He was a short, heavy-set man, and as straight as an
arrow. He was a soldier in the war of 18 12, enlisting Sept.
16, 18 1 2, for one year in the Greensburg volunteers, John B.
Alexander as captain, Chris. Drum, 1st lieutenant, Richard
Hardin 1st sergeant and 45 others.
They were under Gen. Harrison and suffered untold hard-
ships during the winter campaign for the relief of Fort Miegs.
Some of the men had their hands and feet so badly frozen that
they were crippled for life. Isaac Keck lived near his father's
farm and had the care of my father when a boy until old enough
to go and learn a trade. Mary Ann married Wanamaker and
died July 4, 1899, i n Greensburg; Caroline was married to
Mr. Kepple. This is all we know of the family as we have lost
16 HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY.
track of most of them and this ends the history of George Keck
and Catherine H. Shaub Keck and their children.
We will now take up the children of Henry Keck the Sec-
ond (my grandfather).
Esther Keck, the eldest of the family, was born in West-
moreland county, Pa., Jan. 31, 1799, and died Feb. 16, 1859.
She was married to Samuel Allshous in Pennsylvania in 181 5.
He was born March 30, 1787, and died Oct. 4, 1867. Unto
them were born thirteen children, as follows: Henry, born
Jan. 27, 1 8 16; Francis, born Oct, 16, 181 7; Catherine, born
Nov. 2, 1819; Betsy, born Nov. 5, 1821 ; Mary Ann, born De<\
26, 1823; Esther, born Dec. 22, 1825; Reuben, born Nov. 2j ,
1827; Susan, born April 10, 1830; David, born March 18,
1832; Sarah, born Feb. 11. 1834; Elias, born March 25, 1836;
Samuel, born Jan. 26, 1838; Amos, born Sept. 27, 1840. The
last named died a prisoner of war.
Betsy married Samuel Allwine, lives in the city of Greens-
burg and is quite wealthy ; Sarah married J. W. Maxwell, lives
in Port Byron, 111.; Esther married Mr. Miller; Reuben lives
in New Derry, Pa. ; David lives in Greensburg, Pa. ; Samuel
lives in Perry, Iowa.
Samuel Allshouse lived on his farm two miles west of
Greensburg at what is now known as Rodabaugh's Station.
He was a carpenter and worked at his trade and was a rather
quiet man. They kept up the German in their family longer
than any of the rest.
'1 ne oldest son, Henry, started with his his uncle, Henry
Keck, from Pennsylvania for Iowa in March, 1846, and disap-
peared in the night at Louisville, Ky., when the boat landed to
discharge freight and pasengers, and we suppose that he was
drowned as that was the last seen of him. His baggage was
on the boat and he left everything he had. His brother Sam-
uel, who was a soldier in the civil war, says that he heard of a
man in the Confederate army who answered his description,
and thinks it was he. He had some trouble before he left home
and told them they would see him no more.
John Keck, the eldest son of Henry Keck the second, was
born in Westmoreland county, Pa., May 4, 1801, and died in
Kentland, Indiana, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Eliza
Urmston, July 31, 1880. His remains were brought to Green-
wood cemetery, Hamilton, Ohio, and interred. He was twelve
years old when his father died, and was put in Mr. Carr's store
HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY. 17
ill Greens burg", where he remained until he was 22 years of age.
He was married to Mary Ann Wiley, June 20, 1822. They
went to housekeeping in Greensburg and in October, 1822,
moved to Mercer county. Pa. One of his uncles in Mercer
county sent a man with a team to move him out there. His
brothers Samuel and Henry went out with him. Henry had a
team and Samuel drove the team that was sent to them and lis-
missed the driver. Henry with his team raised a crop of flax
which they made into cloth. Mrs. Keck spun and wove it, and
Henry, being a tailor, cut and made it up into clothing. The
distance they had to move was 100 miles. They settled on the
west bank of the Shenango river on the opposite side from
Greenville, where they lived one year and then moved over to
Greenville. He there owned a store, a farm, a coal bank and
nice town property; was the first justice of the peace; then
elected Prothonotary. and then moved to Mercer, the county
seat, where he was instrumental in erecting a log church. He
was a great student and a self-made man. He studied mathe-
matics, and was elected county surveyor ; studied medicine and
got a diploma as an M. D. : he also studied law, was a geologist
and a fine German scholar. He was often called into the courts
to translate the German into English. He had so much writ-
ing to do that it produced enlargement of the bone on his right
arm and suffered so much from the effects that he had to resort
to opium to deaden the pain. About this time he became in-
volved in business and left everything to his creditors and
moved to Illinois, when, if he had stayed and seen the affairs
straightened out. he might have saved a good deal of his proper-
ty, but he let it all go. After leaving Greenville, he spent two
years in Illinois, and then moved to Rossville, Ohio, where he
kept the toll bridge between Rossville and Hamilton. He also
kept books for his brother, George Keck & Co., and other firms
until he became too old for business. Pie was bookkeeper for
Black & Co. for fifteen years, his infirmities then preventing
him from attending to business from that time until his death.
He was tenderly cared for by his daughter. Lida Urmston.
His golden wedding was celebrated on June 20. 1872, at Ham-
ilton, Ohio, at which time valuable presents were given, and
money, also, to the amount of $700. He was a kind father, a
business man whose integrity was never disputed, and a Christ-
ian whose piety was never questioned by the church or the
world. He had a familv of eight children, namely : Lucinda,
iS HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY.
Addison Wile)', Henry Milton, Ann Eliza, Catherine Mary,
Lucy Jane, Frances S-, and Albert Cassius.
Henry Milton Keck was at one time a traveling Methodist
minister in the Cincinnati conference. He lives at Hamilton,
Ohio, and teaches short-hand any typewriting; Lucinda, Addi-
son Wiley and Francis all died in infancy, were born and died
in Greenville, Pa. Henry Milton, born July 12, 1829, at
Greenville; Ann Eliza, born Oct. 3, 1833; Catherine, born at
Mercer, Pa., Dec. 26, 1833 ; Lucinda Jane, born March 4, 1837,
at Mercer, Pa. ; Albert Cassius, born Sept. 7, 1844, at Ropville,
Catherine M. Keck married E. L. Urmston, Sept 3, 185 1.
To them wiere born three children, namely: Mary G., born
March 31, 1853; John, born Feb. 18, 1858; Charles L., born
Jan. 16, i860. They were all born in Ark. Catherine, their
mother, died Sept. 4, 1873, at Kentland, Ind. Ann Eliza Wil-
son, nee Keck, married E. L. Urmston, Oct. 10, 1877; Henry
M. Keck married Harriet Dunham, April 5, 1866; had one
daughter, Liza Keck, born Jan. 5, 1873. Harriet, his wife,
died Nov. 13, 1878. He then married Bettia King, Sept. 25,
1879; one daughter, Lucy, born Sep'. 20. 1881. Lucinda J.
married S. W. Ludlow. Feb. 17, 187 1 ; three children were born
to them, Frank, born Jan. 13, i860; John L., born Sept. 22,
1 87 1 ; Carrie A., born Jan. 1 1, 1878 ; all born in Cincinnati, O.
Albert Cassius Keck married Mollie Farmer. Nov. 8, 1882, one
daughter, Mary Etta, born Oct. 22, 1884.
Henry Keck was the second son of Henry Keck the Second
and was born April 4th, 1804, in Hempfield township, West-
moreland county, Pa., six miles north of Greensburg and one
and one-half miles south of Harrison City. He was quite
voung when deprived of his father. His mother a few years
afterward married again, and the children were put out to dif-
ferent places. Henry was cared for by his uncle, Isaac Keck,
until he was old enough to learn a trade. He was then taken
by Peter Rummel to learn the tailor's trade. Afterwards Peter
Rummel married his sister, Elizabeth. After learning the tail-
oring trade , Peter Rummel and he took a trip west, taking up
several hundred acres of heavy timbered land near the present
site of St. Joe, Michigan. Some years afterward he sold out
his interest in the land to Rummel. When about eighteen
years of age he helped move his brother John from Greensburg
HISTORY OF THE KFXK FAMILY. ig
to Greenville, Mercer county, Pa., and while there formed an
alliance with Elizabeth Klingelsmith, and a son, Henry, was
born Dec. 4, 1823. We do not know how long he remained
there, but he farmed there one year. He took a team of horses
with him. He was afterwards married to Mary Ann Hardin,
Dec. 8, 1825, near Greensburg, Pa., and went to housekeeping
on the Keck homestead.
Mary Ann Hardin was the eldest daughter of Richard and
Margaret Shaffer Hardin, and was born near Greensburg, Sep.
27, 1809. Her father was an Englishman and a soldier in the
war of 18 1 2, was first sergeant and quartermaster in the
Greensburg Volunteers, enlisted on the 16th of Sept., 181 2, for
one year ; John B. Alexander, Capt. The grandfather of Mary
Hardin Keck was also named Richard Hardin, who was a sol-
dier in the Revolutionary war, enlisted in Maryland, and after
the war came with his family to Westmoreland county, Pa.
Henry Keck and wife, Mary Hardin Keck lived on the
Keck homestead six years and four children were born to them :
Anna Maria, Joseph A., Catherine Ann and George W., who
was three weeks old when they left and moved to Grapeville,
where they remained a year in the butchering trade. They then
removed to Greensburg where they remained one year in the
same business. Alonzo Boise and family lived in the same
house with them. They had been married but a short time
before. Catherine Shaffer went to school that year in Greens-
burg and lived with her brother Henry. In the spring of 1834
he removed to the Frederick Shaffer farm one-half mile east
of Greensburg wherfe he remained ten years in farming, team-
ing and doing some butchering, mostly for his neighbors.
His step-father, Fred Shaffer, lived with them a good part of
the ten years, but his drink habit grew on him so they could
endure him no longer. While he was in liquor he was abusive
and cross. He then went and lived with his daughter, Peggy
Sloan, in Greensburg where he died in 1846 and was interred in
the German cemetery in Greensburg. During the time he lived
on the Shaffer farm, he joined the Episcopal church in Greens-
burg. The children went to their Sunday school. About
1840 he attended a Methodist camp meeting near Greensburg.
where he was converted, he and his wife joining the M. E.
church. The members of the former church tried hard to keep
him within their fold, but could not prevail. There was not
enough religion to suit him. His wife was raised a Lutheran,
20 HISTORY OF 1 HE KECK FAMILY
but became converted while at home reading her Bible and
seeking for the blessing of justification. The two older sons
also joined the church at the same time. After spending ten
years on the farm they removed to Greensburg where they
formed a co-partnership with his brother-in-law, Simon Cort,
in a meat market which continued for two years. During the
summer of 1845 ne took a trip to Iowa. -and he I'l-ced Iowa <o
well that he sold out and in March. 1846. stalled for Iowa.
He loaded up his goods in wagons for Pittsburg and there took
the boat down the Ohio, thence up the Missis- : ppi to Keokuk.
They stopped a day at Cincinnati and visited his brother George
and half-brother. Wm. Shaffer. From Keokuk to Utica they
traveled in wagons. While traveling on the river some of the
family took down with the measles, and prevented him from
going as far as he intended, his destination being Oskaloosa
Iowa. He stopped one year in Utica and dur'.ng that time pur-
chased the farm where Henry Keck now resides; eighty acres
of prairie and eighty acres of timber land. He continued to
live there until 1856, when he sold out to his son Henry and
bought the county poor farm in Lee county, Iowa and moved
there in the spring of 1856. He stayed there until the fall of
1 861. when he sold out there and moved to Bentonsport into
a propertv which he purchased from his son-in-law, M. B.
Moore, and died there June 10, 1863. He had always been
a strong, robust man until he was taken down with bilious fever
and then a siege of fever and ague; this was the second year
in Iowa. A few years afterwards he took a severe cold which
developed into bronchitis. He was keeping public house at the
time and was up a good deal at night waiting on customers,
and was not able to do much afterwards. He was good com-
pany and loved to get off a joke. He was always a Democrat ;
was a Jackson man ; and during the war was a Douglas or war
Democrat, and was loyal to his country, which could not be
said of all. He had two sons in the civil war who were veter-
ans. John S. was promoted from private to 1st lieutenant, and
Peter to 2d lieutenant. They served until the close of the war.
He also had quite a number of nephews in the Union army
Thev had a family of fourteen children born to them,
namely: Anna M., Joseph A.. Catherine Ann. George W.,
Tohn S.. Peter R., Jane Mary, Sophia E., Lida B., Emma N.,
Simon C, Sarah E., Angenetta and Richard H. The first
born and the four last all died in infancy. The rest grew to
HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY. 21
manhood and womanhood and all married except George W.
Since then Emma S., John S., and Jane Mary have died; Jos-
eph lives near the original Keck homestead; Peter R., in Des
Moines. Iowa; George W., in Freieport, Cal.; Lida B., in San
Jose. Cal. ; Sophia E. in Donnellson, Iowa, and Henry lives on
the Keck homestead. Catherine Ann lives with her "daughter,
Lizzie, at Van Wick, Idaho; the family of John S. live at Flan-
dreu, S. D. ; Jane Mary's family went to Oakley, Kans., where
the children all married and scattered from their home, some
in Texas and Colorado, while some are still in Kansas.
Mary Ann Hardin Keck was a small woman, but what she
lacked in size she made up in energy. She was a hard worker,
industrious and frugal, was a good mother and lived to see all
her children settled around her. She was strictly religious,
and no one ever doubted her piety. She strove to bring up her
children in the fear of the Lord and was always at her post
when able to attend divine service, and was a worker in the
church and Sunday school. She continued to live in Bentons-
port after her husband's death. Emma was still at home.
After the close of the civil war John S. and Peter R. made their
home with her until they were married. After John S. mar-
ried she made her home with him, until released from her
weary body and the spirit took its flight to God who gave it.
She died in peace May 20, 1874, and was laid to rest beside her
husband in the Bentonsport cemetery, there to wait the resur-
We missed her for her Godly counsel and the inspiration
we received from her during her life, but her works still live.
Samuel Keck, the third son of Henry Keck the Second,
was born August 12, 1806. We have no knowledge that he
was put out to learn a trade, or where he spent his younger
days. After his father's death, the first account we have of
him is when he went with his brother John to Greenville, Mer-
cer county, at the age of sixteen, and do not know how long
he remained there. After his brother Henry married, he made
his home with him. Brother Henry remembers sleeping with
He was married to Ann Lenhart, Jan. 29, 1829. The
Lenhart farm joined the Keck farm on the north. She was
born Oct. 13, 1807 and went to housekeeping on the Keck
homestead where there were two dwelling houses. He and
his brother Henry, farmed the place for three years, when his
22 HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY
brother left and he continued to live there until April, 1855,
when he sold out and removed to Ohio, where he bought a
farm near Daartown some eight miles from Hamilton, Ohio.
He remained here until his death Dec. 19, 1881. His wife
died in Washington, D. C, in 1896, and the remains were taken
back to Daartown and laid to rest beside those of her husband.
There was a still house on the Keck farm and Samuel op-
erated it for a number of years. There was a large apple orch-
ard on the place together with pears and cherries in abundance.
He made whiskey, apple and peach brandy, and fed the slops
to cattle and hogs. He was a genial, jolly good fellow, of
even temperament, but during his later years he was a great
sufferer from rheumatism.
Unto them were born eight children as follows : Lebbeus,
Josiah, Ellen, Sarah C, Henry R., Maria, David W., and
•George. Josiah married Ellen Lamb and had eight children,
postoffice Daartown, Ohio; Ellen married W. Kendall, post-
office Washington, D. C. ; Henry R., killed in the civil war in
1864; Sarah married A. Taylor, died in 1882; David married
Mary Morton, clerk at Washington, D. C. ; Maria, single,
Washington, D. C.
After Samuel's death, the farm was sold and Mrs. Keck
and Maria went to live with Mrs. Kendall in Hamilton, Ohio,
and after Mr. Kendall's death in 1887, they went on a visit to
Washington, D. C, and while there Mrs. Keck died. Maria
and Ellen still live there. We visited with them quite fre-
quently while they lived in Pennsylvania, and twice in Ohio ;
the last time was in 1876.
Peter Keck, the fourth son of Henry Keck the Second,
was born in 1808. Of him we know but little; he died when
but 24 years old. He was the first of the family to go to Ohio.
He went to Hamilton and there married a daughter of Col.
Hale of Cincinnati, Ohio. It was while there on a visit to her
parents in 1832 that they both took the cholera and died with-
in two days of each other. Her mother also died of the cholera
within a few days and all were interred in Catherine St. ceme-
tery. We do not know in what business he was engaged or
when he went to Ohio. His brother John speaks of him as
well beloved brother. We have been told that after his death
his brother George went west and settled up his business. They
had no children.
George Keck, the youngest son of Henry Keck the Sec-
HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY. 23
ond, was born on the Keck homestead, June 9, 18 10. While
still quite young he was put out to learn the tanner's trade with
Samuel Kuhns in Greensburg. After learning the trade, he
went to Hamilton, Ohio, where he engaged in business under
the firm name of Keck & Shuey, and afterwards moved to
Cincinnati where he carried on a grocery store and pork pack-
ing establishment. Wm. Shaffer, his half- brother, was asso-
ciated with him in the business there, and they were very suc-
cessful, accumulating a good deal of wealth. He was a fine
business man and ranked high as a citizen. He was a mem-
ber of the Chamber of Commerce, of school boards, and was
president of various banks, and was a member of the legislature
of Ohio at the time of his death which occurred Dec. 14, 1864.
He was loyal to his country, and gave freely to support
the soldiers and their families. At one time when the city was
threatened by the Confederates, he furnished a large quantity of
boiled hams to feed the soldiers who were defending the city.
He was missed greatly after his untimely death. While on a
visit to friends in Pennsylvania, he prevailed on his mother to
let Sallie Shaffer accompany him home, where she died a few
vears afterwards. It nearly broke the mother's heart when
she received the news of her death. He was married to Ellen
Long of Cincinnati, Ohio, April 22, 1834. Unto them were
horn six children, namely : Cassius, Virginia, Sarah, Joseph,
George and Ellen. Sarah married Cal Thomas, dead; Josiah
married Samantha Bradley; George married Pauline Harri-
son ; Ellen married Van Voorheis, postoffice, Boston, Mass.
Ellen Long, wife of George Keck, was born Feb 27, 181 1,
and died Nov. 10, 1887, at the home of her son George, in
Cincinnati, Ohio. She was the mother of six children, two of
whom died in infancy, Cassius and Virginia. Josiah L., born
Jan. 26, 1835, at Rossville, Ohio; Sarah C, born July 28, 1837,
at Rossville, Ohio; George W., born Feb. 2, 1840, at Rossville,
Ohio; Ellen Francis, born May 24, 1849, at Cincinnati, Ohio.
All are dead except Johiah L. and Ellen Francis. Josiah Keck
had a family of five children, to-wit : Ella, Clara, George,
Briggs and Mary ; live at Kearny, Neb.
Elizabeth Keck, the youngest child of Henry Keck the
Second, was born Nov. 15, 1812, and died in Greensburg, Feb.
4, 1833. The year after she was born her father died and she
was taken into the home of her uncle, George Keck, where she
24 HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY.
remained until her marriage with Peter Rummel in 1830. Unto
them were born two children, Henry and Frances, the last
named dying at the age of five months. Peter Rummel ( fath-
er) was born May 10, 1794, and died at Salem, Pa., Nov. 11,
1869. She died two days after giving birth to Francis. Peter
Rummel married again and had one heir. He was a merchant
tailor, was always dressed very neatly, had a good trade and
laid up a good deal. He was rather quiet, but when aroused
he became quite animated. We visited ihim about a year be-
fore he died. His son, Henry Rummel, was born May 1, 1831,
/and died Nov. 17, 1899, at Nihil, Pa. He was married to
Mare Bush July 28, 1853. Unto them were born seven child-
ren, namely: Sarah C, George K., Susan E., Lida E., Henry
E., Anna M., and William John.
Sarah married M. Cline; George married Sarah King;
Lida married George Helman ; Susan married R. Lemon ; Hen-
ry E. married Carrie Hill.
Win. Shaffer, a half brother of the Kecks, was born on the
Shaffer homestead one-half mile east of Greensburg, Pa., May
7, 1 8 19, and died very suddenly Oct. 21, 1893 °f Briglht's dis-
ease at the home of his daughter, Ella S. Huntington, in Cin-
cinnati, while there on a visit. He lived on the Shaffer home-
stead until he was 1 1 years old and went with his mother and
two sisters, Sallie and Catherine, to the Keck homestead, where
he went to school at Harrison City, and after he was old enough
to learn a trade, his uncle John Sloan took him to learn the
blacksmith's trade. His uncle was then running a shop at the
Eicher stand, but soon afterwards moved to Greensburg and
built a shop and house and carried on the business there. We
remember Uncle William well when he was learning his trade,
as father was then living on the Shaffer homestead and John
Sloan was living on part of the farm. His father-in-law gave
him one acre of ground on which to build. William was our
first Santa Claus that I can remember. He was dressed up in
a cow hide with the horns on and a bell. He had nuts, apples,
candy, etc. We also remember of his being at the wedding
of Uncle and Aunt Sophia Cort and playing the game of odd
and even with him. He was a great lover of sport and always
enjoyed himself wherever he was. After learning his trade he
went to Ohio with his uncle John Shaffer and Aunt Sarver,
and stopped in Hamilton, Ohio, where he connected himself
with Keck & Shuey. He ran a canal boat, and was captain of
HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY. 25
the boat when he met with a loss of five hundred dollars on one
of his trips. It was stolen from him out of the boat and it
grieved him very much as he had but recently started in busi-
Afterwards they were in the grocery trade and pork
packing business in Cincinnati and were quite successful. He
was a member of the board of trade at Cincinnati and stood
high as a business man. He was married to Susan A. Lewis
July 31, 1845. at Hamilton, Ohio. She was born Nov. 11,
1824, in New Jersey, and died in Hamilton, Ohio, May 29,
1894. About the time his daughter Sallie died, in 1863, he
became converted and joined the Congregational church and
led a strictly religious life ; was an active member of the church,
very charitable and sociable, and made much of his kin folks.
At his death his family was bereft of a kind husband and father
and safe counsellor ; the busy marts of trade missed his smiling
face ; the church an active member ; and society a shining light.
They had a family of ten children as follows: Sarah C,
born August 9, 1846, died Oct. 2, 1863 ; Ella K., born Dec. 18,
1848; Nettie J., born Nov. 9. 1851 ; Lewis W., born born Nov.
9, 1854, died Feb. 7, 1898; Frank H., born March 31, 1857;
Fred David, born Nov. 20, 1859; Stanley, born Oct. 5, 1861 ;
Willa and Susan, twins, born Oct. 25, 1873, died in infancy;
Grace G., born Dec. 22, 1868. Ella K., married Chas. L.
Huntington, Oct 7, 1869, had three chlidren; Hyde died in
infancy; Ruth, born Oct. 18, 1873; Eleanor, born March 19,
1883. Lewis W. Shaffer married Sarah Smith, died Feb. 7,
1898 ; no children. Frank H. Shaffer married Alecia Bakewell
Sept. 25, 1883; born to them four children, to-wit : Lucy K.,
Anna B., Susan A., and Frank H. Grace G. Shaffer married
J. R. Belden April 19, 1897.
Catherine Shaffer, the youngest daughter of F. and Cath-
erine Kieck Shaffer, born near Greensburg, Pa., Oct. 4, 1823,
and went to the Keck homestead with her mother when she
sqjarated from Shaffer on account of his drink habit and cruel-
ty. She was married to John Fry Nov. 21,1843, m Pennsyl-
vania. After their marriage they .moved to Harrison City
where he worked at the carpenter's trade until 1856, when they
moved to Hamilton, Ohio, on a farm of her brother, Win.
Shaffer, and lived there several years when her brother bought
a farm near Reiley, O., and gave it to her while she lived. Her
husband was not in good health and was not successful in bus-
26 HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY,
iness, and died in 1899. She is the only living aunt left. They
had a family of ten children as follows: Mary married Wm.
Cone, postoffice Glendale, Ohio ; Sallie and Rusbie died in in-
fancy; Nettie, postoffice Decatur, 111.; Samuel, widower at
home of parents ; Jennie, postoffice Hamilton, 111. ; Manta,
single at home; George married Mary Riddle, Springdale, C,
and Gertrude, single at home. Catherine Shaffer has since
died — Feh. 6, 1901.
Joseph Keck was born Sept. 10. 1775. died May 26, 1854;
was married to Catherine Klingensmith in 1796, who died June
17, 1847. Unto them were born David, who died in infancy;
Elizabeth married Levi Moffit, July 29, 1824, died March 29,
1838; Jacob married Sarah Smith, died aged 35, no children;
William, born Feb. 29, 1808, died April 2j, 1871, married
Hannah A. Sheriff; Esther, born August, 1810, died April 18,
1889, married Hugh Bean Feb. 1, 1827 ; Joseph died at the age
of 17 years; George, born May 15, 1814, died July 11, 1873,
never married; John, born Sept. 5, 1816, died Sept. 7, 1885,
married T. Osmon Sept. 24, 1839; Abraham married Catherine
Caringer, diied, aged 80 years; Henry, born March 26, 1823,
married Sarah Hardy.
We will now take up the children of Joseph Keck and their
families. Elizabeth Keck Moffitt was the mother of the fol-
lowing children that grew up to manhood and womanhood :
Joseph, Julia, Elliott, John and Lucinda. John was successful
in making money, married and lived in Oakland and had no
children. Lucinda married Mr. Fairbanks, a banker, and lives
in Petulana, Cal. ; Julia married Mr. Graves, lived at Ottumwa,
Iowa ; Esther Keck married Hugh Bean ; she was born in
Greenville, Pa., August, 18 10. She was the mother of twelve
children ; ten of them grew up to manhood and womanhood, as
follows : Joseph, Malinda, Bettie, William, George, Edward,
John, Annie, Richard and Emma; Charles and Gilmore died
in infancy. Mrs. Bean was noted for her great kindness of
heart. They kept hotel the most of their lives at different
places, and were very successful. She was a member of the
Lutheran church for many years. They both died at Wells-
ville, Ohio. He died in 1874, while she died April 18, 1889.
Joseph, the oldest child, died in early manhood. Linda Bean
married Henry McKinnie, who died in Sewickley, Pa., Oct, 1,
1899. They also were in the hotel business and amassed
quite a fortune. In his will he left everything to his wife who
HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY. 27
keeps the Hotel Anderson in Pittsburg, Pa., and is assisted by
her oldest son, Frank Bean. They had four children, namely :
Frank, Esther, William and George, who died in early man-
hood. Frank Bean married Addie Off of Fort Wayne, Ind.,
Nov. 17, 1880. They have two sons, Henry and Hugh and a
daughter Esther, who died at the age of 12 years.
Esther, daughter of Henry and Linda McKinnie, mar-
ried Dr. Frank Bingaman of Pittsburg, Nov. 17, 1880. She
lived but a few years after marriage. Her life went out with
their little child, but a few days old.
William McKinnie, son of Linda, married in Fort Wayne,
Ind., and has four children. He is also in the hotel business.
Bettie Bean, daughter of Hugh and Esther Keck Bean, was
married to John Thomas. She died early in life leaving one son,
Hugh Thomas, who married Lucia Robinson of Cleveland.
Ohio, April 2, 1891 ; they have two children. William Bean
never married; has charge of the eating house in Wellsville,
Hugh Bean married Belle Fraser of Wellsville, Ohio ; no
children. He served in the civil war and was wounded in bat-
tle. They are now living in Ouickley. He also was keeping
hotel in Chicago. Eddie Bean never married. At the time
of his death, a few years since, he was in co-partnership with
Mr. McKinnie in the Hotel Anderson in Pittsburg. He left
his fortune to his brother and sister, William and Emma. Jno.
Bean married Mary Hardman of Wellsville. They had one
son, Eddie, ; the mother died young. Anna Bean married
John B. McKim. They have three children, Romaine, Walter
Richard Bean married Fannie Whittakeir of Wellsville.
They had two children who died in infancy. He is now as-
sisting Frank McKinnie at the Hotel Anderson in Pittsburg.
Emma Bean, the youngest of the family, is unmarried. She
makes her home with her sister Mrs. McKinnie at Pittsburg.
We will now take up the family of William Keck, son of
Joseph Keck and Catherine Klingensmith. William Keck was
born Feb. 29, 1808, on his father's farm just below Shenango,
Pa.; was married to Harriet Asberry Sheriff in 1839.^ To
them were born three children as follows: Lewis L. Keck,
born Jan. 30, 1840; William A. Keck, horn March 8, 1842:
Sarah Eleanor Keck, born in Georgetown, August 26, 1845.
William Keck, Sr., learned the wool carder's trade. Soon
28 HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY.
after he clerked in a store in New Castle, Pa. Some time after
he formed a partnership with Mr. Zigler in the dry goods trade
in Harmony, Pa. He afterwards moved back to New Castle
and then to Sheakleyville. where he continued in the dry goods
trade. He moved to Greensville, Pa., in 1847, where he was
still engaged in the dry goods business. He was postmaster
in Greenville for ten years, the first appointment being from
President Lincoln. He died April 2~. 1 87 1 , in the middle of
his third term.
William Keck was a man of few words. His word was
never doubted and he was held in high esteem by the entire
community. His widow is yet living at the good old age of
82 years. Her daughter. Mrs. Eleanor Morgan, and herself
live together in Greenville, Pa.
Lewis L. Keck, son of William and Harriet A. Keck, the
eldest son. was born in Harmony. Pa.. Jan. 30. 1840. He was
taken by his parents to Greenville when seven years of age.
He received his education in the schools and Academy in
Greenville. At the age of 16 he entered the store of Root &
Hoge, where he remained some two years, when he accepted
an offer to enter the store of Keck & Achre at Clarksville. Pa.,
where he remained for one year, when an offer of better wages
took him to Greenville in the store of Chas. McMichael, where
he remained until the death of Mr. McMichael in 1864, when
the stock of goods was purchased by his uncle, Henrv Keck,
who gave him an interest in one-half of the profits of the new
firm of H. & L. L. Keck. On June 5, 1866, Lewis L. Keck
married Felicia Loutzenhiser. who was born Oct. 4. 1845. To
them were born three children., namely : Harry Loutzenhiser
Keck, Florence Emma Keck and Frederick Asberry Keck.
L. L. Keck, wife and children are all members of the Pres-
bvterian church, of which he is one of the elders. About the
year 1877, the business firm of H. & L. L. Keck was dissolved,
H. Keck, retiring. The business was continued under the
firm name of L. L. Keck & Brother, until 1877. when L. L.
Keck retired from active business for a period of rive years on
account of delicate health. Again in the spring of 1882, L. L.
Keck opened a new store and for five years he was assisted in
his work by his son Fred A., who now has a partnership, and
upon whom devolves a large share of the responsibility of their
HISTORY OP THE KECK FAMILY.
Mrs. L. L. Keck was the youngest daughter of David and
Euty Loutzenhiser, who were among the early pioneers and
were formerly from Westmoreland county, Pa..
Harry L. Keck, eldest son of L. L. Keck and Felicia Lout-
zenhiser Keck; was born in Greenville, Pa,, May 12, 1867; was
married to Miss Florence Shrom Oct. 6, 1892. To this union
were born two children, towit : Robert Lewis Keck, born
May 22, 1895, an d Harriet Evelin Keck, Born May 21, 1896.
Harry L. Keck, son of L. L., had his education in the
graded schools and Thiel college in Greenville, where he
graduated in June, 1888, and was the valedictorian of his class.
After spending a year in the law office of Hon. Samuel Griffith
in Mercer, Pa., he spent two years in the law department of the
University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, but did not gradu-
ate. Was admitted to the bar of Mercer county in July, 1891.
and has been admited to practice in all surrounding counties,
as well as the supreme and supreior courts of the state and a' so
in the United States district court for the western district
of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the I. O. O. F. ; was a
delegate to the grand lodge in 190 1 ; is also a Knight of Pyth-
ias and a member of the Elks, besides belonging to several
other fraternal organizations. His success in his chosen pro-
fession has been above the average. He is held in high es-
teem for his social qualities, attends strictly to business, and we
predict a bright future for him.
Florence Emma Keck, the beloved daughter of L. L. and
Felicia Keck, was born in Greenville, Feb. 19, 1869. She
graduated from the Greenville high school May 13, 1887. She
then took up the Chautauqua studies and graduated in August,
1 89 1. She was married to Dr. Clarence W. McElhaney, Dec.
25, 1894. To them were born Kathryn McElhaney, August
3, 1896. and Lewis Keck McElhaney, Dec. 1. 1899. Dr. Clar-
ence W. McElhaney is a son of Dr. M. J. McElhaney of Green-
ville, Pa. The voung doctor is a graduate of the medical de-
partment of the Western Reserve university at Cleveland, O.
He lived about three years in Doylestown, Ohio, where he fol-
lowed his profession with good success. In 1897 he decided to
open his office in Greenville. This was brought about by the
failing health of his father. He has a good practice in Green-
ville. They live with her father, L. L. Keck, and make a love-
ly family. Thev are all so kind and attentive. We spent a
couple of weeks in their home and we speak of what we know.
30 HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY.
The doctor and wife are members of the Presbyterian church
Frederick Asberry Keck, youngest child of L. L. and Fel-
icia Keck, was born in Greenville, April 19, 1871 ; was married
to Miss Alice Voorhees Seitz, Sept 29, 1897. To this union
was born one daughter, Elizabeth Keck, on Feb. 7. 1899. He
received his education in the schools of Greenville and Thiel
college. He quit college just as he was about to enter the sen-
ior class and entered the dry goods store of his father, lie hav-
ing decided to seek his fortune in commercial ways. His first
step was to enter Duff's Commercial college at Pittsburg, where
he graduated and he is now a partner with his father in the
dry goods trade at 171- 173 Main street..
William A. Keck, son of William Asberry Keck, was born
in New Castle, Pa., March 8, 1842. His schooling was had
in the schools and academy of Greenville. At the age of 18
he entered the store of Chas. Hop"e as a clerk, where he remain-
ed till he enlisted as a volunteer in the 145th regiment, Pennsyl-
vania volunteers. He Avas taken prisoner and held in Ljbby
prison until paroled ; was wounded during the battle of the
Wilderness, a ball passing through his shoulder, from which
he still suffers. At the close of the war he returned home and
engaged in the store of H. & L. L. Keck, in which place he
remained, taking a partnership on the retirement of his uncle
Henry. The new firm name was L. L. Keck & Brother, which
continued until May, 1871, L. L. Keck retiring on account of
failing health. William A. Keck was married to Miss Emma
Stinson, daughter of James Stinson, May 2, 1871. To them
were born three daughters as follows: Harriet A., born Oct.
2, 1872; Clara L., born Jan. 18, 1880; and Emma M., born
May 6, 1885. Harriet A. was married to Chas. B. Shrom
Dec. 17, 1895.
\V. A. Keck is still in the dry goods trade at 212 Main
street, in which he has been for some twenty years and his is
one of the reliable stores of the place. W. A. Keck and wife
and all the children are members of the Presbyterian church,
of which he is one of the ruling elders.
Sarah E. Keck, the third and last child born to William
and Harriet A. Keck, was born August 26, 1845, in George-
town, Pa. Her parents shortly afterwards moved to Green-
ville, Pa., where she still resides. She was her father's assis-
tant in the postoffice for some years. In the spring of 1871,
on the death of her father, s,he was appointed postmistress by
HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY. 31
President Grant for four years. She was married Sept. 24,
1878, to James Morgan, and moved to Bradford, Pa., and later
011 to Warren, Pa., where Mr. Morgan was engaged in the oil
business. He was a soldier in the war of the rebellion and died
in Pittsburg, Pa., in Feb., 1899. She had no children. She
and her mother live together in Greenville. She is also a mem-
ber of the Presbyterian church and was a member of the board
of Mercer county World's Fair Managers..
John Keck, son of Joseph Keck, was born near Greenville,
Sept. 5, 18 16. His education was had in the log school
houses, as at that time afforded, but he secured enough to
qualify himself for a clerkship with Robert Cochran in a dry
goods store. While here employed he was married to Teressa
Osmon, daughter of Capt. Osmon, Sept. 24, 1839. To them
were born five children ; one son and a daughter died in infancy.
George O. was born in Georgetown, Pa., Feb. 15, 1842 ; James
M., born in the same place July 5, 1843 ! Wm. D. born July 7,
1850, in Greenville. In 1846 John Keck moved to Greenville
where he continued in the dry goods trade. For many years
the firm of J. & H. Keck was one of the leading stores in Mer-
cer county. In later years the firm was J. Keck & Son, George
O. being a partner. John Keck & Son retired from the dry-
goods trade and bought out the banking firm of Achre, Wick &
Co., which was changed to a national bank, under the name of
the Greenville National bank, with John Keck as president and
which position he held to the time of his death which occurred
Sept. 7, 1885. Mrs. Keck still lives at the age of 83 years.
The}- were both members of the M. E. church.
George Osmon Keck, son of John and Teressa Keck, was
born Feb. 15, 1842, and died August 12, 1887; was married
to Miss Louisa Allison, daughter of Hon. John Allison. Unto
them were born the following children : John Allison Keck,
born Nov. 7, 1870; Charles Clifford Keck, born Dec. 20, 1873 ;
George Osmon Keck, Jr., born Sept. 15, 1875. They were all
born in Greenville, where all are living, with the exception of
Clifford, who resides in New Brighton, Bever county, Pa.
John Allison Keck was married to Clara Vaughn March
6, 1901. He has the finest shoe store in Greenville. George
Osmon Keck, Jr., is a doctor of medicine and passed the exam-
ination for the U. S. army service and received an appointment
in the west. Charles C. Keck is cashier of a banking house
in New Brighton, Pa. Mrs. Teressa Keck, after her husband's
32 HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY.
death was appointed postmistress of the Greenville postoffice
for a full term. They were both members of the M. E. church
He was a volunteer soldier in the war of the rebellion, but re-
ceived his discharge on account of sickness.
James Madison Keck, son of John and Teressa Keck, and
grandson of Joseph Keck, was born July 5, 1843. He was a
volunteer soldier in the 63d regiment of Pennsylvania volun-
teers. After the war he was engaged as a salesman in New
York City. He was married to Ida Sullivan of Tiffin, Ohio,
March 1, 1882. She died Jan. 16, 1892, leaving no issue. He
is not now engaged in any business, but has a nice cozy cottage
on the lake, where he spends a good deal of his time fishing.
We had the pleasure of an outing with him during the summer
of 1901, in company with L. L. Keck and our brother Henry.
He makes his home with his mother in Greenville, Pa. He is
a Mason and Knight Templar.
John Davis Keck, son of John and Teressa Keck, was
born in Greenville, Pa., July 7, 1850. He was married to Miss
Eva Stewart of Mercer, Sept. 18, 1878. Two children were
born to this union : J. Madison and Louise Keck.
Wm. D. Keck, after completing his education, took a
clerkship in the store of 'his father and brother, John Keck &
Son, and later at the head of the dry goods firm of Keck & Der-
ickson, and in a few vears became sole proprietor. He is a di-
rector of the Greenville National bank and a member of the U.
George Keck, son of Joseph Keck, was born near Green-
ville, May 15 1814: died July 11, 1873, in Pittsburg, Pa. He
never married, but lived several years with his sister, Mrs.
Hugh Bean. He spent many years in California and while
there fell in with George W. Keck, a brother of the writer, and
they were together a good many years. We remember of his
visiting my father's family in Greensb'urg, Pa., in about 1840.
He had been east with a drove of horses.
Abraham Keck, son of Joseph Keck, was born near
Greenville and married Catherine Caringer. To them were
born five children who grew to manhood and womanhood as
follows : Esther, Sarah, John , Malinda and Judson. His
wife died when the children were small. Esther was given a
home with her aunt, Mrs. Morford ; John was taken by his
uncle John Keck ; Malinda and Judson, the babes were taken
by their uncle Henry Keck, and Sarah was given a home with
HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY. 33
her uncle Wm. Keck. Esther married a Mr. Carruthers.
They have several children and live in Ravenna, Ohio. Sarah
married George Williams. They have five children and live in
Chanute, Kansas. John went to Texas and settled there.
Malinda married Mr. P. Deverell. They have six children and
live in Claremont, Virginia.
Judson Keck, son of Abraham Keck, married and lives in
Wellsville, Ohio. They have three children. Abraham Keck,
after the death of his wife, took a clerkship in the store of J. &
H. Keck, where he remained many years. He married a sec-
ond wife, Mary Greenswalt, and moved on his farm near Mt.
Corry, Ohio, where he spent his latter days and died at the age
of 80 years. He was a member of the M. E. church. The
writer was somewhat acquainted with him, as he visited us
while in Westmoreland county. Pa. He lost the sight of one
of his eves when we just knew him.
Henry Keck, the youngest son of Joseph Keck, was born
near Orangeville, Ohio, March 26, 1823, where his father was
then living, owning and running a flouring mill. He married
Sarah Hardy of Erie county, Pa. She was a daughter of John
Hardy. Henry and Sarah have no children, but they took to
their home two of the children, Malinda and Judson, of his
brother Abraham, after the death of his wife. To these child-
ren they became greatly attached. Henry Keck spent most of
his life in the dry goods trade. He was for many vears asso-
ciated as partner with his brother John, and later on he had for
his partner Lewis L. Keck.. It was during this partnership
that the store room was built on lot No. 1, in Joseph Keek's ad-
dition to Greenville, in about 1866 or 1867, and there L. L.
Keck and son Fred are now located.
Henry Keck has not been engaged for some years in active
business life, having invested his means in houses and lots in
Greenville, and is now so situated that he can take his ease and
comfort from the rental of the same. He inherited, to a large
degree, the firm and independent manner of thought and ex-
pression of the Keck race, for he is quick to speak his mind on
all public questions, nor fearful of public condemnation, and
being such a man is more respected. Henry Keck and wife
are, and have been for many years, members of the M. E.
church, in which both are active workers. He has been class
leader for many years. She has been an invalid for many
years and at present is a great sufferer. Yet she is patient and
34 HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY,
calm, with it all, while he is a devoted husband to her. We en-
joyed their hospitality while there on a visit and have a warm
place for them in onr heart.
This concludes the family of Joseph Keck and Catherine
Klingensmith. and also all we have of the Mercer county Keck
family of the five brothers and sister, who settled there as pio-
neers. It seems that they were mostly religiously inclined and
members of the different churches. They were also strong
republicans, have good homes, and are held in high esteem by
We will now take up the family of Henry Keck and Maiy
A. Hardin, who had fourteen children born to them, of which
the first born and the four last born all died in infancy. The
first was born and died in Pennsylvania while the four others
were born and died in Iowa.
Joseph A. Keck was the eldest son of Henry Keck and
Mary Ann Hardin, who was born on the Keck homestead in
Hempfield township, Westmoreland county. Pa., Dec. q, 1827,
where he remained until March, 1846. During that time his
parents lived four years on the Keck homestead, one year in
O.rapeville, three years in Greensburg, and ten years on a
farm one-half mile east of Greensburg. He had his education
in the public schools, part in the district school and part in the
schools in Greensburg, while the most of the time was spent
on the farm. In the spring of 1846 he accompanied his parents
to Van Buren county, Iowa, and settled near Utica. where he
engaged in farming and running threshing machines, until he
reached his majority. In the spring of 1850, in company with
his brother Henry, and others, he took up the overland trail,
with an ox team for the land of gold, and after traveling for
four months reached California, and after disposing of our
team, engaged in mining on the American river. Auburn,
Todd's Valley and Indian Canyon, and was reasonably success-
ful. In June, 1852, he started for the states, as we then call-
ed it. While on the way the cholera broke out on the vessel,
after leaving the Isthmus of Panama, and about one-fourth of
the passengers and crew died with the disease. The ship put
in to Havana for supplies. We ran into the harbor of Havana
and a health officer came aboard and finding out our condition
gave orders to get outside the harbor as soon as possible, or
they would turn the guns of Moro Castle onto us, and also not
t<> bury any of the dead in the harbor: and they kept watch on
HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY. 35
us. But still we put several overboard. We had cast anchor,
and let off steam before the health officer came aboard, so we
got up steam and steamed outside the harbor, where they sup-
plied our needs to carry us to Key West, Florida, where the
well ones were put ashore on Sand Key, where the governmnt
has a light house, and where a vessel was procured for a hos-
pital for the sick. The cholera abated after we were put
ashore. Afterwards they chartered a vessel to go to Havana
after coal and another crew and the vessel was fumigated. We
took our departure for New York without any further mishap.
After our return we made our home with father and mother,
as they intended going east on a visit and left me in charge of
the farm while they were away. I also improved my farm
which, was close by and which was bought with money sent
home while in California. It contained 200 acres to which ad-
ditions were made until it contained 400 acres. They were
gone several months ; in the meantime I had not been idle as I
formed the acquaintance of my future partner of my joys and
sorrows, and on May 5, 1853, Ingaba T. Ebbert and I were
married by the Rev. Hugh Gibson of the M. E. church, and
went to housekeeping soon after and are still on the same place
where we raised our numerous family. Our first house was
a hewed log and weatherboarded, story and a half, with but one
large room below and one above. There w y as a small improve-
ment of 15 acres in cultivation. There was no stable, but a
garden was fenced in with paling and no fruit trees on the place.
I bought five yoke of oxen and broke the most of the prairie,
sowed it in wheat in the fall and raised a large crop which
brought one dollar per bushel. Thus we started on our new
home. We had a family of 12 children, eleven of whom
grew to manhood and womanhood and are married and gone to
homes of their own, and are widely scattered. Their names
are as follows: Mary A. E., Hugh G., Catherine, Bell, Rose
E., George C, William S., dead, Lida N., John H., James E.,
Allie J., Charles R., and Robert B. We gave them a liberal
education in the high schools and colleges to fit them to take
up their duties in life, and we shall take them up in their order
when we get through with brothers and sisters. Shortly after
marriage I began to take an active part in county and state af-
fairs and was honored by the republican party to represent
them in the county and state conventions and in filling the office
of township trustee and justice of the peace for several terms,
36 HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY.
and received the nomination for county supervisor, but was
defeated by a few votes on the bridge issue. During the civil
war was chosen captain of the Bonaparte Home guards and re T
ceived my commission from Governor Kirkwood. Was also
interested in the county agricultural society and was a director
for many years and afterwards became its president for two
terms. Was also honored with the presidency of the Van
Buren Pioneer society and was also called to fill the various
offices of the M. E. church. Was delegate to several annual
conferences of the church, to elect delegates to the general con-
ference. While in Bentonsport was elected alderman and then
mayor of the city. Was justice of the peace while we remained
there. We spent three winters there on account of school ad-
vantages and elected that as our home, but spent the summers
on the farm. We kept up two houses at that time and did not
have much moving to do. As regards our business career, we
carried on fanning, stock raising and stall-feeding cattle for
the market ; employed a good deal of help on the farm. We
also had other interests. Brother Sloan and I bought the one-
half of the Bentonsport fiouring mills in 1868 and operated it
for a number of years at a great loss to me, and sold or traded
it off for Texas lands about 1878. As I was the owner of the
mills, the other parties were unable to contribute their share of
About 1 88 1 we formed a co-partnership under the firm
name of Keck & Greef and engaged in the creamery business
at Bentonsport, which we operated a few years at a heavy loss
and closed down and sold out. I had owned the building prev-
ious. It had been a paper mill and needed some changes. It
is now operated as a flouring mill. The old mill was burned
down about that time. My great losses were in the co-partner-
ship business. If I had confined myself to farming and stock
feeding we would be better off than we are. We also engaged
in buying and shipping stock to the different markets for about
25 years, but quit it in 1884 and have not shipped any stock-
since, as it was too hard on me at my time of life. In 1899
I was honored to represent Van Buren county in the 28th gen-
eral assembly of the state of Iowa. In 1856. I joined the
Masonic order at Bentonsport and some years later became a
member of the chapter at Bonaparte, and also a Knight Temp-
lar of the commandery at Keosauqua : was a delegate to the
grand chapter and also of the grand commandery at Waterloo,
HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY. 37
Iowa, a few years ago. I gave up the management of the
which I retain, and keep stock to consume what is raised on the
farm to my son, J. E., with the exception of the pasture land
farm. We have taken outings every year for many years, east
and west, mostly west, to Kansas, Nebraska, California and
Texas, to places where we have relatives, and enjoyed getting
away from the busy cares of life for a season.
Catherine Ann Keck, daughter of Henry Keck and Mary
A. Hardin, was born in Westmoreland county, Pa., on the
Keck homestead, Jan. 14, 1830. She attended the schools at
Greensburg and vicinity until she came to Iowa. She was of
delicate constitution in iier girlhood and was subject to th?
physic until she grew to womanhood. She came to Iowa
with her parents in 1846 and was married Feb. 17, 1848, to
Mahlon B. Moore, who was born in Wilmington, Ind., March
8, 1 82 1. Unto them were born five children as follows : John-
son Moore, in Iowa, Jan. 11, 1849; Lizzie Teeter Moore, in
Iowa, May 23, 1856; Anna M. Moore, born in Iowa, Sept. rS,
1854; Henry K. Moore, born in Columbus, Iowa, August 26.
1852 ; died Sept. 20, 1854; Mahlon G. Moore, born in Portland,
Oregon, Feb. 25, 1866, died March 21, 1867. After their
marriage they set up housekeeping on his father's place where
he farmed and taught school in the winter until the spring of
1850, when ,he went to California with four of his brothers and
came back during the winter of 1851. She stayed at her fath-
er's while he was absent. They moved on the farm which he
purchased, where the town of Columbus formerly stood. They
remained there a year when they moved to a smaller farm, one
mile east of Utica. In 1853 lie clerked in the Seth Richards
store in Bentonsport, where he moved in 1854, and stayed there
until 1861, when he moved onto his father's place, one and one-
half miles west of Bentonsport. where they remained one year.
In April, 1862, they emigrated to Auburn, Oregon, then to
Idaho City, where Anna M., and Lizzie T. were married. He
was probate judge for several years. His parents were Robert
and Elizabeth Powel Moore.. He was licensed to preach as a
local preacher ; was never strong and rugged ; was over six feet
in height. He died Jan. 1. 1885, in Idaho City, and was in-
terred there. His wife lives with her daughter Lizzie Sisk on
a ranch near Van Wick, Idaho.
Johnson Moore, their son, married Celeste Porter in Mal-
them, Oregon. June 20. 1875, and they have ten children. They
38 HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY
live in Tempe, Arizona. Anna M. Moore was married to Rev.
Wm. G. Simpson, of the M. E. church, at Idaho City, July 12,
1877. To them were born five children. They are on a
work in Scranton, Pa.,
Lizzie T. Moore was married to Stephen Sisk, Dec. 3,
1874. To them were born four children; three are living.
Mable married B. M. Whitley ; Catherine married Wm. Lynch.
They have three children. Mrs. Moore is afflicted a great deal
Wm. G. Simpson, son of Peter Simpson, was born in
Scotland, Nov. 4, 1850; came to America in 1869. In July,
1873, ne enlisted in the 2d U. S. cavalry, was discharged from
the army by order of President Grant, to enter the Methodist
ministry, April 4, 1875. Unto them were born five children,
namely: Uiff, born April 30, 1878, in Boice City, Idaho;
Anna V., born Jan. 5, 1883, in Virginia City, Nev., died
14, 1883; Mahlon C, born Feb. 29, 1884, in Eugene, Oregon;
Robert Fulton, born Jan. 15, 1891, in Elizabeth, N. J.; Kent-
worthy, born March 22, 1894, in Oxford, N. Y., dead.
The names of the children of Johnson Moore are as fol-
lows : John M., George H., Fred F., Arthur F., Minnie M.,
Benjamin, Robert T., Mark A., Catherine Ann and Amanda.
He has been living a number of years in the hottest state in
George W. Keck, son of Henry Keck and Mary Ann
Hardin, was born in Pennsylvania, near Greensburg, March 3.
1832. Received his education in the public schools in Greens-
burg and part in Iowa ; came to Iowa with his parents in the
spring of 1846. He went overland to California with his
brother Henry and J. S. in the summer of 1852 and was en-
gaged in mining on the American river for quite a while. He
then owned a ranch on the Sacramento river near Freeport,
where he engaged in farming, but the river overflowed its
a company and threw up embankments to prevent the overflow
banks and ruined his crops for several years, when they formed
but the assessments were so high he was unable to carry them,
and lost the farm. At one time he was elected state lecturer
for the order of I. O. O. F. and traveled over the state. He
was unfortunate in business and is now in reduced circumstan-
ces. He has lost the use of one of his eyes, and the other is not
good. He still lives at Freeport, keeping batch. He was the
only one of the family unmarried. He never married and is
HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY. 39
now a lonely man. He returned to Iowa on a visit in 1869,
and remained a few months, but was not contented after living
so long- in California. He met a cousin, George Keck, in Cal-
ifornia, and the}' were together for quite a while. He was a
son of Joseph Keck of Greenville, Pa., who returned to Penn-
sylvania and died in Pittsburg in 1873.
John Sloan Keck, son of Henry Keck and Mary Ann
Hardin, was born Oct. 12, 1834, one-half mile east of Greens-
burg, Pa., and came to Iowa in 1846. His education was had
in the public schools. He remained at home until the spring of
[852; he crossed the plains to California with his brothers
Henry and George, where he remained some six years. On re-
turning home he engaged in farming on his father's farm in
Lee county until the fall of 1861, when he enlisted in the 4th
Iowa Cavalrv for three years and served until the close of the
war: was promoted to 1st lieutenant of Companv G, and was a
good and brave soldier. After returning home he went to
farming until 1868, when he bought a fourth interest in the
Bentonsport flouring mills, failed in business and went to Texas
for one vear. He was married to Marv Hancock, daughter of
Hon. Fred Hancock. Unto them were born eight children as
follows: Louis Keck, Harry, Una H., Paul, Fred, Joseph K..
•Carl and Katie . After returning from Texas he engaged in
farming near Bentonsport, which he followed until his death
which occurred Nov. 29, 1892. His family removed in 1897
to Flandreau, S. D., where they are prospering. He was a
member of the Odd Fellows lodge in Bentonsport and also a
member of the G. A. R. in Vernon. He had been in poor
health for quite a while with an affection of the throat and
stomach before his death. He was a man that had the res-
pect of all who knew him and held the office of township clerk
at his death.
Peter R. Keck, son of Henry Keck and Mary Ann Hardin,
was born near Greensburg, Pa., Nov. 2.1, 1836; came to Van
Buren county, Iowa, with his parents in 1846. Had his educa-
tion in the district schools and in the Iowa Wesleyan university
where he graduated in the scientific department in i860. Was
teaching school in Missouri at the commencement of the civil
war: gave up his school and enlisted in the 4th Iowa Cavalry,
Companv G, Oct. 6, 1861 ; enlisted for three years; veteraned
and served until the close of the war. Was promoted from
the ranks to second lieutenant. After his return he engaged
40 HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY.
in teaching in the school at Bentonsport and farming some. As
boy or man he always wished to excel, either in work or
play, and was apt to get there. He was married in Bentonsport
to Mary L. Green, Sept. 5, 1867. Unto them were born seven
children as follows: Leroy M., Clayton W., Edna W.. Leslie.
Hugh B., Bertha C, and Bessie. They had two pairs of twins.
He made his home with his mother in Bentonsport until he
married, when he purchased the Moore farm one and one-half
miles west of Bentonsport, where he remaind until August.
1893, when he bought the Colton farm in Oakland, and on
Sept. 5, 1898, moved to Des Moines on account of educating
and being with his children. He now holds a position with the
N. W. Life and Trust Co. He has been afflicted of late years
with rheumatism. Hugh B. Keck, his son, is cashier of the
National Life and Trust Co., at Topeka, Edna is stenographer
for the same company in Des Moines, while Bertha is still at
school. Mrs. P. R. Keek's health is not good. She is afflict-
ed with throat trouble.
Jane Mary Keck, daughter of Henry Keck and Mary Ann
Hardin, was born near Greensburg, Pa., Dec. 8, 1838. She
came with her parents to Iowa in the spring of 1846. She re-
ceived her education in the district schools in Iowa ; was mar-
ried to Henry P. Gilbert, Dec. 8, 1856, in Lee county, Iowa,
at the home of her parents, who then lived on the Lee county
poor farm. Unto them were born five children, as follows :
Florence, born Nov. 10, 1857, died August 18, 1865; Henriet-
ta, born Jan. 24, i860; George H., born July 3, 1867; Sloan
K., born Dec. 22, 1870; May Catherine, born Nov. 14, 1872.
H. P. Gilbert had a farm one and a half miles east of Bentons-
port, where they commenced housekeeping and where they
raised their family and where they remained until the spring
of 1888, when they removed to Oakley, Kansas, where they
and the children took up homesteads and where Jane M. Gilbert
died of paralysis or heart failure, Jan. 26, 1893. They made
a bad move when they moved to Kansas, as they left a good
home for a poor one, as Kansas is too uncertain, too dry for
successful farming. They have all left to seek their fortunes
elsewhere. Henrietta married her cousin Frank Gilbert, Jan.
1, 1889. To them were born two children, Veleria and Eva;
they live in Atchison, Kansas, where he has a grocery store.
George Gilbert married Eva Mingler, March, 1895, they have
no children ; postoffice, Clarendon, Texas ; Sloan K., married
HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY. 41
Bird Rogers, Oct. 8, 1896; postoffice, Kansas City. May C.
married Melvin Yates, July 3, 1894; born to them Mildred E.,
Oct. 2, 1896; dead. They moved to Colorado Springs in 1899;
postoffice, 409 W. Wintah street.
Sophia E. Keck, daughter of Henry Keck and Mary Ann
Hardin, was born near Greensburg, Pa., Nov. 10, 1840; came
to Van Buren county, Iowa, with her parents in 1846. She
had her education in the public schools in Iowa. She moved
with her parents to Lee county in 1856, where she was mar-
ried to Wm, Kerr, Nov. 7, i860. To them were born seven
children, namely: Henry Milton, born June 17, 1862 ; Oliver,
born Sept 12, 1864; Mary Eliza, born Oct. 2, 1867; Sarah
Catherine, born Dec. 1. 1870; Margaret J., born April 1, 1873 ;
Emma L., born Dec. 8, 1874; Florence, born Sept. 18, 1877.
Thev went to housekeeping on his mother's farm south of
Franklin, where they remained a number of years and then
bousrht a farm one mile south of Donnelson where thev still
remain. Thev had their barn burned 'while he was at the
world's fair in Chicago and met with quite a loss. He is a
carpenter by trade, but devotes most of his time to farming.
His health has not been good for some years.
Henry M. married Mary Hill. To them were born two
children, namely: Ruby and Hazel. He was agent for the
C, B. & Q. for a number of years at Donnelson, then at Car-
rollington, Mo. He is now traveling agent at Hannibal, Mo.
He is a good business man, and a Christian.
Mary married Henry Scott and they live near Donellson,
Iowa. They have no qhildren. The rest are still single at
home, except Oliver, who is agent and postmaster at Moor,
where the powder mills are located.
Lida B. Keck, daughter of Henry Keck and Mary Ann
Hardin, was born near Greensburg, Pa., Nov. 7, 1842. She
came to Iowa with her parents in 1846. She was married to
Joseph H. Ralston in Placerville, Idaho, Sept. 5, 1865. Unto
them were born five children as follows : Henry, born in Ida-
ho, July 27, 1866, died Sept. 9, 1880, in San Jose. Cal : Emile,
born April 6, 1870, in Idaho: Mable, born June 28, 1874. in
Ida,ho, died April 24. 1875, in Bentonsport : Meta, born March
7, 1877, at Bentonsport; Dollant M., born June 21, 1870, in
San Jose, Cal.
Lida B. Keck Ralston received her education in the public
schools and in the Iowa Wesleyan university at Mt. Pleasant,
42 HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY.
Iowa, and then taught school for a number of terms, and in the
spring of 1864, went to Placerville, Idaho, where her sister
Catherine Moore was then living and remained there until 1873
when they returned to Iowa and bought property in Bentons-
port, where she remained until the fall of 1877. On account of
family troubles she then took her baby Mita, and went to San
Jose, Cal., where she bought a home and where she still resides
with her children. She and her husband separated in 189 1.
He resides in San Francisco. He squandered his fortune in
riotous living and is now penniless. T|ie children received a
good education and the girls are now teaching school. Emile
is a painter and has a good business. Mrs. Ralston came to
Iowa for a visit in 1900 and remained several months. She is
a very small woman. What she lacks in size, she makes up in
energy- She is a good Christian woman and has had her full
share of trouble.
Dollant Ralston married Herbert O. Hickox April 2,
1902; postoffice, Melville, Montana.
Family history of children of J. A. Keck and Ingaha T.
Mary A. E. Keck was the first born. She was born Feb.
17, 1854, on the homestead one and one-half miles east of
Utica. She obtained her education in the public schools and
the Iowa Wesleyan university at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa; was
married to Chas.'D. Daugherty, of Mt. Pleasant, Dec. 12, 1871,
by Rev. Cleaver, his uncle. To them were born three children
as follows. George F., born March 1, 1873; William Joseph,
born August 19, 1874; Bertram E., born August 5, 1876. All
the children were born in Mt. Pleasant. Iowa. Chas. E. Daugh-
erty, the father, was born April 12. 1850. His parents were
W. F. Daugherty and Harriet Johnson. They set up house-
keeping in Mt. Pleasant soon after marriage and he worked at
the cabinet maker's trade with his father for many years. Went
to railroading on the C. B. & Q. until after the strike in 1888,
when they came to the 'home of her parents and engaged in
farming which he followed until the spring of 1895. His
father wanted him to go into the piano and organ trade with
him. when he sold off his stock and farm utensils and moved to
Mt. Pleasant where he remained until 1900, when they sold out
and he engaged to Mr. Guest as traveling salesman in the same
business. Wm. J. Daugherty. their son, took a commercial
course at I. B. C. and secured a position in the Equitable of
HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY. 43
Iowa Life Insurance Company in 1894 and is still with the com-
pany as traveling agent. He lives in Des Moines and has a
nice home. He married Florence E. Miller June 1, 1899. She
was born May 16, 1878; was a school teacher. They are bom
active workers in the church and he is a good business man and
has done much to help his friends get into positions in the city.
Bert E. Daugherty was married to Edith Jones of Bonaparte,
Dec. 24, 1898, while she was teaching school. After her tcim
was out she went to Des Moines where he was at work and
commenced housekeeping. He is at work in the some office
with his brother, W. ].. They have one daughter, Mildred
Sylvia, born August 9, 1899; his wife was born July 3, 1879.
Hugh Gibson Keck, son of J. A. Keck and I. T. Ebbert,
was born in Van Buren county, Iowa, Sept. 7, 1855. He re-
ceived his education in the district schools and the high school
at Mt. Pleasant ; remained on the farm until of age, taught
school one term and then went to Kansas to look for a home-
stead in 1877, a °d remained there one summer at Larned. He
returned and was married to Miss Ada May Tucker August
25, 1878, by Rev. C. W. Shepherd. She was born March 21,
i860. A short time after their marriage, Sept., 1878, they
started for Kansas with a two-horse wagon and settled near
Jetmore, Kansas, on their homesteads, but the seasons were so
dry they could not make a living and sold out and moved to
Dodge City, Kansas, and built a home for them, and he worked
a while at the carpenter's trade and also clerked in a store. He
then went into the transfer business. His health was not good.
He moved to Minturn, Colorado, about 1893, where he worked
in the roud house of the D. & R. G. where h:e continued until
1897, when they lost their house by fire. They rebuilt the house
in 1897 on a larger scale and kept boarders and roomers as
Minturn was a division of the railroad. They had $500 insur-
ance on the house and still owned their house in Dodge City,
Kansas, and had it rented. He never was stout and rugged,
inclined to be scrofulous. We visited them in the fall of 1895 ;
they live on the banks of the Eagle river, a beautiful mountain
stream ; the town is surrouned by high mountains. They had
five children, namely : Joseph Curtis, born Nov. 23, 1879, he
died August 28, 1893 ; Hugh Renold, born Nov. 4, 1881 ; Car-
rie May, born Jan. 26, 1884; Mina Rose, born June 16, 1886;
Jessie Joe, born Oct. 5, 1890, died June 13, 1892. Their oldest
son was a great affliction for them ; he was not right in his mind
44 HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY,
and they could not get him into the asylum. The other child-
ren living secured a good education, in part away from home.
Catherine Bell Keck, the third child, was born Feb. 12,
1857, near Utica. She received her education in the district
schools and in the I. W. U. in Mt. Pleasant. She was married
to Rogert E. Ely Oct. 14, 1875, by her father, a justice of the
peace. R. E. Ely was born Oct. 14, 1854. To them were
born five children as follows : Herbert E. Ely, born March 16,
1878, died March 19, 1878; Daisy Bell, born March 31, 1879,
still born; Harold E., born March 16, 1881 ; Raymond E.,
born June 18, 1882; Mary Ingaba, born Nov. 1, 1884. His
parents were John W. Ely and Mary Edwards. All of the
children were born on the home farm where they went to
housekeeping on his father's farm ; afterwards bought part of
the farm and later added 200 acres to his original purchase and
where they remained until the spring of 1901, when he sold
out and moved to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, where he purchased a
home in the city. He received part of his education at the I.
W. U. and taught in the district schools for many years, during
the winter term. He held the office of assessor, town clerk and
justice of the peace ; he also received the nomination for county
auditor and county superintendent of schools on the democrat-
ic ticket, but his party was in the minority and was defeated
both times, but he ran ahead of the ticket. He has always been
a democrat and his father before him. They have always taken
an active part in the Methodist Episcopal church, league,
and has been superintendent of the Sunday school
for many years, and a useful member of society. Their son,
Harold, finished his education by taking a commercial course
in Des Moines Capital college, after which he got a position as
clerk in the office of the Town Mutual Dwelling House Fire In-
surance company. He was married to Stella Johnson, July 10,
1901, by the Rev. Dickinson and went to housekeeping in Des
Moines. He holds a good position and is well liked. The
other son, Raymond, started in the Keosauqua schools in Sept.,
1899, and had to quit on account of sickness. He has got so
behind in his studies that he does not care to go any more.
Their daughter Mary, was in the Des Moines city school about
one year and since her parents moved to Mt. Pleasant she came
home and is now taking a commercial course..
Rose Ella Keck, the third daughter of J. A. and I. T.
Keck, was born March 2, 1858; received her education in the
HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY. 45
district schools, high school and college at Mt. Pleasant. She
was organist for the M. E. church several years. She was
married to Zachary Taylor Easter, Sept. 20, 1881, by Rev. J.
W. Wright. Z. T. Easter was born May 24, 1847. His par-
ents were Jeremiah Easter and Mary Ebbert. They went to
Chicago where he had a position as manager of the telephone
company, where they commenced housekeeping. In April,
1882, they returned to Iowa and entered in co-partnership with
George C. Keck, to run the jhome farm. The stock and
machinery was invoiced, and they were to have one-half
of the profits. In July he sold out to George C. Keck
and moved to Sumner county. Kans., where he bought 80 acres
of land with improvements, three miles west of Milan. x\fter
a few years he rented the farm and moved to Anthony, Kans.,
and ran a meat market with a man who got the better of him;
•sold out and moved back to the farm. In March, 1897, he
rented the farm and moved back to Iowa and stayed during the
crop season with her parents. In the summer of 1898, they
moved to Farmington, Washington state, but finding no open-
ing there he came back in the fall of 1899 and rented the farm
of George Israel for one year.
George Conrad Keck, the second son of J. A. and I. T.
Keck, was born Oct. 24, 1859. While a babe in the cradle he
was near death's door with bowel trouble and some years after-
wards he had lung fever, at different times, which brought him
so low, that at one time we thought he was dead. But after-
wards he became strong and rugged. He had his education
in the public schools and went to the high school in Mt. Pleas-
ant, and also in the I. W. U., after which he taught school one
term. He was married to Emma A. Anderson, April 18, 1882,
by Rev. J. W. Wright at Selma, Iowa. She was born April
18, 1 86 1. Her parents were Wm. Anderson and Frances E.
Brown. They went to housekeeping on the Keck homestead,
after his marriage he rented the farm of his father to run it on
the shares, each to furnish his quota of stock and each to get
one-half of the profits. He met with heavy loses in stock and it
was a losing proposition for him, so in June, 1884, he threw up
the contract and in July following he moved to Nebraska, set-
tled in Bradshaw, engaged in the livery business and dealt
also in coal and grain. In the cyclone that visited that place
about 1899, he lost what he had and returned to Iowa to tVe
home of his parents in the winter of 1890. In the spring
46 HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY,
of 1 89 1, he and his family went with his father to Texas, where
he bought 640 acres of unimproved land and settled on it, 6
miles south of Tulia, the county seat of Swisher county, in the
panhandle of Texas, where he still resides. He has leased tw >
more sections of land adjoining" and has the use of his father's
section for grazing. He has a g'ood start in the cattle business.
He farms some to procure feed for the cattle in the winter time.
They had five children born to them, namely : Katie Kleo,
born dead Feb. 2, 1883; Earl Greef, born April 24, 1884;
Maple Ingaba, born March 12, 1886; Fanny Joe, born August
8, 1890; Viola, born May, 1899, died.Oct. 13, 1899. Earl G.
is going to school at Good Night, Texas, on the Denver & Ft.
Worth railroad. He speaks highly of the school or college.
George C. Keck received the nomination on the republican tick-
et for representative in his district for the Texas legislature,
but the republicans are largely in the minority and he stood no
show of election.
Lida Narcissa Keck, fourth daughter of J. A. and I. T.
Keck, was born May 8, 1864. She had her education in the
Bentonsport and Keosauqua high schools, afterwards taught
school in Lee county, Iowa. She was a small woman but
quick and full of energy. She was married to Delbert A. Jack
Oct. 23, 1882, by Rev' L. Carroll at the home of her parents
in Bentonsport. ' D. A. Jack was born May 1, i860. His par-
ents were D. W. Jack and Elizabeth Hart. They went to
housekeeping in Bentonsport and he was a clerk in his father's
store; afterwards for Robinson & Co., of the same place and a
few years afterwards opened out a store of his own in Bentons-
port and bought them a home. In a few years he sold out his
store to Booth & Co., and started in the furniture and hard-
ware business in the same place, but moved with his family to
Vernon, on the opposite side of the river. He soon afterwards
sold out his business to George Demple and in the fall of 1891
they moved to Florence, Colorado, where he bought out Mr.
Wilbur in the grocery store and he and his brother Edward
engaged in the grocery trade and bought a lot for one thous-
and dollars on which they erected a fine business block, the best
in the city at that time, which was a good investment. h\ 1894
they sold out their business to Mr. Wilbur, the man they had
bought out, and about a year afterwards they opened our a
Racket store, in the same place, and each built a residence.
They enlarged their store to embrace dry goods and boots and
HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY. 47
shoes, which they also sold out to an incorporated company, but
held the largest amount of stock. They had a family of seven
children, namely: Lindell O., born July 26, 1883; Glen-wood
Y\\, born Nov. 6, 1884; Ethel Joe, born Nov. 5, 1888. died fan.
24, 1890, in Bentonsport ; Mary Elizabeth, born June 22, 1887 ;
Lora Ingaba, born Sept. 18, 1890; Eva Bessie, born Feb. 2,
1892; Edwin Lee, born July 9, 1896. The children were all
born in Bentonsport but Eva B., and Edwin L. They have the
best of school privileges in Florence and the children will be
educated. The parents are active members of the Presbyterian
church and belong to the choir. They are both good singers.
They have been very successful in business. He is now city
treasurer and also of the schools. He is also a member of the
Masonic order and bright in the work.
John Henry Keck, the third son of J. A. and I. T. Keck,
was born near Utica, Iowa, Jan. 12, 1866. He received his
education in the Bentonsport school and at the age of 18 years
his father gave him his time and he went to Nebraska and at
Hampton got a position in a store and postofnce; was appointed
postmaster afterwards. About 1887 went to railroading on
the C. B. & O. in Nebraska, where he became acquainted with
the woman he afterwards married. She was a divorced w 1-
man, but he did not know of it until they were married. Their
marriage in Nebraska not being legal, he quit the C. B. & O.
and went to Dodge City. Kans., where they were remarried
by Judge D. K. Spaht on Sept. 25, 1890, and went to house-
keeping in Dodge City. He secured a position as brakeman
on the A. T. & S. F. road running west where he remained until
the strike on that road. He went out on the strike and never
got back. He bought a farm of 160 acres on the Arkansas
river bottom, in Ford county, Kans., some 20 miles east of
Dodge City, and moved there in the fall of 1894, where they
remained until Feb. 21, 1896, when they separated, she taking
their daughter Norine, and went to Dodge City to Mrs. Hugh'-.
After the separation and disposing of their effects, he went to
Gillett, Colo., and engaged in the lumber trade with a man
there and while he was at Colorado Springs looking after his
divorce case, his partner sold out and skipped, leaving the debts
unpaid. He secured his divorce in the summer of 1897.
He then went to St. Joseph, Mo., and went to work on
the C. B. & O. as brakeman. but had no regular run on the road.
The father furnished the means to buv the farm and it was
48 HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY.
deeded to him, and being- deeply in debt he became disheartened
and left for parts unknown. No one has heard from him since
the spring of 1898, which will soon be five years. He was mar-
ried to Anna B. Campbell, Sept. 27, 1890. She was born July
11, 1868. To them were born twins, Norine and Mauvine,
on Dec. 5, 1892. Mauvine died Sept. 14, 1893, at Dodge City.
Mrs. Keck was afterwards married in Illinois, and they separ-
ated after a very short time. The last we heard of her she
went to her brother in Virginia who disowned her and would
have nothing to do with her. She was a small woman, a klep-
tomaniac and untruthful, but was rather good looking. They
visited us once during the winter of 1891 and 1892.
James Edson Keck, fourth son of J. A. and I. T. Keck,
was born Oct. 14, 1867; had his education in the Bentonsport
school and took a commercial course in Elliott's Business col-
lege in Burlington and taught several terms of school. He
is of a very sensitive nature. He got miffed at home while still
in his minority and left home June, 1887, until Nov. 1888 ; went
west to Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska and stayed a year or
so, until November, when he came back and married and stay-
ed with his parents the first winter and taught school. In the
spring of 1890 they went to housekeeping in Pierceville, Iowa,
and farmed for his father-in-law, Frank Lyon, one year, then
moved on the Lyon farm for one year, then on the Dunn farm
one year and then left for Gordon, Neb., in the spring of 1893,
where he bought a farm. After her father's death, the year
following, they came back and took charge of his farm for sev-
eral years. In 1898 he bought Mr. John Lyon's farm and im-
proved it by building a large barn, etc. His investment in
Nebraska was not a success as the country is too dry for farm-
ing to be successful. After keeping it for a number of years
he sold it at a loss of several hundred dollars.. He was mar-
ried to Mary May Lyon, Oct. 2, 1889, by Rev. T. S. Pool.
She was born April 30, 1871. Her parents were Frank Lyon
and Sarah Dunn. She also taught school before her marriage.
To them were born three children as follows : Joseph Frank
Keck, born dead, Sept. 11, 1890; Opal Frances, born Nov. 3,
1891 ; Joy Vivian, born Oct. 11, 1896. They are fine, bright
girls. He not having land enough to keep what stock he
wanted to keep, rented ground of his father. The years 1900
and 1901, he rented the farm of his father, all but the pas-
ture land and done very well. He has taken an active part in
HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY. 49
politics, was candidate for the office of county auditor in 1898,
but did not get the nomination.
Allie Josephine Keck, youngest daughter of J. A. and I.
T. Keck, was born Sept. 1, 1870; was educated in the schools
of Burlington, Ottumwa, and at the Iowa Wesleyan university
at Mt. Pleasant, where she had to drill in a military company,
a military officer of the U. S. in charge. After leaving college
she taught school for several years and was very well received
wherever she taught. She was married to Paul V. Thor-
niley. Jan. 12, 1892, by Rev. Richard Breeden, at the parsonage
in Bentonsport. They took in Des Moines on their wedding
tour, after which he rented his father's farm of 200 acres,
where they remained until the winter of 1896, when he made
preparations to go to the Klondyke, and went in the following
spring. She taught school, and in the summer of 1898 started
for Dawson City, to join her husband. They spent the first
winter on the Upper Dominion, where he and his partner had
a claim. In 1899 they returned to Dawson City, where she
built a house of her own means, and did work for a doctor and
a merchant for $75.00 per month, and afterwards she worked
in a restaurant at $100 per month and board. In 1901 she
cooked for sixteen men on the claim and received $150.00 per
month and board. He was born Aug. 13, 1870.
Charles Randall Keck, fifth son of J. A. and I. T. Keck,
was born Aug. 29, 1872; had his education in the schools at
Bentonsport and Mt. Pleasant ; attended Commercial college
in Des Moines in Dec, 1892, but did not finish his course until
a year later, when he also took short hand. About the time he
got through his Commercial course was during the hard times,
wbien a great many were curtailing their help, and it was dif-
ficult to get a position in Des Moines at living wages, but he
kept at trying till he succeeded in getting a good position with
the Equitable Life and Trust Co, where he stayed until the new
company was formed. They offered him more wages than the
company he was with paid him, and he entered the employ of
the National Life and Trust Co. as cashier, the same position
be filled with the other company. He now receives $1500 pet-
year. He was the first in the employ of the company, and it
has grown so that there are now some twenty employed by the
same company. He is held in high esteem by all, is conscien-
tious and reliable and attends strictly to business. He was
married to Maud E. Wherry Aug. 8, 1899. by James Duff, in
50 HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY.
Pennsylvania. She was born Aug. 8, 1873. Her parents were
Robert Wherry and Maria Nixon.
Unto Charles and Maude Keck were born a daughter
April 1 1, 1902.
Robt. Ray Keck, youngest son of J. A. and I. T. -Keck, was
born July22, 1876; was married to Myrtle Lyon Sep. 26, 1899,
by Rev. E. J. Smith in Bentonsport. She was born Oct. 4,
1875. Her parents were F. Lyon and Sarah Dunn. He had
his education in the schools of Bentonsport and at the college
in Mt. Pletasant. It was his intention to take a course in
electrical engineering while at school in Mt. Pleasant, but he
had a very severe attack of pneumonia and was brought down
very low and had to give up his studies for that year. He then
went to Des Moines and took a Commercial course. He then
went into the wholesale house of Harbach & Co., furniture, for
one year, after which t;iis firm sent him out on the road as
travel in j?" salesman, which place he filled until a short time be-
fore his marriage. Pie then went into co-partnership with
Stonebreaker in Lake City, in furniture and undertaking. He
remained in the business two years, when they sold out, July,
1 901, and he bought a store in Villisca, Iowa. He studied and
passed a good examination in undertaking and embalming, and
received his diplomas. He attends strictly to business and is
held in hie'h esteem wherever he goes and is doing a thriving
business in Villisca. His wife is a preat help, to him in his
business. She has good taste and is handv in every way.
Henry Keck, son of Henry Keck and Elizabeth Klingen-
smith, was born Dec. 4, 1823, in Mercer county, Pa., near
Greenville. He had his education in the public schools in and
around Greensburg, Pa.,; was married to Man- Nixon, ft
Fayette county, Pa., Dec. 13, 1855, by Rev. I. P. Teeter, in
Van Buren county, at Winchester, Iowa. To them were born
five children, namely: Ella ]., born Oct. 30, 1856; died May
22, 1865; Anna Bell, born Aug. 20, 1858; Elma E., born Feb.
10, 1862; Sallie C, born Aug. 2/, 1863; Henry Judson, bom
Aug. 1, 1866. TJlie mother died Feb. 7, 1899. Henry Keck,
Sr., went to Mercer county, Pa., in 1822. to help move his
brother John from Westmoreland county. Pa., and while there
formed an alliance with Miss Elizabeth Klingensmith, daugh-
ter of John Klingensmith, and the fruit of this union was a son
named Henry Keck. There was some family trouble and they
separated. The care of the child was given to the father, who
HISTORY OF THE KECK FAMILY. 51
placed it in the care of his aunt, Catharine Keck Everhart, who
took care of him until he was about three years of age, when
his father took him to Westmoreland county, Pa. The mother
afterwards married Mr. Skilman and moved west, and they
are lost trace of. The father was married three years after and
took his son home and he was raised up with the family.
About the age of 18 he went to learn the cabinet trade with
his uncle, Boice, in Gr/eensburg. After learning the trade he
went to Cincinnatti, O., where he clerked in the store of his
uncles, Geo. Kieck and VVm. Shaffer. He came to Iowa the
fall of 1849, anc l m 1 &5° he crossed the plains to California and
retturned in the winter of 185 1 ; returning the next spring with
his brothers George and Sloan, he remained there until the
rummer of 1855, when he returned and bought his father's
farm and married, and settled down to farming and stock
raising and has been successful.
Anna Bell Keck married C. W. Easter Jan. 31, 1878.
Their children are Henry, Joseph, Frank, James M. and Mary
J. Sallie C. Kieck married John Dodds, Dec. 21, 1881. Four
children were born to them: Harry, Mary, Ralph L. and Don-
ald. Elmer E. married Julia Wilmoth, Nov. 24, 1895. They
have two children. Rex V. Keck and Filed E- Keck. Henry
Judson married Jennie Teal, Aug'. 5, 1884. Their four children
are Iva B., Otto J., Carl L.. and the babe, Warren.
Now in conclusion, we are under obligations to uncle John
Keck for the early history of the Keck family, and also to L.
L. Keck, of Greenville, Pa., for the history of the Mercer coun-
ty families of George Keck, of the five sons and one daughter,
who settled there at the close of the last century. Also to I.
J. Keck, of Clarion, Pa., for the history of the family of Phil-
ip Keck, a son of George and Catharine Keck, who settled in
Clarion county, Pennsylvania, at an early date. We spent much
time and research in gathering together what we have, and
now will dedicate this work to the Keck family in the United
States of America. Trusting that some one of the tribe will
take an interest, and carry on the work, we are
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