1897 - 1979
|Edward T. Keller
1851 - 1914
(son of George G. Keller)
In observance of the Bicentennial of the United States of America, 1776-1976, I would like to call
attention to one of the older families in the community of West Rockport. This is the Keller family, whose roots
go back in the community nearly two and a half centuries. Henry and Gladys Keller, now nearing eighty, are among
the last of this historic family.
Henry and Gladys Keller have been very active in the community. They are both 56-year members of the Grange, and they also belong to the Extension and other farm organizations. Henry Keller’s ancestors came to this area back with the first settlers in 1735, over 240 years past, eight generations ago.
Henry Keller has trod the same footsteps as his forefathers have; he has worked the same soil, he has breathed the same parched dust, he has fought the heat and cold, he has left bloodstains on the land and machinery and on pasture fences, same as the Keller's have done before him. He has carried the Keller traditions, pride and respect and love in his community. He has served on the board of selectmen for his town and many other services.
His wife, Gladys, has worked hand in hand with Henry day or night on the farm. When any cattle or sheep were sick, they both watched over them. She would deliver the milk and eggs while Henry was haying or doing the other work on the farm. Gladys did all the secretarial work, the bookkeeping, plus the housework and canning. She has been the life-blood for our community church; for many years Gladys has played the piano in the church for the Sunday services as well as weddings, funerals and other occasions.
Henry Keller and Gladys Maxcy were married in 1921. They went across the street from the Keller homestead and built themselves a house, and later built many new buildings plus a large barn. They soon were in the dairy business, and they also kept a large flock of laying hens. Henry and Gladys delivered milk and eggs and other farm products in West Rockport, Rockville, and Simonton Corner for many years.
About three years ago Henry and Gladys, due to age and health, decided to sell the farm, cattle, sheep and poultry that they had accumulated by themselves, and move back to where Henry was born —home that was built by his grandfather George and his Susan to spend the rest of their days.
Henry and Gladys have two daughters, Dorothy and Arlene. Dorothy married David Hamalainen, and Arlene married Hartwell Dowling, and they have several grandchildren and great grandchildren.
The long history of this family began when Alex Keller [name was actually Robert Killough], sometimes spelled as Kallock or Kellock, came with his two sons David and Finley from North of Ireland to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Finley married Mary Young and came with her father among the first settlers to what is now know as Warren, in 1735. Finley and Mary had six children, two girls and four boys. The girls were Margaret and Mary; the boys were David, Alexander, John and Matthew.
Matthew married Mary Robinson. They had eight children —five girls and three boys. The girls were Margaret, Polly, Kate, Jane and Sarah. The boys were Moses, Hanse and Finley. Finley married first Elizabeth Gardner; second, Mary Boyd; third, Hannah Pottle. Finley and Elizabeth had three children: Lydia, Finley and Moses; by the second wife, a daughter by the name of Methiable.
Finley and his son Moses came to West Camden or Ingrahams Corner, now West Rockport, before the eighteen hundreds. They built a house and large barn on the Warren road west of Ingrahams Corner, about one quarter of a mile from the village (now West Rockport on Route 90). They soon became one of the larger dairy farmers in the area.
Moses married Asenath Tolman, daughter of Samuel Tolman. Moses and Asenath had nine children: Gilbert, George, Freeman, Hannah, Experience, Joseph, Finley, Samuel and Isaac. Moses and Asenath Keller helped make our village what it is today.
There were no churches in the village at that time. These people and others assembled at the homes of Moses Keller and others to consider constituting a Baptist church. This they did after many meetings. The first religious society in Camden was at West Camden in Ingrahams Corner (the Free Will Baptist Church) in 1797. This family was of great support to this society. and have been to this day.
One of the sons, Joseph Keller, married Marcia Bryant, and they lived with his father and mother the remainder of their lives. Joseph and Marcia had four children, Bertram, Saddie-Pearl, George and Percy. Percy was the first town manager in Camden and held this office for many years.
George Keller the second child of Moses and Asenath, married Susan Annis. George and Susan took up some land on the northern part of his father’s farm and built themselves a home with a large barn. He also became a large farmer. George and Susan had four children: Albina, Daniel, James and Edward.
Daniel married Julia Calderwood. Daniel Keller was also very active in his community. He was the road commissioner for the town of Rockport for many years, and was Deacon of the church in the village most of his adult life. Daniel and his wife Julia had seven children, two girls and five boys. The girls were Ellen and Mary: the boys were Wesley, Henry, Jesse, Fred and Elmer. Wesley and Henry stayed on the farm; Jesse, Fred and Elmer went away to work. Wesley lived on the home place.
Their mother died in 1928, and Wesley and his father lived together until Daniel passed on in 1948. Wesley then made his home there alone the rest of his life. He died in 1956. Ellen died in 1907, Fred died soon after World War Two; Jesse died in 1964.
This leaves Mary, Henry and Elmer. Mary married Joseph Andrews and she still lives in the village. Elmer married Lillian Brann, and they live in Rockport. Henry, Gladys and Elmer, better known as "Cy", are the last of the Keller family to carry this name in our village, after 240 years.
I am grateful that I have had the privilege to know and work in the community projects and other affairs all my life with this great family.