Pages 758-760, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




ALFRED A. KECK is an honored veteran of the Civil war, an enterprising agriculturist and merchant, and a leading and influential citizen of North township, Woodson County, who in every relation in life has been found true to duty, whether that duty has been armed resist-


ance to the foe of the Union or the more quiet labors connected with the support of his family and the faithful discharge of his obligations to his country in times of peace.

Mr. Keck was born in Davis County, Indiana, March 2, 1837. His father, Philip Keck, was a native of Tennessee and married Orpha Kutch, a native of Indiana; parents both dead. He had gone to the latter state with his parents when a youth of thirteen years and there he spent his remaining days, his death occurring in 1857, when he was forty-three years of age, his wife long surviving him, passing away in 1887, at the age of seventy-four years. Of their family of eight children, six are yet living: Alfred A., John, Christian, Nelson, Wilson and Levrinda. The daughter is now the wife of Elmer Walker.

Upon a farm Alfred A. Keck was reared and in the labors of field and meadow he assisted throughout the period of his youth. As is the usual maanner[sic] of young men when they start out in life for themselves he sought a companion and helpmate for the journey, and on the 4th. of June, 1857, was united in marriage to Miss Martha McCarter, a native of Indiana. Her father, Moses McCarter, was a native of Tennessee and wedded Miss Sarah Ketchum, a Kentucky lady and in an early day removed to Indiana, where both Mr. and Mrs. McCarter spent their last days. They had eight children, but only three survive, namely: Mrs. Keck, William and Mrs. Nancy Leggerwood.

Mr. and Mrs. Keck, began their domestic life upon a rented farm and he continued the cultivation of the soil until the country became involved in war, when with patriotic spirit he offered his services to the government, enlisting as a member of company B, Fifteenth Indiana infantry, on the 14th. of June, 1861, responding to the first call for troops to serve for three years. On account of disability he was discharged September 25, 1861, but the following year, he again joined the army, becoming a member on the 1st. of September, 1862. At the second enrollment he was made a member of company I, Twenty-seventh Regiment of Indiana Volunteers, and with that command served until almost the close of the war, being honorably discharged on the 25th. of March, 1865. He saw some hard service and participated in a number of hotly untested battles, including the engagements of Antietam, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Resaca, Dallas, Peach Tree Creek and others. At the battle of Antietam he was wounded in the legs, was shot through the left arm in a skirmish in front of Atlanta and received a slight scalp wound by the bursting of a bomb shell at Kenesaw mountain.

When the war was ended Mr. Keck, returned to his wife and two children, whom he had left in order to do battle for the Union, and once more resumed his labors on the home farm. He remained in Indiana until October, 1882, when he came to Kansas, taking up his abode at his present place of residence in North township, Woodson County, where he owns two hundred and forty acres of land twelve and a half miles


northwest of Yates Center. Here he engaged in general farming and stock-raising, making a specialty of the sheep industry, and continued in the stock business until 1887. In that year he was elected and assumed the duties of the office of sheriff of Woodson County, in which capacity he served for two terms in a most acceptable and creditable manner. On his retirement from office he returned to his farm, and has since supervised its cultivation and improvement. In 1894 he was appointed postmaster of Keek, which position he still holds in the present year, 1901. Purchasing a small stock of goods he has since engaged in general merchandising in conection[sic] with the management of the post office, and his grocery sales now amount to about three thousand dollars annually.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Keck have been born seven children, all yet living, namely: John P. and Wilson E., who are now residing in Indiana; William T., in Chicago, Illinois; S. Grant, who is in business in Yates Center; Hester A., wife of A. J. Smith, of Oklahoma; Donna C., wife B. J. Colman, of Kansas City, Missouri, and Herschel A., at home, his time being devoted to the cultivation of his father's farm. The family residence is a beautiful home situated on an eminence which commands an excellent view of the surrounding country. A fine grove of native forest trees surrounds the place and the Keck dwelling is regarded as one of the most attractive features of the landscape in this part of the county.

In his political views Mr. Keck has always been a Republican, unwavering in support of the principles of the party, and on that ticket he has been elected to the offices which he has so acceptably filled. In addition to the office of sheriff he has served for two terms as township trustee and for two terms has been justice of the peace of North township. He has been re-elected to every office in which he has served—a fact which is unmistakable evidence of his capability and trustworthiness. Honorable in business, reliable in office and faithful in friendship, his record in private life equals in fidelity his career as a soldier when he wore the blue uniform of the nation and fought to sustain the central government.

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