John A. Keck was born in Baltimore, Maryland, October 27, 1843, but his parents, John and Elizabeth Keck, removed from his native city when he was but six months old, and settled in Bracken county, Kentucky. From there they removed, after a residence of about six years, coming to Missouri and settling upon a farm in Shelby county, where he was reared to manhood and received his education. His mother is still living, and is a descendant of the Tevis family, who founded Tevis college, of Kentucky. His father died in Gallatin in 1876.
Our subject lived with his parents in Shelby county until 1862, when he enlisted in Company B, Missouri Cavalry Militia, and served one year. He received his honorable discharge at the expiration of the time mentioned on account of being disabled by a horse falling upon him, and from the results of which accident he is still a cripple. Returning to his home in Shelby county he engaged in teaching school in that and they adjoining counties of Lewis and Knox, following that profession until 1867.
The year 1868 he spent in the southern part of the State, and in 1869 came to Gallatin; receiving the appointment of deputy county clerk, he served in that capacity until 1870, and was next engaged in the drug business one: year, then became deputy postmaster under Captain John Ballinger, and held that position for three years, or until 1875. After leaving the post-office he entered into partnership with Andrew Shriver, and carried on the-grocery business under the firm name of Shriver & Keck, for one year, when J. M. Phillips became Mr. Shriver’s successor under the name and style of Keck & Phillips. The firm continued up to the fall of 1877, when. Mr. Phillips retired, and Mr. Keck remained alone about a year, when B.. Markey became partner in the firm, changing the name to Markey & Keck. In 1879 Mr. Keck retired from the firm to accept a situation as traveling-salesman for the wholesale grocery establishment of Chalis Bros., of Atchison, Kansas, but disliking the business, returned to Gallatin, and has since-been engaged as salesman, first for J. L. Boyle, up to 1881, and since for S.. P. Cox, up to the time the latter retired from business.
On the 5th of January, 1875, Mr. Keck married Miss Sue F., daughter of George C. Diestilhorst, of Gallatin. They have three children, Eva, Rachel G., and Everett A.; all born in Gallatin. Mr. and Mrs. Keck are-members of the Christian Church.