From A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. II, p. 832
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902


   Another son of old Virginia who has made his mark in Kansas and contributed his share toward the general prosperity is George R Keesling, a farmer on section 10, Hayes township, Reno county, whose postoffice is at Peacecreek. 

   George R Keesling was born in Virginia May 28, 1859, a son of James Harvey Keesling, who was born in the Old Dominion January 30, 1832.  James Harvey Keesling was a son of George Keesling, a farmer of Virginia, who reared five sons and four daughters, all of whom are living and have families.  George Keesling died about 1874, his widow a few years later.  James Harvey Keesling married Mary Elizabeth Umbarger, who was born in Virginia June 4, 1838.  Their marriage occurred in 1858 and they located on land belonging to Mr Keesling’s father, where they lived until 1871, when they located in Delaware county, Indiana, there making their home for a little over five years.  October 7, 1876, they settled in Peace, northwest of Sterling, Rice county, Kansas, and they now live about seven and a half miles from Lyons, where they bought the land in 1876.  They had ten children, namely:  Corrine May, who died at the age of three years.  George R, is the immediate subject of this sketch.  Mary, who married William Clayton, a farmer of Rice county, and they have three children.  James H, who lives near his parents, and has four children.  Simon, a farmer in Hayes township and has four children.  Malinda, who married George Clayton and has one child.  Sarah, the wife of John Honnon, of Oklahoma Territory, and has four children.  Carrie, who married John Peterson, of Hayes township, and has two children.  Bert E, who lives near Chase, Rice county, and has one child; and Charles D, a farmer at Springfield, Nebraska, and has four children.

   George R Keesling was brought up to hard work and had few educational advantages.  He remained with his father until he was twenty-two years old.  October 13, 1881, he married Miss Sarah Coffield, a native of West Virginia, born in 1858, and fourteen months and ten days older than himself.  Mrs Keesling was a daughter of Benajah Coffield, who was a man of influence and importance in his community.  She has borne to her husband twelve children, eleven of whom are living:  Edgar Alton, born November 19, 1882; Lucile Pearl, an attractive young woman of seventeen years, who is acquiring an education and making a special study of music; Luther O, fifteen years old; Reka A, fourteen years old; Jesse E, twelve years old; Walter A, ten years old; Amy E, eight years old; Earl R, seven years old; Ivory G, five years old; Franklin, three years, and Leah Elizabeth, the baby of the family.  She had a twin sister who died in infancy.

   Mr Keesling is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and is a Democrat and a Methodist.  He is a general farmer who gives special attention to wheat and corn, cultivating some years nearly four hundred acres.  He devotes one hundred and seventy-five acres to wheat and two hundred acres to corn, and it is worthy of remark that during the past twenty years his corn crop has never failed.  He raises cattle, hogs and horses and usually sells from twenty to seventy head of cattle, about fifteen horses and a hundred Poland China hogs a year.  He erected his residence in 1899 and has built a barn and a large granary that has a capacity of ten thousand bushels.  He has planted many fruit and shade trees and his farm is up-to-date in all its appointments.  A man of athletic frame and much endurance, he has accomplished a good deal of hard labor and bids fair to live many years yet to enjoy the success he has won so worthily.