Pages 102-104, 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.




KEYSER.—This Allen county family is of recent date as to settlement in Kansas, having entered the state for the purpose of a residence in March 1881. In May following Benjamin Keyser, the head of the family, brought his household to Allen county and established his home in Iola. Benjamin Keyser had been reared a farmer in the east and to this pursuit did he devote himself the few years he lived in Kansas. He became the owner of a tract of land on Deer Creek, at Wise post office, and the last acts of his life were devoted to its culture. Once strong and of powerful physique Mr. Keyser was in the state of decline when he left


his native Maryland for the west. Kansas was too new for him at that date and his hopes and expectations were not as rapidly realized as he felt they would be and this condition induced a further and gradual decline in health. January 9, 1889, he was stricken with apoplexy while reading his paper and passed away without regaining consciousness.

Benjamin Keyser was born in Frederick county, Maryland, October 24, 1821. He was one of thirteen children and a son of Philip and Elizabeth (Cannon) Keyser. The latter's children and grandchildren are as follows: Sophia, who married Samuel Heffner and died in Frederick county, Maryland, leaving Lewis, John and Sophia A. (Link); Margaret, who died single; Elizabeth, who married Joseph Crist and died in Frederick county, with issue as follows: Margaret, wife of Thos. Chilcote; Philip; Joseph; Charles; Henry; Celia, wife of Hens. T. C. Green, of Washington, D. C.; Luther and Melsino, who married Clayton S. Smith; John Keyser, who died in Frederick county, and left the following children: Ephraim; William; Mary; Charles; Eugene; John; Dallas; Lewis and Nettie; Lewis Keyser, who died near Harpers Ferry, Va., and left Fannie; James; Elizabeth; Naomi; Joseph; Charles; Martha; Erma; John; George and Alice; Samuel Keyser, who died in Frederick county was the father of Walter; John; Margaret; Mary; Annie; George; Katie; Richard; Virgie and Cliffie; Jacob Keyser, who died in Lincoln, Neb., leaving Philip, Mary, Annie, Jennie, Fannie and Lewis; Ann Catherine who married Daniel Wachter and died in Frederick county, with issue as follows: Margaret, Sophia, Elijah and Mary; Joseph Keyser, who died in southern Pennsylvania and had two sons, names not known; Benjamin Keyser; Cornelius, who died in Baltimore, Maryland, with no children; Sarah, who married Henry Wachter and died in Frederick with the following children: Nathan, Howard, Sidney, Isaac, David, Emma, Charles, Newton, Annie and Mary; Savilla Keyser, who married Jacob Snook and died at Boonsboro, Maryland, left children as follows: A. Clayton, Scott, Marshall, Wallace and Harlin.

Philip Keyser, the father of our subject, was born in Washington county, Maryland, in 1783, was married there and removed to Frederick county where all his children were born. He was a blacksmith, but was engaged chiefly in farming and was a prominent citizen of his community. His success in business was of local note and his sons represented various lines of industry in their choice of livelihoods. He was a Democrat.

Benjamin Keyser passed his first fifty-nine years in Frederick county, Maryland. He was married there March 24, 1846, to Fredrica Elizabeth Zeigler, a daughter of Michael and Johanna (Schaffner) Zeigler. Michael Zeigler was born in Germany in 1783 and his wife was born in the same country in 1795. They were married in 1818 and the next year they came to the United States. They were accompanied by a sister of Mr. Zeigler and a brother of Mrs. Zeigler (wife and husband) who settled near Philadelphia, Pa. Michael Zeigler settled in Frederick county, Maryland, and passed the remainder of his life upon a farm. He died in March 1852 and his widow died in November 1863. Their children were: Hanna, who is a


maid and resides in Frederick county; Henry, who died in Frederick City, Maryland, with issue as follows: Edward, Mary, Charles, Eugene, Clara, Kate, Annie, William, George, Clarence and Fannie; Fredrica, widow of Benjamin Keyser, born November 16, 1824; Susan, who married Isaac Wachter and died in Delaware, Ohio, left the following children: Annie, Alice, Frank, Lue and Daisy; Christian Zeigler who was killed in a railroad accident in the mountains of Pennsylvania in 1855, and died without heirs; Rebecca, who married John Hobbs and died at Nauvoo, Illinois, with a deceased daughter, Alice, as issue; Mary C., who married Ezra Staley and died near Frederick City, Maryland, with issue as follows: Minnie, Annie and Charles; and Louisa M., who died in Frederick City unmarried.

The childred[sic] of Benjamin and Fredrica Keyser are Chas. H., born March 25, 1847, resides in Pitkin county, Colorado; Milton W., born April 29, 1849, married Mary C. Mitchell and is one of the large farmers of Edwards county, Kansas; Alice J., born January 2, 1852, resides in Iola; Franklin A., born June 29, 1854, resides in Mineral county, Colorado, and Anna M., wife of L. W. Duncan, born March 9, 1862.

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