Lee County Biography


Mark Clancy Keller, city attorney of Dixon since 1909 and recognized as one of the ablest members of the bar of Lee county, was born in May township, in February, 1873, and spent his boyhood and youth upon the home farm, his time being divided between the work of the fields, the duties of the schoolroom and the pleasures of the playground. Like many other young men, however, he did not care to follow agricultural pursuits as a life work and with a view to entering upon a professional career, continued his education in college. He was graduated with high honors from the Chicago Business College and afterward took up the profession of teaching, which he followed in the common schools and colleges of Lee and Bureau counties for six years. He had convinced himself within that period that he preferred the practice of law and in the fall of 1897 he began preparation for the bar, completing his studies in the Northern Illinois College of Law in 1900, at which time the LL.M. degree was conferred upon him. Immediately afterward he was admitted to the bar and has since practiced in Dixon with marked success. On the 20th of April, 1909, he was elected city attorney and has since most intelligently and capably performed the duties of the office, earning for himself a place in the ranks of the ablest and best lawyers of the city. Since entering the office he has reorganized the city of Dixon to conform to the commission form of government, drawing up all ordinances for the same, the city finding it unnecessary to spend a single cent for outside counsel. Moreover, along such remarkable lines have the ordinances been formed that they have been copied by other cities. Mr. Keller is an earnest and discriminating student of the principles of law and his ability has brought him to a foremost position among the leading representatives of the Dixon bar.

In 1904 Mr. Keller was united in marriage to Miss Mae Richardson, of Lee Center, and they now have two children, Mildred Amy and Mark C. Mr. Keller is a prominent member of the Masonic lodge of Dixon, of which he is a past master. He has also taken the degrees of the Royal Arch chapter and he belongs to the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the Woodmen of the World and the Modern Woodmen of America. He is still a young man, earnest of purpose, thoughtful and determined, yet possessing the affable, kindly nature and unfeigned cordiality which win friends.

Transcribed by Karen Holt - 1914 History of Lee County Illinois Vol 2 by Frank E. Stevens.


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