SAMUEL E. KEITH, of Vinton, is one of the early settlers of Benton County. He was born in Huntingdon County, Pa., on the 28th day of March, 1829, and is a son of Jacob Keith, born in Lancaster County, Pa., Sept. 17, 1775, and Mary (McPheran) Keith, born June 1, 1785, and who were married March 10, 1807, at Raystown Branch, Huntingdon Co., Pa. They were the parents of nine children, three of whom are now living — Rebecca, wife of James McElroy, of Huntingdon County, Pa.; Elizabeth, wife of Joseph Waite, of the same county; and Samuel E., the subject of this sketch. The father of Samuel was a very quiet and unassuming man, well known and greatly respected in the county where he lived. He died March 6, 1848. The mother died Jan. 2, 1872. She was a Christian woman and had been an earnest and consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church for more than seventy years.
Samuel was the youngest of the nine children. He received an academic education and for some years engaged in teaching school. In 1855 he came to Benton County and purchased land in Jackson Township, but was induced to come here by some friends living near Dixon, Lee Co., Ill., who spoke of the natural advantages and resources of the county and who believed in its grand future.
On the 1st day of October, 1857, Mr. Keith married Miss P. Adelia Beck, born in Bethel, Clermont Co., Ohio, Oct. 22, 1840, and a daughter of C. C. and Phebe A. (South) Beck. By this union there were three children, one dying in infancy; Cora B. grew to womanhood and married T. A. Pierce, banker at Reinbeck, and died Feb. 19, 1885, leaving one child — Cora M.; Anna Mary resides at home. Mrs. Keith died Nov. 21, 1866. She was a most excellent woman and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Keith was again married, Feb. 4, 1869, to Emma Whitlock, born in Crown Point, Essex Co., N. Y., in 1845. She was a graduate of the Poultney Academy, in Vermont. There were two sons born to this marriage — Carl and Victor W. Mrs. Keith died April 14, 1879. She was also connected by membership with the Methodist Episcopal Church. For a third wife Mr. Keith married Miss Mina Briggs. born in Schenectady County, N. Y., Dec. 5, 1857, a daughter of Walter and Laura (Eighmey) Briggs, natives of New York. To this union has been given one child — Leo B.In politics Mr. Keith is a Republican. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Keith is a pioneer of Benton County, having been a resident for thirty years, and has taken an active part in aiding to advance all agencies for the progress and development of the county.
Source Citation: "1887 Benton County, Iowa Biographies" [database online] Benton County IAGenWeb Project. <http://iagenweb.org/benton/>
Original data: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Benton County, Iowa." Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887, p. 207.
Transcribed by: Sue Soden. Submitted to the Benton County IAGenWeb Project on January 28th, 2009. Copyright © 2009 The IAGenWeb Project.