The Families of Adam Keith



Peter G. Keith [1824-after 1904]


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

History of the State of California

Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California


"An Historical Story of the State's Marvelous Growth from its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time" Also Containing Biographies of Well-Known Citizens of the Past and Present, by Professor J. M. Guinn, A. M., The Chapman Publishing Co. 1904


“PETER G. KEITH, one of the pioneers of the Hamilton District, dates his birth in Morgan County, Ohio, February 8, 1824. He is the son of Lewis and Mary (Spencer) Keith. His father was a native of Pennsylvania, of Dutch descent. His grandfather, Peter Keith, fought in the Revolutionary War [Note: Peter was born ca 1765, there is little chance he ever fought in the war but he could have been a local militia member after 1783]. His great-grandfather, the founder of the family in America, was an emigrant from Holland. The mother of the subject of our sketch died while he was a babe. His father became a pioneer of La Porte County, Indiana, where he settled as long ago as 1833. There Peter G. Keith grew to manhood, spending his youth in attending school, and in hard, laborious work, in improving the family homestead. Upon reaching manhood he married, in that county, March 10, 1846, Miss Sarah J. Thornton. Four years from the day that Mr. Keith was married, he left his family in Indiana, and made the toilsome journey across the plains to this State. More than one year was spent in mining on the Middle Fork of the American River. In the autumn of 1851 he came to Santa Clara County, and the following winter he bought a squatter title to the property he now owns and occupies--180 acres fronting on the Santa Clara road, in the Hamilton District. Hamilton Avenue passes directly through his farm. Mrs. Keith joined her husband, in 1852, soon after the purchase of his Hamilton property, coming to California via Panama. Eighteen years were spent by himself and his neighbors in fighting, in the courts, claimants under Mexican grants. They finally won their case, and the land was then purchased from the United States Government. Mr. Keith has given almost his entire attention to the production of grain and hay. He has, however, a bearing orchard of about three acres, and also about eight acres of young trees.


Mr. Keith suffered the loss of his wife, who died at the age of sixty-four years. She was the mother of eight children, of whom but three are now living. Her first child, William L., died in infancy, in Indiana. Flavius V., also born in La Porte, Indiana, now resides in San Diego. The other children were born in this county. Wilmar L. died in his eighteenth year, and Carlton W. in his twenty-second year. Parker W. lives in his father's neighborhood. Richard L. died in his eighteenth year. Austin H. resides in San Jose. Walter H. died in infancy. Mrs. Keith was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in Indiana, as was also her husband. Mr. Keith was married, the second time, May 26, 1886, to Mrs. Adra A. Eaton, a daughter of A. C. Lawrence, one of Santa Clara County's most prominent pioneers. Lawrence Station was named for him. The energy which led Mr. Keith to make the journey to California, and open a farm at so early a day, has characterized his conduct in all his business efforts. He has worked his way to his present position as the prosperous owner of a valuable farm, by hard labor, passing through the many discouragements which were inseparable from the undertaking which he engaged in thirty-five years ago.


Adra A., who married Henry Eaton, of San Francisco, and being left a widow, married P. G. Keith , of Campbell Station, Santa Clara County.”