Jessie Jonas Keith, born February 4, 1838 in Butler County Alabama, married in Tallapoosa County Alabama on December 14, 1859 to Louisa Winston Zimmerman, born July 22, 1842 in Winston County Alabama. His parents were Nathaniel Keith, 1810-1863, and Alpha Jenkins. Jessie Jonas Keith, as indicated in the "1907 Census of Confederate Soldiers in Shelby County Alabama" entered the service as a Private in April 1862 at Talasy Factory, Alabama, Co. "F" 34th Ala. Regt., and continued until May 9, 1865. The 1900 and 1910 Shelby County Alabama census records indicate they had a total of eleven children born, seven children living at that time. Their child, Pinkie L. Keith, born September 16, 1884, died August 31, 1899, is buried in Beaver Creek Cemetery in Shelby County Alabama. Thus, seven children grew to adulthood, married, and had families. Louisa W. Keith died June 15, 1915 in Jefferson County Alabama and Jessie J. Keith died in Jefferson County Alabama on January 31, 1916. J.J. and L.W. Keith are buried in Beaver Creek Cemetery in Shelby County Alabama.
The obituary, "The People's Advocate", February 3, 1916, "J.J. Keith Dies at Home of Daughter, Mr. J.J. Keith, of Shelby, died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. M.F. Comer, in Ensley last Monday afternoon, where he had been visiting for some time, after a long illness. Mr. Keith had been a citizen of Shelby for a long number of years, and was well known and highly esteemed in the community. He is survived by three daughters and four sons. They are Mrs. C.L. Bates, W.N. Keith, C.P. Keith, L.O. Keith of Shelby, J.H. Keith of Sylacauga; Mrs. M.F. Comer and Mrs. G.H. Dykes of Ensley. His remains were brought to Shelby Tuesday where interment was made."
Charles P. Keith, the oldest child of Jessie J. and Louisa W. Keith, was a Baptist Minister, born October 14, 1860 in Tallapoosa County Alabama, married in Shelby County Alabama on October 8, 1882 to Sara Ann Cabaniss, daughter of John James Cabaniss and Mary Elizabeth Reames. Sally, as she was called, was a sister to my grandmother, Mary Ann "Molly" Seale, the second wife of John Ford Seale. C.P. and Sara Keith are buried in Beaver Creek Cemetery in Shelby County Alabama. Their children, all born in Shelby County Alabama, (1) Etta Lugenia Keith, 1883-1937, married at the residence of Jeff Armstrong in Shelby County Alabama on November 15, 1903 to Elbert P. Wright. He died April 30, 1906 in Shelby County Alabama. They had two children. His parents were Seabron G. Wright and Nancy Elizabeth Gunn. Lizzie, as she was called, after the death of her first husband married on April 13, 1885 in Shelby County Alabama to Barney McHenry Armstrong, son of Westley Armstrong. Rev. William Walter Armstrong, husband of Louisa Seale, and Westley Armstrong were brothers. Etta's second marriage on May 12, 1907 in Shelby County Alabama was to James Samuel Cannady. His first wife was Mary Holcombe, 1883-1906, daughter of John T. and Mary J. Holcombe. His parents were Marion Leach Cannady and Sally Gann. Sam adopted Etta's two children (Charles Cebron Kennedy, 1903-1949, and Elbert McHenry Kennedy, 1905-1981) and changed the spelling to Kennedy. Etta L. Kennedy is buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Jefferson County Alabama. (2) Ether Jesse Keith, 1886-1969, first married on June 30, 1907 in Shelby County Alabama to Virginia C. "Jennie" Browning, 1887-1961. Her parents were Harris Bates Browning and Mary Jane Webster. Ether and Jennie Keith had seven children to grow to adulthood. After their divorce, his second marriage on July 21, 1941 in Shelby County Alabama was to Mrs. Beulah Mae (Langley) Butler, 1908-1942, daughter of James A. Langley and Laura Jane Robertson. After her death, Etherís third and last marriage on June 1, 1943 in Shelby County Alabama was to Mrs. Lela (Hicks) Dismukes, 1902-1977, daughter fo Arter E. Hicks and Eliza A. Rawlinson. Ether J. Keith and his last two wives are buried in Beaver Creek Cemetery in Shelby County Alabama. Jennie Keith is buried in Jefferson Memorial Gardens East, Jefferson County Alabama. (3) Esther Frances Keith, 1887-1921, first married on April 22, 1907 in Shelby County Alabama to Amos E. Gould, 1885-1916, son of Loflin Quinn Gould and Harriett E.J. Kendrick. His sister, Ida Jane Gould, married Harvey Lee Seale, son of Samuel John Seale and Martha E. Branch. Esther, after the death of her first husband, married on April 14, 1918 in Shelby County Alabama to James Oscar Harris, 1881-1929. His first wife was Faxie E. Wells, 1887-1917, daughter of Abner Ralph Wells and Mary Manerva Phillips. He was the son of James M. Harris and Sara Elizabeth Porter, who was the daughter of Jackson P. Porter and Mary Ann Seale. Esther is buried next to her first husband, Amos E. Gould, in Summer Hill Baptist Church Cemetery in Shelby County Alabama. (4) Fred Elester Keith, 1893-1938, and his wife, Sudie L. Roper, 1887-1961, are buried in Valley Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Jefferson County Alabama. (5) William Elector Keith, 1902-1954, and his wife, Minnie Lee Smith, 1905-1990, are buried in Quintown Church of Christ Cemetery in Jefferson County Alabama. (6) Henry Keith, born and died February 27, 1903, is buried in Beaver Creek Cemetery in Shelby County Alabama. (7) Norman Keith, born January 18, 1905, died March 11, 1905, is buried in Beaver Creek Cemetery in Shelby County Alabama.
William Nathaniel Keith, born May 3, 1862, died March 14, 1940 in Shelby County Alabama. He and his first wife, Martha Malissa Armstrong, 1864-1918, daughter of Martin McHenry Armstrong and Mary Elizabeth Crim, are buried in Old Shelby Cemetery in Shelby County Alabama. His second marriage in Jefferson County Alabama on November 24, 1918 was to Mrs. Emma Clara Thompson Morgan, wife of the late Daniel Bush Morgan of Calhoun County Alabama. Emma M. Keith died in Montgomery County Alabama on November 21, 1953. The children of William and Martha Keith were (1) Bertha Ernestine Keith, 1886-1963, married John Andrew Jackson Firmon Stinson, 1886-1970. He was the son of Elijah Stinson and Matilda Cadella Anderson and a brother to Idella Josie Stinson, wife of James Carol Seale. (2) Marian Louise "Mamie" Keith, 1890-1969, first married on June 21, 1908 in Shelby County Alabama to Thomas Oliver Cromwell, 1884-1912, and last marriage was to David L. Browning, 1892-1977. He was the son of Harris Bates Browning and Mary Jane Webster. (3) Lillian Belle Keith, 1893-1971, first married on June 23, 1912 in Shelby County Alabama to Samuel H. Browning, a brother to David L. Browning, Alice Lena Browning, wife of Walter Byron Seale, and Virginia C. Browning, wife of Ether Jesse Keith. Her last marriage was to Dr. Harle L. Parks. Her daughter, Virginia Browning, 1913-1988, married Lawman F. Palmer. (4) Willie Lobell Keith, 1896-1939, first married on October 10, 1915 in Shelby County Alabama to Carl D. Carden. Her last marriage was to J.W. Carmichael. Willie Carmichael is buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Pueblo, Colorado. (5) Elizabeth Velma Keith, 1906-1974, married in Jefferson County Alabama on January 25, 1924 to Dock Franklin Cleveland, 1892-1964.
James Henry Keith, born March 3, 1868 in Coosa County Alabama, died July 20, 1944 in Talladega County Alabama. His first wife, Ellie Inez Parker, 1871-1903, daughter of Henry W. and Nancy E. Parker, is buried in Old Shelby Cemetery in Shelby County Alabama. His second marriage was on September 3, 1905 in Shelby County Alabama to Leona C. Holman, 1871-1961. They are buried in Marble City Cemetery in Sylacauga, Talladega County Alabama. The children of James and Ellie Keith were (1) Susie Elvie Keith, 1891-1973, married Edgar Drayton Caldwell, 1913-1958. (2) James Henry Keith, 1892-1946. (3) Mary Ruth Keith, 1895-1942, married Levi Edwin Ratchford, 1895-1949. (4) Ellie Winston "Winnie " Keith, 1898-1979, married Joseph Hudson, 1897-1987. (5) Frank Theodore Keith, 1902-1948.
Laura E. Keith, married in Shelby County Alabama on November 8, 1888 to Martin F. Comer, born May 10, 1863 in Shelby County Alabama, died October 2, 1916 in Jefferson County Alabama, is buried in Old Shelby Cemetery in Shelby County Alabama. He was the son of John T. Comer, 1819-1903, and Martha J. Littlefield, 1837-1891. Laura E. Comer died in Tuscaloosa County Alabama on April 14, 1950 at the age of 79 years. She has no grave marker, however, she is buried in Old Shelby Cemetery in Shelby County Alabama next to her husband, Martin F. Comer, and two of their sons, Audrey Keith Comer, born August 25, 1901, died September 14, 1901, and Cecil Edwin Comer, no grave marker, however, he died March 8, 1924 in Jefferson County Alabama. Their son, Arlin Keith Comer, 1901-1969, a twin to Audrey Keith Comer, is buried in Barrancas Cemetery, Pensacola Naval Base, Escambia County Florida. The obituary, "The Tuscaloosa News", Saturday, April 15, 1950, "Mrs. Laura E. Comer, 79, of 1424-1/2 Brown Street, died last night at Druid City Hospital. The deceased had made her home in Tuscaloosa for the past 15 years. Surviving are one son, A.K. Comer, Montgomery; two daughters, Mrs. James S. Redmond, Chicago, Ill., and Mrs. Charles H. Ragland, Tuscaloosa; two grandchildren; four great grandchildren; and a brother, Lucius Keith of Shelby, Ala. Funeral services will be held at 12:30 p.m. Sunday from the Jones and Spigener Chapel with burial at Shelby, Alabama. Active pallbearers will be Gaines Englebert, S.F. Morris, Jack Carter, Glenn Patrick, Walter Pearson, and Emmett Fulmer."
Lucius Oliver Keith, born January 3, 1873, died November 3, 1953 in Chilton County Alabama, is buried in Providence Baptist Church Cemetery in Chilton County Alabama. He married in Shelby County Alabama on December 1, 1892 to Susan Sophronia Seale, daughter of John Ford Seale and Margaret Miller. Sudie, as she was called, was a half-sister to my father, Charles Audry Seales. Susan S. Keith, born May 9, 1877 in Shelby County Alabama, died February 4, 1960 in Chilton County Alabama, is buried in Archers Chapel Cemetery in Chilton County Alabama. They had five children to grow to adulthood, marry, and have families. Their children were (1) Maggie Louiza Keith, 1893-1976, married on July 25, 1909 in Shelby County Alabama to Lee Headley, 1888-1976. His parents were William J. "Billy" Headley and Mary Ann "Mollie" Mims. Lee and Maggie Headley are buried in Pinedale Assembly of God Cemetery in Chilton County Alabama. (2) Lushie Nell Keith, 1896-1972, married in Shelby County Alabama on April 5, 1914 to William Terrell Morris, 1894-1954. They are buried in Valhalla Cemetery in Jefferson County Alabama. (3) George Talmage Keith, 1899-1962, and his wife, Alda Iola Robinson, 1905-1990, are buried in Old Chapel Methodist Cemetery in Shelby County Alabama. Their son, William O. Keith, 1925-1952, is buried in Old Chapel Methodist Cemetery in Shelby County Alabama. (4) Mildred Irene Keith, 1901-1996, married on July 13, 1919 in Shelby County Alabama to William Albert Porter, 1898-1972. They are buried in Providence Baptist Church Cemetery, Chilton County Alabama. (5) Jessie Ford Keith, 1911-1944, is buried in Archers Chapel Cemetery in Chilton County Alabama.
Emogene Keith, born September 5, 1875, died January 4, 1946 in Jefferson County Alabama. Her husband was Clanton L. Bates, born January 20, 1872, died February 10, 1947 in Shelby County Alabama. His parents were Martin M. Bates and Sarah E. Mahand. They are all buried in Old Shelby Cemetery in Shelby County Alabama. They had an infant daughter that died December 22, 1913 and is buried in Old Shelby Cemetery. Their remaining children were (1) Irene Bates, 1895-1896, buried in Old Shelby Cemetery, Shelby County Alabama. (2) Jesse Martin Bates, 1896-1946, buried in Old Shelby Cemetery. (3) Winnie Bates, changed her name to Helen Bates, 1901-1982, married Richard Robinson. They lived in New Orleans, Louisiana. (4) Edgar C. Bates, 1903-1949, buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Jefferson County Alabama. (5) Claude L. Bates, 1907-1953, buried in Old Shelby Cementery. (6) John T. Bates, 1910-1958, buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Talladega County Alabama, (7) Robert Clarence Bates, 1915-1968, buried in New Shelby Cemetery, Shelby County Alabama. (8) Dolly Bates, 1917-1995, married Roland Spearman, buried in Wilsonville Cemetery, Shelby County Alabama.
Susan Frances "Susie" Keith, 1878-1939, married at the residence of J.J. Keith in Shelby County Alabama on September 30, 1897 to George Hubbard Dykes, 1874-1951, son of John E. Dykes and Martha A. Barfield. Susie, as she was called, died in Jefferson County Alabama on December 25, 1939 at the age of 61 years, and she and her husband are buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Jefferson County Alabama. Their children were (1) Ethel May Dykes, married Robert H. Orr. (2) Jesse E. Dykes. (3) Carl G. Dykes. (4) Herbert Milton Dykes. (5) Imogene Dykes, married Olus Alvin Harris. (6) Thomas Henry Dykes, Sr., 1916-1991. He and his son, Thomas H. Dykes, Jr., 1939-1988, are buried in Elmwood Cemetery.
In closing, I share with you the obituary, "The People's Advocate", July 1, 1915, "The Passing of Mrs. L.W. Keith, Mrs. L.W. Keith, of Shelby, Ala., was born in Winston County Alabama, July 22nd, 1842, and died at the residence of her daughter, Mrs. M.F. Comer, 2706 Park Avenue, Ensley, Ala., after an illness of four months. Mrs. Keith had been a consistent member of the Missionary Baptist Church since early girlhood. She is survived by her husband, J.J. Keith, who was born in 1839, and seven children, four boys and three girls, C.P., W.N. and L.O. Keith and Mrs. C.L. Bates all of Shelby; J.H. Keith of Sylacauga; Mrs. M.F. Comer of Ensley; and Mrs. G.H. Dykes of Fairfield, Ala. Also surviving this Christian wife and loving mother are thirty grandchildren and twenty great-grandchildren. It is encouragement and hope to consider such as life as that of Sister Keith. She was faithful and earnest in the service of God, faithful in the discharge of duties at home. As wife and mother she was a worker at home. Meek and quiet and patient, she was contented and rejoiced in her sphere and mission at home, and tried to make it a place of comfort, rest, and Christian influence for husband and children. Only a mother flower transplanted to the garden of God unto the cloudless, sunless, and suitable home which can never be touched by sorrow, shadowed by gloom, or darkened by death. A friend of the family, Mrs. Z.T. Fuqua."
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