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Transcription: Charles Keefer; Biographical Sketches of Old Settlers and Prominent People of Wisconsin


Transcription of biography of Charles Keefer from “Biographical Sketches of Old Settlers and Prominent People of Wisconsin.”

Excerpt from:

Biographical Sketches








Vol. I.


Waterloo, Wis.,

Huffman & Hyer,





Charles Keefer Bio: Biographical Sketches of Old Settlers and Prominent People of Wisconsin
Charles Keefer Bio: Biographical Sketches of Old Settlers and Prominent People of Wisconsin.

AMONG the class of hardy pioneers who left their Ohio homes, ” where they were surrounded by the comforts of life and social 31 privileges, and emigrated to what was at that time the Territory of “Wisconsin, was Christian W. and his wife Mary (Jacques) Keefer. He was born in Pennsylvania October 1, 1811, and “while yet a young man removed to Geauga County, Ohio, where he met and married his wife October 5, 1836. She was born in New York May 11, 1816, but removed to Geauga County, Ohio, with her parents while quite young. Mr. Keefer learned the tailor trade, and followed that occupation for over twenty years, when, becoming wearied of such a sedentary life, he resolved to try his fortune in Wisconsin. Accordingly, in the spring of 1847, with his wife and family he started West, settling in the town of Elba, Dodge county, Wisconsin, where they lived with their family for many years. In a new country like this was at that time, they had many trials, hardships and privations to endure in order to clear up the wild land and bring it from a state of nature to a condition highly productive. But they battled with all the difficulties that met them on every hand, and with strong, brave hearts succeeded in bringing order out of what seemed a chaos. Their family consisted of ten children. eight sons and two daughters, namely: William Henry Harrison, born September 23, 1837, married Lida A. Hopkins, now lives at Columbus, Wisconsin; Francis Elmer, born October 8, 1839, married Ella Hopkins, died in the Civil War; Lenard Scott, born December 6, 1841, married May Rose, now living at Dell Rapids, South Dakota; Thomas, born June 21. 1843, died in infancy; Comfort B., born October 7, 1846, died at the age 16 years; Mary E., born January 20, 1849, married Charles G. Blythe, now living in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee; Lorinda, born January 15, 1851, married A. K. M. Pomeroy, now living at Lotis, Wisconsin; Harmon, born January 22, 1853, married Amelia Waddell, now living at Beaver Dam, Wisconsin; Clay, born October 1, 1856, married Clara Bromley, now resides at Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.

Charles, born November 25, 1854, on the old homestead in the town of Elba, where he still resides, having married Miss Eva Roberts of Columbus December 11, 1878, who was born February 28, 1862. They had three children, Elmer, born September 2, 1880; Marcia, born April 11, 1884, and Laura, born November 20, 1888.

Charles Keefer is recognized as an enterprising and progressive tanner, and a man who from boyhood has taken deep interest in blooded horses, and today is the owner of some very fine speimens (sic) of horse flesh.

After fifteen years of married life death entered Mr. Keefer’s happy home and took the wife and mother, who died August 27, 1893, and who is buried at Columbus. He then struggled for several years alone to keep his little family together, when, November 25, 1896, he married Miss Elizabeth Smith of Elba, Wisconsin, who was born September 25, 1851, and was the daughter of Edward Smith. She has proven herself a kind, companionable, industrious and hospitable wife, and a good mother to his children.

In 1874 Christian Keefer and wife moved from the old homestead, taking up their residence in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, where he died June 27, 1885. In September, 1898, Mrs. Keefer (or grandma as she was called) went back to the farm to live with her son, Charles, who, aided by his faithful wife, spared no pains in making the dear old mother happy and comfortable in her declining years. She was called “home” March 11, 1899, respected and mourned by all who knew her. The funeral services were conducted by Rev. T. S. Johnson, and she was laid beside her husband in the beautiful cemetery, “Oakwood,” at Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.


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