Marshall County Illinois Biographies - K

Samuel Kreider

Mr Kreider was born in Washington Co., PA. in 1816 and moved west with his parents in 1836. They settled in Fulton Co., where he lived until 1847, whence he moved to Putnam Co. in 1849, and to Marshall, where he now resides, on the last of Dec of 1857. In 1844, he married Katherine Reed. She was born in Park Co., Ind. and died May 26th, 1879, leaving four children: John R., George W., James A, and Wilson E.   Mrs. Kreider's parents came to Knox co. in 1836. Mr. Kreider has been school director 16 years and path master two years. He owns 120 acres of land, and is one of the prosperous farmers of his neighborhood. He feels that he has done his share of hard work, and having secured plenty of means, has concluded to retire from farming and lead an easier life.

From  "The  Record of Olden Times or Fifty Year on the Prairie"
embracing sketches of the discovery, exploration and settlement of the country.
by Spencer Elsworth,   Lacon, IL Home Journal Steam Printing Establishment
Copyright Date MDCCCLXXX (1880)

(courtesy Diane Croak)

Abraham Keedy

Abraham Keedy, born in Tennessee, in 1798, married Patsy Gray, born in 1799, and a daughter of John Gray, a native of Scotland, who came to this country in 1812, and located within seven miles of the great mammoth cave of Kentucky, and later moved to Orange county, Indiana, where the marriage of Abraham Keedy and Patsy Gray was consummated. Her father, after having moved to Martinsville, Indiana, and there assisting in laying out the town, came to Marshall county, Illinois about 1836. He purchased the farm now owned by William J. Ramsay, in Richland township, resided there a short time and then returned to Indiana, where his wife died. After the death of his wife he again came back to Marshall county, where he died some years later.

Abraham Keedy and his wife lived in Orange county, Indiana, until 1821, when they moved to Martinsville, in the same state, at a time when the Indians were still numerous in that locality. Here they remained until 1834, when they came to Marshall county, locating on the southeast quarter of section 16, Richland township. At that time there were but few settlers in this locality and the country was in almost its primitive state. A rail pen was first erected, in which the family lived until a more substantial structure of logs could be erected. Abraham Keedy was by trade a blacksmith, at which he worked in connection with farming during his entire life. He built a shop on his farm and had the patronage of the settlers for many miles around. The first season here he worked in the harvest field for Colonel John Strawn for which he received two bushels of wheat for each day's work. He resided on the farm until 1858. His wife dying the previous year, he concluded to move to Minonk, Illinois, where he subsequently died.

Abraham and Patsy Keedy were the parents of ten children, two of them dying in infancy before leaving Indiana. Nine grew to maturity, as follows: John Allen, our subject; Polly, who married George Bell, both being now deceased; Sarah, deceased wife of Zachariah Perry, also deceased; Helen, who married George Harper, and both are now deceased; Virginia, who became the wife of Samuel Jones, but both are now deceased; Louis who entered the service of his country with the rank of captain and died in the discharge of his duty; Abraham and Martha, twins, both deceased, and Wesley, the youngest. The parents were both consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal church in which he served as class leader and trustee for many years. In politics he was originally a whig, but became a republican on the organization of the party.

Taken From The Biographical record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois., Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1896 Pages 52-53

John Allen Keedy

John Allen Keedy, residing on section 10, Richland township, Marshall county, is one of the very few pioneers of the township now living. A residence here of over sixty-two years has made him familiar with the history of the county, and given him a wide knowledge of the grand men and women who, like himself, came here in poverty and endured the trials and hardships that tested the character of each and brought out the gold in them as by a refiner's fire. One by one he has seen them drop by the wayside "when life's fitful dream was over" until he begins to feel a did Elijah of old that he alone is left.

John A. Keedy is of German descent. His grandfather, John Keedy, being a native of Germany, who, with a widowed mother and two brothers, came to this country when he was but sixteen years of age. The family located in Tennessee, and the brothers of John enlisted in the service of their adopted county in the revolutionary war, and were never afterward heard from. John grew to manhood, married and reared a family, of whom one son, Abraham born in Tennessee, in 1798, married Patsy Gray, born in 1799 ……. Abraham and Patsy Keedy were the parents of ten children, two of them dying in infancy before leaving Indiana. Nine grew to maturity, as follows: John Allen, our subject…………

John Allen Keedy, our subject, was born in Orange county, Indiana, April 25, 1820, and was but one year old when his parents removed to Martinsville, Indiana. In his childhood he was frequently held in the arms of Indian men and women and played with the little papooses. He was fourteen years old when the family moved to Marshall county, and well remembers the journey by ox team. Here he attended the first school in the township in what was known as the Bird schoolhouse. It was a very rude affair, and the instructions imparted therein were almost as rude as the structure. He remained at home, assisting his father in the shop and upon the farm until June 30, 1841, when he married Caroline Matilda Thair Foster, a native of Kentucky, born October 10, 1820, and daughter of Rev. John C. Foster, a Methodist preacher, who came to this county in 1838, and died here.

After marriage our subject settled upon a farm of thirty acres given him by his father, his entire cash capital being fourteen dollars. But what of that; he had good health, a loving wife, great hope for the future, and why should he not be happy? On that farm he remained eight years, then moved to Lacon, where he lived on year; then went to Indiana by team, railroads then being yet in the future so far as this section was concerned. He, however, soon returned, located on section 10, Richland township, where he still lives. The home farm comprises eighty acres of fine, well improved land, in addition to which he owns one hundred and sixty-five acres of timber land.

Two children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Keedy, a son, Ambrose Dudley, who married Jemima Ramsey, a woman of good Christian character, a member of the Presbyterian church, who died in 1877, leaving two children, Luella M. and Margaret C., both of whom grew to woman hood. They are members of our subject's household. The daughter, Luella V., was unmarried and died at the age of nineteen, having been born on the 25th of September, 1850.

John Allen Keedy is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, of which body his wife was also a devout and loyal member. In the teachings of that church she spent her entire life, dying April 23, 1894, having an abiding faith in the promises of the Master and the desire to be at rest over there. Mr. Keedy has always taken a somewhat active part in the work of the church, and has served as trustee ever since the chapel was erected in his neighborhood. He is the only survivor of those originally forming the church on section 14. The work of the Sunday school has always enlisted his most earnest efforts and he has given much of his time as teacher and superintendent, in each capacity serving faithfully and well.

Politically, Mr. Keedy was originally a whig, but unlike his father, on the dissolution of the Whig party, he drifted into the democratic party, with which he has since been identified. Officially he has served his township as assessor, collector and treasurer. His son Ambrose Dudley was assessor of the township seven years, and has also served as school trustee. The father and son make their home together and both are highly respected citizens of the county. The father has passed his three score and ten years, and is a well preserved man with many friends throughout Marshall and adjoining counties.

Taken From The Biographical record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois., Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1896 Page 52-54 - Contributed by Nancy Piper

........John A. Keedy, was a native of Orange county, Indiana, born April 25, 1820 and in 1834 he accompanied his parents on their removal to Illinois, the family home being established in Marshall county.  In 1841, having attained his majority, he was united in marriage to Miss Caroline M. Foster, who was born in Kentucky, October 10, 1820.  Their only living child is Ambrose D. Keedy of this review and they lost one child.  Mr. Keedy was the owner of a fine farm of three hundred acres of valuable land, which is indicative of his life of well directed energy and thrift. Both he and his wife were faithful members of the Methodist Episcopal church, in the work of which they took an active interest and in which he served as steward and trustee.  He also filled nearly all of the local political offices of his township, was called upon to settle large estates and in various ways served the public.  The trusts which were thus reposed in him were never betrayed.  On contrary, he was a most honorable and reliable man, whose good qualities gained him the confidence and high regard of all with whom he was associated.  He died June 16, 1897, while his wife passed away April 23, 1894............

Taken From the Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois
by John Spencer Burt and W.H. Hawthorne
Chicago, The Pioneer Publishing Company 1907
Page 332, 333

Ambrose Dudley Keedy

Ambrose  Dudley Keedy is now practically retired from active farm work, but from ten years has engaged in threshing during the season and still follows that business.  His home is on section 10, Richland township, Marshall county, and his birth occurred on section 16 of the same township, October 30, 1842.  ..............  Ambrose D. Keedy in his boyhood days was a student in what is known as the Hull school. He worked for his father in the blacksmith shop until  twenty-seven years of age and was then married in 1870 to Miss Mima Ramsey, a daughter of Andrew and Martha Ramsey, who were farming people of Hopewell township, Marshall county. Mrs. Keedy departed this life December 28, 1877, in the faith of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, of which she was a most devoted and loyal member. She left two daughters, Martha Luella and Margaret Caroline.

At the time of his wife's death Mr. Keedy left his daughters with his mother and father  who reared them. and he went to the west, locating in Harper county, Kansas. where he worked on  a ranch through t he first winter.  He  then fed cattle for a year and afterward removed to south western Kansas where he worked on the Bell ranch, while later he joined his cousin John Jones, and  entered a piece of land in Meade county, Kansas.  In the meantime he worked on the Crooked L ranch in order to secure money that might be used in improving his claim.  He was in the west altogether for five years and had varied experiences with the cowboys.  He was employed to watch the Indians at a salary of thirty dollars per month, during which time he had little to do and plenty of wild game to shoot.  He has always been very fond of hunting and trapping and  may yet be seen carrying his old shotgun to the timber when he goes to look after his stock.  He has killed many a deer upon the frontier and he became quite an expert with the gun.  Following his return to this county Mr. Keedy resumed farming, which he carried on successfully for a number of years, but is now retired from the active duty of the fields.  He still operates a threshing machine, however, having carried on this business during the great part of his life.

Taken From the Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois
by John Spencer Burt and W.H. Hawthorne
Chicago, The Pioneer Publishing Company 1907
Page 332, 333


The business and community interests of Toluca find a worthy and prominent representative in Ferdinand Klinger, who is closely associated with the material and public affairs of the town. He was born in Bavaria, Germany, in 1864 and is a son of Ferdinand and Catherine (Weileder) Klinger. The parents were likewise natives of Germany, born in Bavaria, the former in 1815 and the latter in 1826. The mother still lives at the old home place in Germany with her son, but the father, who followed farming as a life work, passed away in 1901. In the family were six children. John, born in 1862, is now living in Toluca. Ferdinand is the second of the family. Mary Schoenhull, now living in Germany, was born in 1866. She came to America in company with her sister Catherine in 1896, remaining until 1901, when they returned to Germany on receiving word that their father was ill. He lived but a short time after their arrival. Catherine is at home with her mother in Germany, having returned with her sister Mary to their native land. Father Max Klinger, the fifth member of the family, was born in 1872 and died in April, 1905. He studied in Passau, Germany, for twelve years in preparation for the priesthood and died at Altoetting, where he was in charge of a fine parish. His early death was probably due to study and overwork; as he was very industrious. He was a young man of strong intellectual force and marked ability, who at an early age prepared for the priesthood and became one of the able representatives of the church. His mother made her home with him until his death. Sebastian, the next member of the family, is living on the old homestead in Germany. He was born in 1886, was married in 1904, and his mother now lives with him.

Ferdinand Klinger, whose name introduces this review, was reared and educated in his native country and according to its laws rendered two years of military service, after which an attempt was made to have him work for a year for nothing. Not desiring such a condition, he hastily left for the new world, and after coming to this country he was married in Peoria, Illinois, in July, 1887, to Miss Annie Myer, who was born in Bavaria, Germany, and had come to the United States about two years before Mr. Klinger. On the 1st of January, 1888, the young couple removed to Washburn, Illinois, in Woodford County, where Mr. Klinger established a harness shop, having learned the trade in his native country. He remained there for eleven years and in the meantime opened a branch shop in Toluca, Illinois, conducting both shops for two years. In 1897, however, he removed to Toluca, having the first harness .shoo in this town. He is now conducting an extensive and profitable business and in the rear of his harness shop he has a carriage and buggy department. Above the store rooms is a nice opera house. In front and back of the stage are large rooms where different lodges meet. Mr. Klinger lost quite heavily in the failure of the First National Bank of Toluca, about a year and a half ago, but is working hard to retrieve his lost possessions and has a good business, his trade constantly growing in volume and importance.

In community affairs Mr. Klinger takes an active and helpful interest and is a most public spirited and progressive citizen. He has served on the school board for three years and has always been a promoter or good schools, spending considerable money in educating his own children and in giving them musical advantages. Joseph, his eldest son, is a fine performer on the violin, taking .lessons in Streator each week, while Max is being instructed on the piano and Oswald is playing the cornet. There' are also twin sons, Alvin and Walter, and Mr. Klinger says he expects soon to give them music lessons, so that he can have a band in his own family, The other three boys are frequent1y engaged to play music for dances and other public functions. The record of the family is as follows: Joseph was graduated at the sisters' school in Toluca and is now assisting his father in the shop, learning the harness making trade and also acting as bookkeeper. Max is a student in Magnolia school. Oswald is attending the sisters' school in Toluca. Alvin and Walter, twins, born in 1897, are also students in the sisters' school and are most interesting boys, who have the greatest attachment for each other.

In his political views Mr. Klinger is a stalwart democrat and has filled a number of offices, serving for six years as alderman of Toluca, while from 1903 until 1905 he filled the position of mayor, giving to the city a public-spirited and business-like administration, characterized by reform, progress and improvement. He belongs to the Woodmen lodge and also holds membership relations with the Foresters and the Knights of Pythias. His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Catholic Church, while his wife is a member of the German Lutheran church. Mr. Klinger deserves much credit for what he has accomplished in the new world. Coming to America with little capital, he has worked his .way upward through strong purpose, close application and unremitting energy and is not only controlling successful business, but has also won a place among the representative citizens of his community, exercising an influence in local affairs that is far-reaching and beneficial.

[Source: Past and Present of Putnam and Marshall Counties, John Spencer Burt and W. E. Hawthorne, Page 339-340]