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Full text of "History of the Keck family"

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J. A. KECK. 



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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 
and complete. 

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- 
wine. 

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 
family : 

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 
from her. 

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 
Henry Keck. 

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, 



4 



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, 
Ohio. 

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- 
rection morn. 

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 
him. 

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- 
ness. 

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, 
Ohio. 

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 
and Emma.. 

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 
successful business. 



HISTORY OP THE KECK FAMILY. 



29 



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. 
P. church. 

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. 

ml J 

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 
all. 

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 
the loss. 

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 
with rheumatism. 

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 
the union.. 

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 

J 

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. 
Ebbert. 

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 

Yours truly, 

THE AUTHOR. 




STOCKPORT NEWS PRINT, 
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