Peter Keckler, a farmer residing near Troy, Kansas, furnishes one of the many illustrations in America of the poor boy starting out in life without financial aid and through his own industry and good management providing himself and family with a home and comfortable competency.
Mr. Keckler is a native of Pennsylvania. He was born September 15, 1848, in Adams county, two miles from where was afterward fought the noted battle of Gettysburg. His parents, Chester and Martha (McDaniel) Keckler, were both natives of Pennsylvania. His father, a farmer, died in Dickinson county, Kansas, in 1880. His wife had died in 1868 in Pennsylvania.
It was on a Pennsylvania farm that Peter Keckler passed his boyhood days, rendering such assistance as he could in the farm work during the summer months and in winter attending the district schools. He was engaged in farming until he was twenty-three years of age, when he turned his attention to railroading and for three years was in the employ of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. At the end of that time he came west to Illinois and worked on a farm for seventeen years. He then came to Doniphan county, Kansas, and bought the Jacob Zimmerman farm of one hundred and sixty acres, on which he has since been engaged in general farming, making a specialty of fruit raising and dairying. He has sixty-two acres of his farm devoted to orchard, including a variety of choice fruits, from which he realizes handsomely. His dairy comprises a number of fine cows, the milk product being taken to the Troy creamery, in which enterprise Mr. Keckler is a stockholder. In Mr. Keckler's make-up are found that push and energy, coupled with intelligent management, which are so necessary to the successful farmer of to-day, and his farm is regarded as one of the model ones of the neighborhood.
In 1880 Mr. Keckler married Miss Matilda Miner, of Illinois, and a daughter of Addison Miner, Esq. Two sons and one daughter are the fruits of their union, namely: Susan, Frank and Walter. Mr. Keckler has been identified with Oddfellowship for a period of twenty-six years, and is now a member in good standing of Troy Lodge, No. 38, I. O. O. F.
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