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Biography of Elias Keesee

ELIAS KEESEE. This gentleman is one of the leading agriculturists of Franklin Township, Marion County, Arkansas, and has followed this calling from his earliest boyhood, being initiated into its mysteries by his worthy sire. He was born about fifteen miles from his present place of abode in 1824. His parents, Payton and Nancy (Graham) Keesee, were born in Virginia in 1800, and in Kentucky in 1797, respectively. While in their youth they became residents of the Territory of Arkansas, and in 1818 were married in what is now Marion County, but very shortly afterward removed to what is now Ozark County, Missouri, and here spent the rest of their lives, the father’s death occurring in 1856 and the mother’s in 1863. They were members of the Missionary Baptist Church for many years, and became highly honored citizens of Ozark County, of which they were among the very first white settlers. In those early times they suffered many privations and inconveniences, and were compelled to do their marketing at New Orleans, going thither on flatboats. Sometimes several neighbors would combine, build a boat and ship their produce together, and frequently one man would have enough for one load himself. Their marketing was done about once a year. The young people of that day had no educational advantages for there were no schools; in fact, the country was in a very primitive condition. Mr. Keesee had one brother and sister: Richard, who died in Ozark County, and Patsey (Davis) who died in Newton County, Arkansas Their father, who also bore the name of Elias, died in Virginia, when they were children,...

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