Marshall County

KEEDY, Ambrose Dudley

Ambrose Dudley KEEDY is now practically retired from active farm work, but for ten years has engaged in threshing during the season and still follows that business. His home is on section 10, Richland township, Marshall county, and his birth occurred on section 16 of the same township, October 30, 1842. His father, John A. KEEDY, was a native of Orange county, Indiana, born April 25, 1820, and in 1834 he accompanied his parents on their removal to Illinois, the family home being established in Marshall county. In 1841, having attained his majority, he was united in marriage to Miss Caroline M. FOSTER, who was born in Kentucky, October 10, 1820. Their only living child is Ambrose D. KEEDY of this review and they lost one child. Mr. KEEDY was the owner of a fine farm of three hundred acres of valuable land, which is indicative of his life of well directed energy and thrift. Both he and his wife were faithful members of the Methodist Episcopal church, in the work of which they took an active interest and in which he served as steward and trustee. He also filled nearly all of the local political offices of his township, was called upon to settle large estates and in various ways served the public. The trusts which were thus reposed in him were never betrayed. On the contrary, he was a most honorable and reliable man, whose good qualities gained him the confidence and high regard of all with whom he was associated. He died June 16, 1897, while his wife passed away April 23, 1894.

Ambrose D. KEEDY in his boyhood days was a student in what is known as the Hull school. He worked for his father in the blacksmith shop until twenty-seven years of age and was then married in 1870 to Miss Mima RAMSEY, a daughter of Andrew and Martha RAMSEY, who were farming people of Hopewell township, Marshall county. Mrs. KEEDY departed this life December 28, 1877, in the faith of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, of which she was a most devoted and loyal member. She left two daughters, Martha Luella and Margaret Caroline.

At the time of his wife's death Mr. KEEDY left his daughters with his mother and father, who reared them, and he went to the west, locating in Harper county, Kansas, where he worked on a ranch through the first winter. He then fed cattle for a year and afterward removed to southwestern Kansas, where he worked on the Bell ranch, while later he joined his cousin, John JONES, and entered a piece of land in Meade county, Kansas. In the meantime he worked on the Crooked L ranch in order to secure money that might be used in improving his claim. He was in the west altogether for five years and had varied experiences with the cowboys. He was employed to watch the Indians at a salary of thirty dollars per month, during which time he had little to do and plenty of wild game to shoot. He has always been very fond of hunting and trapping and may yet be seen carrying his old shotgun to the timber when he goes to look after his stock. He has killed many a deer upon the frontier and he became quite an expert with the gun. Following his return to this county Mr. KEEDY resumed farming, which he carried on successfully for a number of years, but is now retired from the active work of the fields. He still operates a threshing machine, however, having carried on this business during the greater part of his life, and the thresher which he now owns he has operated for about ten seasons.

Mr. KEEDY has been called to various local offices by his fellow townsmen, who recognize his worth and ability. He has served as assessor for twelve years, has been school trustee and school director and was road commissioner for three years. During that time he was elected justice of the peace and is now serving for the second term in that office, wherein his decisions are strictly fair and impartial. Since 1862 he has been a member of the Masonic lodge at Lacon. His daughters are now keeping house for him and they are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. KEEDY's father was very much interested in the history of the country, and his son, like him, has a well filled library of old books, being particularly fond of history, so that he is well informed concerning the events which have molded the policy of the country and shaped its progress.

Extracted July 2011 by Norma Hass from Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois, 1907.

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