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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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Patrick H. Keenan

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 518 & 521

Patrick H. Keenan, a dealer in real estate in Sheboygan, is a native of Sheboygan County, born in the town of Russell, May 15, 1861. His parents, Patrick and Mary (Kearns) Keenan, are pioneer settlers of that town, having resided there since 1848. Patrick Keenan, Sr., was born near Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland, in the year 1819. He emigrated to America in 1846, and settled in Genesee County, N. Y., where he married Mary Kearns. In 1848, as before stated, they removed to Wisconsin, locating in the town of Russell, Sheboygan County, which has ever since been their home. Mr. Keenan is a man of extremely temperate habits, having never used intoxicating drink or tobacco in his life. When he came to this township it was almost a perfect wilderness, there being but two or three families in the whole town. Here he built his log house, and began the task of clearing the heavy timber and cultivating the ground. That his efforts were crowned with success, is shown in the fact that to-day Mr. Keenan owns one of the best and most productive farms in the county, on which he has erected a large frame house and fine barns, which testify to the thrift and prosperity of their owner.

Mr. and Mrs. Keenan, Sr., are the parents of nine children, five sons and four daughters, namely: Katherine, who became the wife of Neal Powell, of Olivia, Minn.; Peter, the eldest son, who resides at Shakopee, in the same State; Anna, who became Mrs. Ueber, of Sheboygan; Mary, at home; Alice, who wedded Thomas Walsh, and resides in Milwaukee, Wis.; Patrick, the subject of this sketch; Michael, who lives at the homestead; Thomas, a resident of Milwaukee; and George, also at home.

The subject of this sketch was reared on his father's farm, and educated in the public schools. He learned the cheese-making trade, at which he was employed four years,, and during one season bought cheese in the country. In 1885, he moved to Sheboygan. On the 14th of July, 1884, he was married in the town of Holland to Miss Nora E. Harkins. Mrs. Keenan was born in the town of Holland, Sheboygan County, and is a daughter of Patrick and Margaret Harkins.

Mr. and Mrs. Keenan have had two children, both deceased. Nora Frances died aged eight months, and Thomas P. at the age of two and one-half months.

On coming to Sheboygan, Mr. Keenan engaged in teaming, at which occupation he was employed two years. In 1887, he engaged in the real-estate business, becoming a member of the South Sheboygan Land Company, of which he is Vice-President. He is half-owner of Keenan & Sprangers' Addition to Sheboygan, which is situated in the southwestern part of the city. Soon after engaging in the real-estate business, Mr. Keenan began building houses on his property, which he sold with their respective lots, in this way making all-important addition to the growth of the South Side. During the year 1892, he caused to be built twenty-six houses, which he sold at a profit. The season of 1893 finds him building fully as many as were built last year, but of a better class, so his business this season promises to exceed in value, quite largely, that of previous years.

Politically, Mr. Keenan is a Democrat. He is an enterprising, pushing business man, and for the few years he has been operating in Sheboygan has been quite successful in accumulating a valuable property. Everything he has has been acquired by his own efforts, unaided, and he seems to be fairly launched on a prosperous business career. The secret of Mr. Keenan's success lies in fair and honorable dealing. His customers invariably find that what he states about property he puts on the market may be relied upon, and that he stands ready to make good his word in every instance. With such a reputation, well established, he is never at a loss for a customer, if there is one to be found.

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