Biography of Adam Keil
Iowa County, IA Biographies





Adam Keil, a well known farmer residing on section 32, Sumner township, is also interested financially in a number of local business enterprises and is recognized as a substantial and representative citizen. His birth occurred in Johnson county, Iowa, on the 3d of June, 1864. His parents, John and Magdalena (Kuhns) Keil, were natives of Germany and emigrated to the United States as a young man and young woman, both settling in Columbiana county, Ohio, where they were married some three or four years later. The father was a blacksmith by trade and came west with a stage company as one of their blacksmiths, reaching Iowa City some time before the railroads were built through this part of the state. He worked for two or three years at his trade in Iowa City and then located on a farm in Johnson county, where he remained until 1866. He then came to this county and bought sixty five acres in Sumner township about a mile north of Genoa Bluff and concentrated his energies upon its development. He subsequently purchased additional land and became in time the owner of three hundred and eighty acres of excellent land. In 1891, however, he retired from active life and removed to Marengo, where he passed away in January, 1903, when about sixty seven years old. His widow survived him until 1907. They were members of the German Reformed church and were loyal to the teachings of that faith.

Adam Keil received his education in the district schools and began his independent business career by working for a general merchant of Ladora in the capacity of clerk. After spending about two and a half years in that manner he returned to the home farm and has since given his time to agricultural pursuits. He was married in 1883 and the following year purchased eighty acres of land in Pilot township, which he operated for two years. At the end of that time, as he was in rather straitened financial circumstances, he and his wife worked for his father, receiving two hundred and fifty dollars for a year's work, that being at that time considered good wages. At the end of the year our subject rented land from his father for three years, receiving half of the crops. Up to this time he had retained the ownership of his farm in Pilot township, but at length sold it to a good advantage and purchased his present home farm of one hundred and forty acres near Genoa Bluff. He took up his abode thereon shortly after it came into his possession and the year following the demise of his father he purchased the original homestead, comprising a quarter section, and in 1909 he bought one hundred and twenty acres on section 32, Sumner township, known as the Jim Morse farm. Altogether he holds title to four hundred and twenty acres of some of the finest land in the state of Iowa. He was one of the organizers of the Genoa Bluff Creamery Company, of which he is now secretary. He is a stockholder and director of the Ladora Savings Bank, a stockholder in the Iowa County Mutual Telephone Company, of which he was one of the organizers, and of which he was a director for ten years, and is a director of the Ladora Lumber & Grain Company, which he aided in organizing.

Mr. Keil was married in the fall of 1883 to Miss Louise C. Tanner, of Genoa Bluff, a daughter of the late John U. Tanner, one of the pioneers of Sumner township. To this union have been born four children: John A., who is farming land belonging to his father; Mae, the wife of Alva Shaw, who is also operating a farm belonging to Mr. Keil; Rosetta Maud, who married Albert Kuch, a farmer of Troy township; and Leslie E., at home.

Mr. Keil is independent in politics, voting for the man rather than the party. For a number of years he served as secretary of the school board and has always manifested much concern for the welfare of the public schools. He is quite well known in local fraternal circles, as he belongs to Hebron Lodge, No. 146, I. O. O. F., of Marengo; and Ladora Camp, No. 1774, M. W. A. He and his family are all members of the Congregational church and their support can be counted upon in the furtherance of the moral progress of their community. Mr. Keil has gained gratifying success as a farmer through well directed labor, and his spirit of progressiveness and willingness to take advantage of discoveries in the line of agriculture have also been factors in his attainment of prosperity. As a citizen he is public spirited to a marked degree, and his personality is such that he makes and retains friends easily.

From:
History of Iowa County, Iowa
And its People
By: James C. Dinwiddie
Vol II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1915


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