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Biography of Henry K. Keller

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Henry K. Keller, superintendent of the Champaign County Home and Farm, was for many years an active business man of Urbana, and has spent the greater part of his life in this county.

Mr. Keller was born in the historic and picturesque region around Cumberland, Maryland, January 20, 1858. His parents were William V. and Susan (Cook) Keller. His father, a native of Bedford County, Pennsylvania, was a stone mason by trade. In October, 1864, the family came to Champaign County, locating at Urbana, where his father followed his trade until his death in 1876. The mother also died at Urbana. They had a large family of children: John W., James Milton, Scott, Mary and Annie all deceased; Joseph, a resident of Urbana; Laura, deceased; Henry K.; Martha, wife of John Buckley of Forest, Illinois; Emma, deceased; Susan, wife of George Stamp of Urbana; and two that died in infancy.

Henry K. Keller was seventeen years of age when his father died. Many of the responsibilities of keeping up the home and family then devolved upon him. He had received only such advantages as were furnished by the common schools. Soon after his father’s death he went out to Moberly, Missouri, and was engaged in railroad work for about seven years. On returning to Champaign County he located in Urbana, entered the local brick works and was advanced to superintendent of the Sheldon Brick Company. He filled that position a number of years and in 1910 the Board of Supervisors appointed him superintendent of the County Home, an office he has held ever since. He is the right man for this place, and is giving a very careful and capable supervision of this important county institution.

Mr. Keller married for his first wife Louise Weil, who was born at St. Louis, Missouri, and died in September, 1911. They had two children: William, of Champaign; and Lottie, wife of Laurel Truman, of St. Louis, Missouri. Mr. Keller married for his second wife Selma Benidott, who was born in Sweden. They have a daughter, Jet Virginia, born March 28, 1914. In matters of politics Mr. Keller is independent.

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