The Families of Adam Keith



Eli Plummer Keith [1841-1915]


Ancestry:  Adam Keith1>Adam Keith2>John Keith3>George Keith4>Eli Plummer Keith5

"ELI KEITH, Eagle Foundry, Huntingdon County Pa., was born on the homestead in Todd Township, Huntingdon County, December 1, 1841, son of George and Sarah [Plummer] Keith. Adam Keith, the great-grandfather, was of Scotch-Irish parentage, a farmer and stock raiser of Hopewell Township. He removed from Trough Creek Gap, at the forge, to Tatman's Run where he spent the remainder of his life. His political views were those of the Whig party. His Church connection was with the Methodist denomination. He married and had three children; John, Mary [Mrs. George Heeter] of Todd Township; and Elizabeth [Mrs. O. M. Cypher] of Hopewell Township. The eldest of the family, John Keith, carried on the same occupations that were his father's, with the addition of the work of a smithy. In early youth he was very fond of dancing, being of a lively disposition; but he nevertheless grew to be a good working member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, careful to promote its interests; he built a church in Hopewell Township at his own expense. John Keith was twice married; his first wife was Elizabeth Russell, descended from one of those German families who settled in early Woodcock Valley.  There children were Jacob, John, Adam, Elizabeth, George and Henry. Mrs. Elizabeth Keith died in Hopewell Township  in 1816. Mr. Keith's second wife was Miss [Margaret] Donaldson of Scotch-Irish descent; the children of this marriage are James, Lewis, Thomas, Peter and Mary [Mrs. Peter Brumbaugh]. John Keith was a Whig.  About 1854 he removed to Wisconsin, where he continued farming until his death in 1858.

George, son of John Keith and father of Eli was born in Hopewell Township October 7, 1814. He attended one of those log school houses with paper windows, which, in spite of their homeliness, have sent forth such powerful influences for good. Often, the boy went to school with only a handkerchief tied about his head, instead of a hat. Here, of course, whether in public school or subscription school, the education was as plain as the lives and home surroundings of the sturdy urchins that filled the slab benches; but the characters there developed were generally as sturdy as their physical organizations; and that such was the case with young Keith, is easily inferred from his brief story. His first share in men's work was on the home farm with his father. At eighteen years of age he was employed to chop cord wood for the furnaces at the rate of 37 ˝ cents a cord; he also worked for the neighboring farmers. With the money thus earned, he bought two young colts. In January 1837, he bought a farm of 250 acres in Todd Township, having only $ 500 cash with which to pay for it. The farm was the property of Rev. Thomas Larkins, of the Methodist Church, and was valued at $ 2,500.  Here George Keith began life with a little furniture and his two colts.  All the farm was in timber but with many a vigorous stroke he cleared it; hard work and the pay all in the future. With cheerful perseverance he worked on until the debt was paid and all the necessary buildings were erected.  Thus the young farmer and stock raiser secured the homestead in which he passed his married life and brought up his family. In Hopewell Township in the fall of 1836 he married Sarah, the daughter of Eli and Sophia Plummer, born in that township in 1810. Her father was a farmer of Scotch-Irish descent. During the Revolution, when a boy, he was captured by the Indians and taken to Canada. He was the grandfather of John Plummer of Todd Township.  The children of George and Sophia Keith are Eli, now the only surviving member of the family; Harriet P. died at age 19, William died in infancy; Martha B. died at the age of 20 and Sophia also deceased. George Keith was in early life a Whig afterwards a Republican.  He was appreciated by his fellow citizens, and elected to various offices in the Township; school director, auditor, supervisor and tax collector. In the affairs of the Methodist Church, of which he was a member, he was particularly interested.  He contributed towards the building of two churches at Eagle Foundry.  His house was always open to clergy and was true home for them. Notwithstanding an impediment in his speech, his kind disposition and genial hospitality made his companionship sought.  He taught in the Sunday School was superintendent, trustee, and steward of the Church. The experience of poverty had not made him niggardly, but on the contrary had opened his heart towards all in need, so that he was ever ready to lend a helping hand. Shortly after the "golden" wedding anniversary was past, the wife of George Keith died in October 1887; in March 1888, he too passed away.


Eli Keith was well educated in the common schools of his township, and began his life work with his father in the place where it has ever since been carried on --- the home farm. After the death of his father, Mr. Keith took entire charge of the farm. He has been thrifty, judicious and successful, and now has one of the most beautiful and comfortable homes in the township, erected upon a fine lawn, and supplied with hot and cold water and other modern appliances. In 1890, he bought another farm containing 160 acres, in Tod township which he now rents; he also owns 400 acres in Kansas. Mr. Keith is a member of the Grange No. 444, P. of H. , of Tod Township; of Lodge No. 579, I. O. O. F., Broad Top City; and the F. and A. M. of Rockhill, Huntingdon county.  He is a Republican, and has served for three years on the school board of the township.


Eli was married in 1871, to Mary M. daughter of Jonathan and Elizabeth [Griffith] Evans; she was born March 13, 1849.  Their children were M. Blanche, who died April 15, 1897, and one child that died while an infant.  By Mr. Keith's activity in the promotion of good enterprises, and the wholesome influence  which he exerts in the community, he maintains well the honorable reputation of his family."