Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Second Great Grandfather: John Riley Keith


I was scanning the newspapers and was reminded of my second great grandfather's obituary. This was published in the Meade News, of Meade, Meade County, Kansas on June 17, 1915. 


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John Riley Keith was often listed as Riley or J.R. in the papers, probably because he had a cousin John Owen Keith in the same area. They all came from Illinois around the same time and helped build that area of southwestern Kansas. 

John Riley made bricks and built many houses and businesses throughout the area. He also farmed. 
This is from a pile of unidentified tintypes. I don't know for sure if it is John but in studying others with it I think it's a good possibility. 





John was buried next to his wife in Graceland Cemetery in Meade, Kansas.


This is a photo of his brother Marshal who is mentioned in the obituary. Quite distinguished isn't he?



This photo is identified as being in Fowler. John may be one of those men standing on the roof. There was another article in the paper noting he was building the "well house" in Meade. 


The brick yard was next to the family home (in the background) which is still known as the "Keith House." Here's John, with the wheelbarrow. The people in the buggy and the boys aren't identified. 


Fowler Christian Church where the family attended for many years. One story my grandmother told was John would have his eyes closed during the services. When they pointed it out after church he would say he was just resting his eyes. He was snoring. 



When I was first learning to do genealogy I went to hear a lady speak at a big conference. She pointed out that names, places, and dates get boring fast. It takes determination to put flesh on those ancestors by filling in their lives. I've worked very hard to fill in the lives of my ancestors. 

Another speaker said to get at least one tidbit of information from each year of an ancestor's life. I gave up on that notion quickly. These days it is a lot easier to fill in the details because of so much information, especially newspapers, on line. I still think that speaker was a bit crazy. (grin)

Hope you are enjoying these family stories and the peek into history they provide.