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J. J. KEETER. He whose name heads this sketch is one of the practical and successful farmers of Marion County, Arkansas, and has made his way to the front ranks among the energetic farmers of the county, owing to the attention he has always paid to each minor detail, and his desire to keep out of old ruts. He is a native of the Old North State, his birth occurring January 5, 1834, a son of James and Elizabeth (Justice) Keeter, who were born and spent their lives in North Carolina, of which State the paternal grandfather, John Keeter, was also a native as was the maternal grandfather, James Justice. To James and Elizabeth Keeter twelve children were given: John M., who has been a resident of Marion County since 1872, is a farmer and a man of family; Sarah L., wife of J. W. Adams; Susan (deceased), was the wife of John Smith; J. J.; Emeline became the wife of Henry Many, and is deceased; Anna E. is the widow of John Many; George F. died during the war; Henry C. is residing in this county; Nancy is the deceased wife of N. Many, and Alvin C., who died during the war. Several children died in infancy. The parents of these children were members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and the father was a Whig in politics.
The early life of J. J. Keeter was passed in his native State. At the age of twenty-three he united his fortunes with those of Miss Mary E. Moore and in 1858 emigrated to Marion County, Arkansas, the journey to this section being made by wagon and occupying six or seven weeks. They located about three miles from Yellville, and after making their home there for about eighteen years, they purchased and settled on the farm on which they are now living, about four miles from Yellville. The estate comprises 200 acres, and to every nook and cranny of it careful attention is given, and it presents a thrifty and neat appearance which speaks well for the good judgment of the owner. Considerable attention has always been given to the raising of stock, which Mr Keeter has always found to be a profitable source of revenue. He has always manifested much interest in the political affairs of his section, is a Democrat of pronounced type, and by his many friends he was elected to fill the office of county sheriff, in 1878, an office he filled in a highly satisfactory manner for ten years, during which time the noted Page and Hudspeth were under his care. He is without doubt one of the best known men in the county and he numbers his friends by the score. He has on various occasions been a delegate to State conventions at Little Rock, and he has at all times acquitted himself with credit and to the satisfaction to all concerned. His first wife, who died May 23, 1863, bore him three children: James M., Alfred A. and Nancy E. His present wife was Miss M. A. Roberts, a native of Alabama and daughter of Mark Roberts, of this county. They have eight children: Mary E., wife of J. H. Keeter; Thomas R., A. C., Ella, Virgie, John F. and two deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Keeter are members of the Christian Church. Mr. Keeter was a soldier of the Civil War, for some time being with Shelby and Jackman and took part in a number of important engagements, serving from 1862 to 1865.