The Families of Adam Keith



Lewis James Keith [1839-1919]


Ancestry:  Adam Keith1>Balthasar Keith2>Peter Keith3>Peter Keith4>Lewis James Keith5

Wayne County IL

1884 Biographical Sketches Bedford Township pages 77-78


“LEWIS J. KEITH, farmer, P. O. Rinard, is one of the substantial farmers of Bedford Township. He was born in Noble County, Ohio, October 8, 1839, to Peter and Mary (Taylor) Keith; he is a Pennsylvanian by birth, and she a native of England. The father was a blacksmith by trade, and for many years made bells for farm use, but in later years engaged in farming. He was a son of Peter Keith, who was of German descent. Our subject's mother is still living in Ohio, aged eighty-three years. The union of the parents was blessed with thirteen children, of whom there are eleven now living --- Benjamin, Robert, John, Betsey Grimes, Peter, Philip W., Joseph S., Pardon C., Frances A. Culler, Lewis J. and Charles H. Our subject obtained a common school education, and until becoming. of age, assisted his father on the farm. He was afterward for several years in the milling business, and also farmed in Delaware County, Iowa. He came to Wayne County after two years' residence in Iowa, and has since remained here. His present farm property consists of 465 acres of land, mostly in Bedford Township. His residence is in Rinard. He was married to Margaret Taylor, a daughter of William Taylor, deceased. The union has given three children --- Wesley E., Mamie A. and Charles E. Mr. and Mrs. Keith are members of the Methodist Church. Politically, he is a Democrat. For the past ten years, Mr. Keith has dealt quite extensively in stock.”


From the obituary of his son Charles Ellsworth Keith

Wayne Co. IL obituary, 1946


In 1904 he entered business with his father, following the death of his brother, Elmer, who had been affiliated with the father in L.J. Keith & Son. The company elevator, located in west Fairfield handled feed and coal and red top seed. Mr. Keith continued as a partner with his father in the business until 1936, at which time the firm was reorganized and he formed a partnership with his son Lewis E. Keith. The business house sells building material and handles sashes and doors. L.J. Keith & Son was first organized in Rinard [Wayne Co. IL] when Mr. Keith's father was a dealer in feed and seed. It was started about the year 1884. The firm name has stood since that time, being managed by three generations.