Friday, July 23, 2010

Alfred Greenwood Keetch

From "Portrait, Genealogical & Biographical Record of the State of Utah: Containing Biographies of Many Well Known Citizens of the Past and Present," published 1902, page 271-272.

Alfred G Keetch is a name that will go down to history as one of those who took a leading part for many years in colonization work in this new Territory and also actively participated in alt all of the Indian troubles, his bravery and undaunted courage making him a prominent figure among the early settlers, and being called upon whenever there was any danger to be faced, and be it said to his honor that he never refused to respond to such calls, nor stopped to count the cost, but unhesitatingly went where duty led.

Alfred G. Keetch was born in Bedfordshire, England,
January 3, 1840, and is the son of William K. and Ann Greenwood
Keetch, natives of England. The parents of our subjects were converted to the teachings of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and were among the first to be baptized in Bedfordshire. The father became President of the Bedfordshire Branch of the Church and for many years previous to his departure for America preached there. With his wife and family he emigrated to America in 1856, settling at Florence, and remained there for some years. The mother died the same year they came to America and was buried in the Mormon grave yard at Florence; also one child, William. the father later moved to the Bear Lake country in Idaho, where he died in July 1889.

Our subject came to Utah in 1862, in the independent train of David Kimball, in which he drove four yoke of oxen and haled freight across the plains. he arrived in Utah on November 4th and settled in Grantsville, where he lived for a short time and was then sent on a colonization mission to Bear Lake, Idaho, remaining there twenty months, when he again returned to Grantsville, spending the winter of 1865 in that place. In the spring of 1866 he was sent to the Missouri river with four yoke of oxen, for the purpose of bringing emigrants to Utah.

Upon returning to Utah Mr. Keetch was married on November 10, 1866, to Miss Emily Harris, daughter of John and Ann (Stanley) Harris, natives of England, who came to America in 1866. As a result of this union, twelve children have now been born, eleven of whom are now living--Emily A., now Mrs. Aston of Lindon; Lizzie, now Mrs. Cullimore, of the same place, Martha J., now the wife of Meacham Timpanogas; Luella, now Mrs. Cullimore, of Lindon,; Mary E., now Mrs. Thorne, living in Lindon; Alfred Gl, also living in Lindon. He returned June 14, 1901, from a twenty-six month's mission to the Southern States; Ruthie M., now Mrs. Walker of Lindon; Effie L., living at home, and a member of the Young Ladies' Mutual Improvement Association; William J., Hazel B. and Stanley B., all at home; Samuel C. died in infancy.

In 1867 Mr. And Mrs. Keetch went on a colonization mission to the Big Muddy country in Nevada, where they remained until 1871. The State of Nevada imposed and tried to collect an enormous tax from the people who colonized that section of the State, with the result that the Mormons retired from the colony and returned to Utah. Upon returning from the Big Muddy country our subject located at Pleasant Grove, which has since been his home; the section in which he settled having of late years been known as London Ward. During all these years much trouble had been experienced with the Indians and Mr. Keetch participated in many of the battles between the settlers and their savage foes. He bought twenty acres of sagebrush land, which he at once began to clear and cultivate and at this time owns fifty-six acres of land in the county, and has a splendid brick house and good improvements on his home place. In addition to a general farming he has also done considerable business in cattle and live stock, in which he has been prospered.

In politics he is a Democrat and has always been quite active in the work of that party. He served on the City Council for one term and was Mayor of Pleasant Grove for two terms before this Ward was set apart. He became a member of the Mormon Church in England, shortly before coming to the United States and has since been a faithful follower of its teachings. For many years he was very active in the Sunday Schools and Young Men's Association. In 1890 he was ordained a High Priest and set apart as first counselor to Bishop Coppley of Lindon Ward, which position he still holds. the ordination services were conducted by John W. Young. Mr. Keetch is one of the prominent and influential citizens of the part of Utah county and has by his upright and manly life won and retained the friendship and confidence of a large circle of people. His services in colonization work in the past has redounded not alone to the good of the Church, but of the State at large, and opened the way for many who were not members of the Mormon church to come into the State and make homes for themselves and their families, and too much cannot be said in praise of such men.


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