W J Keigley
Posted By: County Coordinator
Date: 3/10/2009 at 12:12:57
W J Keigley, is now living a retired life in Madrid, but for a number of years was classed among the successful business men of Boone county. For fourteen years he engaged in merchandising here and prior to that time was a representative of the agricultural interest of the state and county Pennsylvania is the state of his nativity, his birth having occurred in Greene county upon a farm, June 12, 1824. His father, John Keigley, was also a native of that state, his birth having occurred near Cumberland, Maryland, but across the borders of Pennsylvania in 17989. After arriving at manís estate he wedded Rachel Anderson, also a native of Pennsylvania. He devoted his attention to farming in Greene county for many years an there four sons and three daughters were born unto himself and wife. In the year 1852 he sought a home in Iowa, locating at Belle Point, Boone county, He improved a far and throughout his remaining days was interested in agricultural pursuits here. His death occurred about 1856 and the community thereby lost a valued and representative citizen, a man who, in all lifeís relations was true to duty, although there were no exciting chapters in his history. His wife survived him about nine years and was then laid to rest by his side , in the Lutheran cemetery.
Mr Keigley of this review was reared to manhood in the county of his nativity. He had little opportunity to attend school for his services were needed upon the home farm, but as the years have passed he has gained practical knowledge and moreover he has developed a character of sterling worth. He remained with his father until this twenty-fourth years, when he was married in Greene county, Pennsylvania, on February 29, 1848, to Miss Elizabeth Throckmorton. Her father was as native of New Jersey and represented and early family of that state, of English ancestry. Mrs Keigley was born November 27, 1824, in Greene county, Pennsylvania, and is about four months younger that her husband.
After their marriage the young couple began their domestic life upon the old Keigley homesteading Pennsylvania, where they remained for four years, afterward spending one year upon the Throckmorton farm. I the sprig of 1854, however, they resolved to test he truth of the favorable reports which they had heard concerning Iowa in the year they traveled across country to Boone county, where they arrived on April 12th. Mr Keigely purchased a farm, of which only ten acres had been broken. Few improvements had been made, a small amount of fence had been built but he greater part of the tract was unfenced. He built a cabin and for four years lived in it in pioneer style, enduring many of the trials and hardships of frontier life, at the same time enjoying many of its pleasures. At the end of that period, however, the little cabin and all its contents were destroyed by fire. In order to provide a home for his family. Mr Keigley at once rebuilt, erecting a good frame house, He first owned 80 acres of land and afterward he added to this as his financial resources made additional purchases possible, becoming the owner of about 500 acres of rich land of which 260 acres lay in the home farm. The years witnessed the addition of many improvements to the place. He remodeled and improved the house, built a good barn, planted fruit and shade trees and in the course of time gathered good crops from his orchard as well as from his fields. For thirty-two years he carried on agricultural pursuits, and then put aside the labors of the farm, removing to Madrid on 1886. Here he turned his attention to merchandising and for fourteen years successfully conducted a general store. Many men who have been identified with agricultural pursuits, cannot retire and turn their attention to commercial interests, but Mr Keigley displayed excellent business and executive ability, meeting with prosperity in his new undertaking. After fourteen years had passed he sold his store to his son and has since lived retired. He is now in the evening of life and well merits rest from active labor. His efforts have been of benefit to the town along the lines of substantial improvement and progress. He now owns a brick business block here which was erected by his two sons and he also has a very pleasant residence. Mr Keigley began life in Boone count a very poor man, having scarcely any capital, but through the assistance of his estimable wife and as a result of his capable management and unremitting diligence he has steadily advanced until today he is accounted one of the men of affluence in this portion of the state.
Unto Mr and Mrs Keigley have been born seven children: John Warren, who is married an owns a rice plantation at Crowley, Louisiana, T H, who is married and resides upon a farm in Colfax township, Boone county, Lionel f, who is engaged in merchandising in Madrid, Robert M, who is a partner of his brother Lionel F, Emma, the wife of Andrew Sutherland, of Madrid, and Wilbur, who is married and resides in Madrid.
Politically Mr Keigley is a Democrat, whose allegiance to the party has never wavered through all the years of his manhood. He has served as a member of the county board of supervisors, as a member of the town council and as a delegate to various county and state conventions, but has to no extent sought public office as a reward for party fealty, his business interests having made heavy demands upon his time, neither did he care for eth excitement of the political arena. Both he and his wife belong to eh Methodist Episcopal church of Madrid and enjoy an unusual degree of the esteem and respect of all with who they have been brought in contact. Few indeed of the settlers of Boone county have so long resided in this portion of the state as Mr Keigley, whose residence here covers more that forty-eight years. He truly deserves representation among the honored pioneers who have laid the foundation for the present prosperity and up building of the count as not only did he take part in the beginning of business here, but through many years was an active factor in industrial circles leading to substantial improvement.
1902 Boone County History Book
Boone Biographies maintained by Jan Bony.
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