Kansas History and Heritage Project-Anderson County Biographies

Anderson County Biographies
"Portrait and Biographical Record of Southeastern Kansas"
Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, 1894

GEORGE W. KELLER, a real-estate dealer and farmer and stock dealer of Colony, came to Kansas on the 19th of February, 1879. He located in Linn County, and the following November came to Anderson County settling in what is now Lone Elm Township, at the bead of Deer Creek. Mr. Keller was born in Newark Township, Licking County, Ohio, June 11, 1846, and is a son of Henry M. and Anna (Henton) Keller. The family is of German extraction, and was founded in this country during early Colonial days. As the country became settled further west, they emigrated to Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Kentucky.

Our subject is a descendant of the Pennsylvania branch. The grandfather, Jacob Keller, removed from the Keystone State to Ohio in the early settlement of Licking County, and became one of the pioneers of Newark. He improved a farm in the forest and became the owner of a large tract of land in the Licking Valley, where is some of the most fertile and valuable land in the Buckeye State. This property, inherited by his descendants, has made many of them well-to-do. The grandparents lived to a good old age. They had six sons and three daughters who grew to mature years: Benjamin, now of Bates County, Mo.; Abraham and Daniel, who died in Ohio; Eli, who was a prominent breeder of Merino sheep and died in Ohio; Jacob, who died on the old homestead; Henry M., father of our subject; Elizabeth, wife of Peter Holler, of Ohio; Diana, who died in childhood; and Sarah, wife of Richard Jones, of Franklin County, Ohio.

Henry Keller was reared on a farm and acquired a good education in Dennison College, of Granville, Ohio. He then engaged in leaching for some years, after which he worked in wood for some time. He possessed considerable genius in that direction, and has invented and patented several articles. He owns a highly cultivated and valuable farm of two hundred and thirty acres near Newark, on which he still makes his home. He is an earnest and faithful member of the Methodist Church and an untiring laborer in the Master's vineyard. He married Anna, daughter of Capt. John Henton, of Fairfield County, Ohio, and she has since been his faithful companion and helpmate. Their family numbers three sons and three daughters, of whom George is the eldest; Rachel A. is the wife of Samuel Kinney, of Newark, Ohio; Abraham is a farmer of Carson, Iowa; Henry C. is a farmer and merchant of West Plains, Mo.; Sarah became the wife of Charles Dickson, and after his death married John Shepherd, of Oklahoma; Minerva is the wife of David W. Sanders, of Burlington, Kan.

The schools of Newark afforded our subject his educational privileges. He remained at home until he had attained his majority and then removed to Illinois, being employed as a teacher in the schools of Cole, Moultrie and Shelby Counties until 1870. In Moultrie County he married Lydia Rale, who died in McLean County a year later, leaving a son, Frank. Mr. Keller improved a farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Martin Township, McLean County. In 1873 he returned to Newark, Ohio, and in November wedded Eliza J., daughter of David T. and Elizabeth Black. She was born in Newark. Their union has been blessed with five children: Belle, Day, Guy W., Elsie J. and Clinton T.

In February, 1879, Mr. Keller came to Kansas and purchased four hundred and twenty-six acres of land in Lone Elm Township, where he carried on general farming and stock-raising. He now owns three farms in this county and one in Allen County, comprising seven hundred acres, all highly cultivated and improved. Removing to Colony, he there made his home for five years, but is now living on one of his farms, which lies near the village. He conducts a real-estate, loan and insurance business, having an office in Colony, and also deals in live-stock. He is one of the original stockholders and a director in the People's Bank, of Colony, and is a stockholder in the Eastern Kansas Telephone Company. He takes an active part in local politics, supports the Republican party, is a member of the Central Committee, and has frequently served as a delegate to the county, district an state conventions. He is connected with the Masonic fraternity and Knights of Pythias, and ever since he was a young man has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He possesses a generous and kindly spirit, gives freely to benevolent and charitable interests, and never withholds his aid from any enterprise that is calculated to promote the public good or advance the general welfare.

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