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Keely Family Collection
Ms2017-038


Descriptive Summary

Title: Keely Family Collection
Span Dates: 1848-1956
Bulk Dates: 1850–1925
ID No: Ms2017-38
Creator: Keely Family
Extent: 2 boxes
Language: English
Repository: West Virginia State Archives, Charleston, WV
Abstract: This collection contains papers of various members of the Keely family, primarily George W. Keely and his wife, Louisa J. (Adams) Keely, originally residents of Maine who moved to Charleston, Kanawha County, West Virginia, in the mid-1870s. Includes correspondence from various members of the family, including letters from George’s brother William while serving in the 13th Maine Infantry in the Civil War, and Louisa’s sister Maranda Adams, who became a prominent teacher in Maine. In addition to the extensive correspondence there are composition and school work books, written sermons and scripture, and account books of the family dating from the 1850s in Maine. Many members of the family were involved in various religious denominations and organizations, from Baptist to Quaker, which is reflected in the correspondence, as well as some religious publications.

Administrative Information

Donor: Steven Meadows
Transfers:
Preferred Citation: [item, collection number], Keely Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives, Charleston, WV.
Processor: Terry Lowry
Biographical Note: Some of the more prominent names in this collection include:

George Washington Keely (1803-1878), born in Northampton, England, the son of Rev. George and Mary Keely. In 1818 his family moved to Haverhill, Massachusetts. He attended Brown University 1820-1824 and from 1825-1828 he tutored Latin and Greek at Brown University. He served a years as an associate principal at a private school in Providence and from 1829-1852 he was professor of mathematics and philosophy at Waterville (Colby) College in Waterville, Maine. After leaving Waterville College he worked for the United States Coast Survey and as a correspondent for the Royal Observatory of England. He died in Waterville, Maine. His brother was Rev. Josiah Keely.

George W. Keely (1839-1913), was born at Haverhill, Massachusetts, the son of Rev. Josiah Keely and Elizabeth Bradley. His family settled in Saco, Maine, where he attended Saco High School, and graduated from Colby (Waterville) College in 1859, where he studied medicine and worked part time as a druggist’s clerk. Shortly before the Civil War he moved to the Aroostook country of Northern Maine, where he worked as a store clerk, and then moved back to Saco at the outbreak of the war. In 1861, along with his father Josiah and his brother William, he enlisted in the 13th Maine Infantry, where he served as Hospital Steward. Following the war he studied at the New Hampton (Vermont) Theological Institute and completed his studies at Hamilton Seminary, simultaneously preaching at churches in New York. George returned to the Aroostook country and continued pastoral work at Linneus Linden and Smyrna, Maine. In 1868 he married Louisa J. Adams, a music teacher in the Aroostook country, and in 1876, due to financial problems and concerns about their Baptist faith, they moved to Charleston, West Virginia, and lived on land adjacent to his brother William, and estate known as Cherry Farms in the Louden Height, South Hills district of Charleston in Kanawha County. In 1886 George and his entire family requested to join the Society of Friends (Quaker). All of the children were matriculated at the Friend’s School at Westtown, Pennsylvania, except for Frank, who graduated from Charleston High School, pursuing a career in Forestry. George died in 1913 and is buried in the Keely Family Cemetery on the Cherry Farm property.

Louisa J. (Adams) Keely (1843-1926), the wife of George W. Keely, was the daughter of Richard Adams and Deborah Corless, and born in Linneus Linden, Maine. She was a music teacher in the Aroostook country of Maine and married George W. Keely in 1868. The couple moved to Charleston, Kanawha County, West Virginia, in 1876, where the entire family, with the exception of one son, joined the Friends of Society (Quaker) in 1886. Louisa died at Charleston in 1926 and is buried in the Keely Family Cemetery in the Louden Heights area of South Hills in Charleston.

William Keely (1842-1927), brother of George W. Keely and son of Rev. Josiah Keely and Elizabeth Bradley, was born at Haverhill, Massachusetts. At an early age he served as librarian of the Saco Athenaeum (Public Library), taught at a school, and graduated from the Saco (Maine) High School. He entered Colby (Waterville) College. Together with his father Josiah and brother George W., he enlisted in the 13th Maine Infantry, and served at Fort Macomb, Louisiana, near New Orleans, as a lieutenant and acting quartermaster and commissary. In 1865 he married Lucy Stacy of Saco, Maine, and, following the war, was appointed principal of the Peaks Island School at Portland, Maine, but soon afterward accepted a position as a bookkeeper and superintendent of the Cannelton (West Virginia) Branch of the Union Oil and Gas Company. Having moved to West Virginia he was made postmaster at Cannelton, West Virginia, and in 1869 moved to the Buster Farm (Mount Carbon) in Fayette County, West Virginia. He later moved to the Hogue house near Charleston and sold fire and life insurance in Kanawha, Boone and Logan counties for the Coldwell & Moore Agency. He became business manager of the Baptist Banner and editor of the Kanawha Daily, the first daily newspaper in Charleston, where he reported the proceedings of the 1873 Constitutional Convention. William then became secretary, bookkeeper and general manager of Anchor Stove Works Company and for a brief period was an accountant for Charles Ward and the Charleston Gas Company. From 1874 to 1876 he retired to his farm on Charleston’s South Hills District and concentrated his efforts on his dairy and poultry products. In 1876 he accepted a position as bookkeeper, storekeeper and general manager of the Snow Hill Salt Furnace until the Kanawha salt industry shut down in 1882, but during his time at Snow Hill he also served as road commissioner, Sunday school superintendent and trustee, and opened a men’s reading room for the Snow Hill Salt Furnace workers. In 1882 he worked as an accountant and secretary for the Charles Ward Engineering Works, and later as president of the Board of Education of the Louden Magisterial District. During his time after coming to West Virginia he was constantly active in the Baptist church and Civil War veterans’ affairs. For a period in the 1920s until his death in in Charleston in 1927 he was State Commander of the West Virginia Grand Army of the Republic, and assisted veterans with their pension claims. He is buried in Spring Hill Cemetery, Charleston, Kanawha County, West Virginia.

Marada Adams (1845-1938), was born at Linneus Linden, Maine, the daughter of Richard Adams and Deborah Corless, and the sister of Louisa J. Adams (Keely). She began teaching at the age of 16 in the front room of her home, and became a prominent teacher in Maine, where she served as principal of the Shailer School until becoming the first principal at Emerson Grammar School (Munjoy Hill), Portland, Maine, in 1898, where she taught until retirement in 1935. She was the subject in a noted photograph taken at Chatham, Portland, Maine in 1913. Marada taught art to many students who went on to achieve fame with their artwork. She died in 1938 and is buried at Linneus Linden, Maine. Some schools and buildings in Maine are named after her.


Contents List:

Box 1

1. Biographical Information – Keely Family
2. Merrimack Bank Book, Josiah Keely – 1840 - 1842
3. Account / Composition Book, George W. Keely – 1848, 1861
4. Account Book, George W. Keely – 1850
5. Diary, George Keely, Jr. – 1857
6. Diary, Louisa J. Keely – 1889 – 1902 – [printed date on dairy is 1882]
7. Composition Practice Book, George W. Keely – [n.d.]
8. Mercantile Writing Composition Book, George W. Keely – [n.d.]
9. Penmanship Revised Series Book, George W. Keely – [n.d.]
10. Account / Rate Table Book – 1891 – 1893
11. Account/Ledger Book – 1919 - 1928
12. Compositions, Louisa J. Adams (Keely) – 1856, 1886
13. Index to Ledger C with Ledger – 1821 - 1861
14. Grade Cards, Jennie E. Keely, Westtown Boarding School, Pennsylvania – 1893
15. Pocket Calendar – 1922 [December missing]
16. Book Labels, George Keely
17. “Weekly Market Bulletin” (West Virginia Publication) – 8/29/1921 and 10/31/1921
18. “Words of Faith” (Publication) – 1922 – 1926 (miscellaneous issues)
19. “The Lay Evangelist” (Philadelphia Publication) – 1882 – 1883 (miscellaneous issues)
20. “The Friend” (Philadelphia Publication) – 1921 – 1925 (miscellaneous issues)
21. Receipt, George Keely, Subscription to “The Friend” - 1879
22. Philip Cresson Garrett to George Keely, Offer of School Supervisor - 1880
23. Certificate, The Audubon Society, Louisa J. Keely – 1888
24. Release of Vendors Lien, George Keely – 1888
25. Article, Josiah Keely, Kayford, West Virginia, from book Birds of West Virginia - 1921
26. “Electro Dynamic Treatment” by Dr. John J. Hendrickson – 1924 / “Some Facts About Cancer” / “Diagnosis: What Is It?”
27. Letter of Recommendation, George Keely, Religious Study, Saco, Maine - 1860
28. “New Hampton Institution Union Exhibition”, Fairfax, Vermont – 1866
29. Donation Visit, Rev. L. A. Dunn, Fairfax – 1867
30. Commencement Program, George Keely, Madison University (2 copies) – 1867
31. Check, George Keely, Madison University - 1867
32. Keely, Literary Fraternity, Waterville College – 1859, 1860
33. Receipt, George Keely, For Sale of One Cow, Kanawha County, West Virginia - 1876
34. Receipt, George Keely, Deed Recording, Kanawha County, West Virginia - 1876
35. Receipt, George Keely, New Brunswick & Canada Railway & Land Co. – 1876
36. Receipt & Check, George Keely & Isaac Hunt – 1877
37. Receipt, George Keely, Grandpa’s Wonder Soap – 1895
38. Receipt, George Keely, Adams Express Company – 1896
39. Receipt, George Keely, E. T. Crawford & Co. – 1896
40. Receipts, George & Louisa Keely vs Benjamin Hudson – 1898 – 1905
41. Receipt, Frank B. Keely, For A Mare Called ‘Daisy’ – 1902
42. Receipt, George Keely Family, For A Gray Horse Called ‘Frank’ - 1913
43. Receipt, George In Account with William Keely – [n.d.]
44. Receipt, George Keely, Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company – 1909
45. Contract for Telephone Service, George Keely, South Side – 1911
46. 1st Will –[n.d.]
47. Handwritten Scriptures and Sermons – ca. 1850s
48. “The Valley of Silence”, (handwritten poem) – [n.d.]
49. Certification of Ordainship, George Keely – [1873?]
50. Authorization to Perform Marriages in Maine, George Keely - 1873
51. Broadside, O. D. Case & Company, Publishers, Hartford, Connecticut - 1875
52. Broadside, Public Auction, Joe Dodd’s Store, Lindon, West Virginia – 1920
53. G. A. Emery & Moses Emery to George Keely – [1866?]
54. Letter to Governor of Maine, George Keely – 1875
55. Postcards to George Keely from Chester, Pennsylvania – 1899 – 1900
56. State Nurses Convention, Paper Read by Sister Mary Zita, Charleston, WV - 1941
57. Correspondence, George W. Keely – 1850 – 1860
58. Compositions, George W. Keely – 1854 – 1858
59. Correspondence, George W. Keely to George A. Keely – 1864 – 1879
60. Correspondence, George Keely – 1897 – 1900
61. Correspondence, William Keely to George W. Keely – 1852 – 1870
62. Correspondence, Civil War, William Keely (13th Maine Infantry) to George W. Keely – 1863 – 1864 (23 letters, bulk from Fort MacComb. Louisiana)
63. Hand-Drawn Map of Fort MacComb, Louisiana [probably by George or William Keely] – [n.d.]
64. Diary, George Keely, 13th Maine Infantry – Dec. 7, 1861 – Mar. 1,1863. Remaining pages lists of accounts by Keely as Regimental Mail Department and Hospital Steward, listing many of the names of the soldiers.
65. Diary – 1864 – [hand-written note on cover: George Keely, Hospital Steward. 13th Me. Vols., Saco Maine - only wartime entries are for March 28 and October 1 – 4, 1864 – and a page near back list of wounded men of regiment on April 8 or 9, 1864 – bulk of diary is an account book for 1876 – 1877]
66. Special Order, George Keely, Hospital Steward, 13th Maine Infantry - 1863
67. Military Commission, George Keely, Hospital Steward, 13th Maine Infantry - 1863
68. Clothing Receipt, George Keely, Hospital Steward, 13th Maine Infantry – 1864
69. Circular, Classification of Hospital Steward - 1864
70. Civil War Discharge Paper, George Keely, 13th Maine Infantry – 1865
71. Essays, “The Freedmen” & “Campaign In Texas No. 4”, George Keely, 13th Maine Infantry – [n.d.]
72. Reunion Announcement, 13th Maine Infantry Association, Portland, Maine - 1886
73. Civil War Pension Documents, George Keely, 13th Maine Infantry – 1911, 1913, 1914
74. Correspondence, From Louisa J. (Adams) Keely – 1886 – 1922
75. Correspondence, To Louisa J. (Adams) Keely – 1898 – 1924
76. Correspondence, Thomas E. Keely – 1891 – 1916
77. Correspondence, Jennie E. Keely – 1891 – 1907
78. Correspondence, From Mary R. (Keely) Adams – 1892 – 1941
79. Correspondence, To Mary R. (Keely ( Adams – 1915, 1950, 1954
80. Correspondence, From Faith Welty Keely – 1894 – 1917
81. Correspondence, To Faith Welty Keely – 1903 – 1939
82. Correspondence, Mercy A. Keely – 1905 – 1916
83. Correspondence, From Truth N. Keely – 1905 – 1913
84. Correspondence, To Truth N. Keely – 1918 – 1960
85. Correspondence, Abby W. Keely – 1883
86. Correspondence, From Marada Adams – 1882 – 1926
87. Correspondence, To Marada Adams – 1883 – 1923
88. Correspondence, From George A. Keely – 1883 – 1922
89. Correspondence, Frank B. Keely – 1892 – 1907
90. Booklet, Sixth Annual Banquet of the Alumni Association of Charleston High School, Frank Keely - 1905
91. Correspondence, Francis C. Adams to Louisa J. Keely – 1878 – 1888
92. Correspondence, Clarence A. Adams – 1883 – 1919
93. Correspondence, Amy B. Adams to Louisa J. Keely – 1920
94. Correspondence, Amy B. Adams to Mary R. Adams – 1950 – 1957
95. Correspondence, George W. McCalla to Louisa J. Keely – 1911 – 1926
96. Correspondence, Louisa J. Keely to George W. McCalla – 1918
97. Correspondence, Clarkson Sheppard to George Keely – 1877 – 1888
98. Correspondence, Martha G. Sheppard – 1897 – 1934
99. Correspondence, Lea F. (Adams) Henderson to Mary R. (Keely) Adams – 1919 – 1954
100. Correspondence, Esther Fowler to George Keely – 1889 – 1950


Box 2

101. Correspondence, Winnie A. Todd to George Keely – 1875 – 1878
102. Correspondence, Elizabeth C. Keely to George Keely – 1883, 1909
103. Correspondence, Bob Adams to Mary R. Adams – 1949 – 1954
104. Correspondence, B. E. Keely to Louisa J. Keely – 1900 – 1911
105. Correspondence, Mary K. Taylor to George Keely – 1895
106. Correspondence, George Keely to B. F. Walker – [n.d.]
107. Correspondence, Jos. Rhoads – 1895
108. Correspondence, Charles Dury to Miss Strombadt – 1903 [?]
109. Correspondence, From Rob – 1918, 1954
110. Correspondence, Mother to George Keely – 1885 – 1894
111. Correspondence, Charles Sahieldstrom to George Keely – 1877 – 1883
112. Correspondence, Joseph J. Elkinton to George Keely – 1882, 1889
113. Correspondence, James and Nora McCallister to George Keely – 1926
114. Correspondence, E. Garrison – 1912
115. Correspondence, Media Preparative Meeting of Friends to Louisa J. Keely – 1925
116. Correspondence, Charles W. Ryder (Spring River Academy) to George Keely – 1881
117. Correspondence, Mary Keely Boutelle to George Keely – 1872 – 1881
118. Correspondence, From Lulie – 1899, 1903 [?]
119. Correspondence, Ronald C. Henderson – 1950 – 1956
120. Correspondence, Louhoff’s and Louisa J. Keely – 1910 – 1920
121. Correspondence – Minnie – 1950 – 1955
122. Correspondence, Rade – 1883, 1886
123. Correspondence, Horner [?] - 1902
124. Correspondence, From Edith to Mrs. Keely – [n.d.]
125. Correspondence, Miscellaneous Letters from Tuneassa (Quaker Bottom), NY – 1914-1916
126. Correspondence, Miscellaneous Letters from Davis, New Jersey – 1893-1894
127. Correspondence, Miscellaneous Letters from ‘The Old Home Place,’ Linneus, Maine – 1886
128. Correspondence, Miscellaneous Letters from Cherry Farm, Charleston, WV – 1887 – 1919
129. Correspondence, Miscellaneous Letters from Hillsdale, New Jersey – 1892
130. Correspondence, Miscellaneous – 1869 – 1954
131. Correspondence, Miscellaneous – Undated and/or Incomplete
132. Postcards, Truth N. Keely to Mary R. Adams – 1951
133. Birthday Cards for Louisa J. Keely
134. Advertisement, Cuppies Cord Tires, Baird Hardware, Co., Charleston, WV – [n.d.]
135. Miscellaneous Clippings
136. Note on Keely Marriages
137. Photographs – Amy B. Adams to Grandma
138. Miscellaneous Materials
139. Metal/Wood block with Portrait Image of Soldier [probably George or William Keely]
140. Part of panorama group photo (unknown)


Items Transferred to the Map Collection

Map, Charleston, West Virginia and Suburbs – 1913


Manuscript Collections

West Virginia Archives and History