Lee County Biography


Having acquired a comfortable fortune as a general farmer, Mr. Keister and his wife are serenely passing their declining years in the pleasant home that is the result of their united labors, enjoying to a full degree the esteem and veneration due their age and high personal worth. Mr. Keister purchased the farm that he occupies on section 21, Nelson Township, more than a quarter of a century ago, and now has its two hundred and fifteen acres under the plow, and well supplied with commodious farm buildings.

The birthplace of our subject is across the ocean, in the Kingdom of Hanover, Germany, where he was born February 13, 1814. Christian and Hannah (Shaver) Keister, his parents, were also natives of Germany, and passed their entire lives in Leithurst, where they died - the father when eighty years old and the mother when much younger. They were true Christians and faithful members of the Lutheran Church.

The parental family comprises three sons and one daughter, of whom August is the only survivor. He was reared in his native country, and became master of several trades, learning to weave linen, also acquiring a thorough knowledge of farming, besides becoming a practical butcher. He was married near his birthplace to Miss Minna Goglemann, who was born and reared# in the same neighborhood as himself. Her parents were natives of Hanover, Germany, and members of the Luth­eran Church. Their family consisted of four daughters, three of whom are living: Mrs. Keister, one in Germany and one in Pennsylvania.

After the birth of five of their children, Mr. and Mrs. Keister determined to emigrate to the United States in the hope of becoming more pros perous, and in May, 1856, they went to Bremerhaven and embarked on the good ship "Alfred," landing at New York Citj^ after a voyage of six weeks and four days. From there they came to this county, and for ten years resided in Dixon Township. In 1856 Mr. Keister purchased the farm in Nelson Township, where he has since made his home. He has acquired all his property since coming here, as he had but $200 in cash and his household goods when he settled here.

Mr. Keister and his estimable wife have for many years held to the faith of their fathers as regards their religion, and are conscientious members of the Lutheran Church. In politics he is a Republican and the country of his adoption has in him a most loyal citizen. His sons are also stalwart adherents to that party to which their father gives allegiance. Four of his eleven children still remain at home: August, who assists in managing the farm, James, George and Lena. The others are: Fred, of whom see biography Hannah, wife of James Jones, of Dixon; Caroline, a dressmaker in Dixon; William, a farmer in Nelson Township; Levena, wife of Nathan Willard, a farmer near Nelson Station; Charles, telegraph operator and station agent at Garden Prairie, in the employ of the Northwestern Railroad Company; and Henry A., station agent and night operator for the same company at Marengo.

Portraits and Biographical Lee County IL 1892


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