California Genealogy and History Archives
An honored position among the farmers of Sonoma county is held by the well-known Irish-American citizen whose name introduces this article and whose personality is familiar to many of the pioneers of the region. As his name indicates, he is of Irish nativity and extraction and belongs to a family for many generations associated with the Emerald Isle, whence emigration was made to Canada in 1847 when Michael was a child of four years. The memories of his native land are therefore misty in outline, having left no permanent impress upon his mind, but he recalls vividly the sojourn of four years near Montreal, Canada, and the migration from there across the St. Lawrence river to New York, from which state a return to Canada was made in three years. Hence his education was obtained principaily in Canadian schools. The further advantage was his of inheritance of a cheerful, optimistic temperament from Irish progenitors. In addition an early contact with Americans developed qualities of energy and determination inseparable from permanent progress.
Coming via the isthmus to California during the year 1869 Mr. Keough secured employment as a stage-driver on the old overland route and for a considerable period he continued in this hazardous work, but eventually he turned to agriculture as a more congenial occupation and for many years he has been engaged in general farming in Sonoma county. After coming here he was united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth Green, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1860. Two daughters blessed their union. The elder, Christie, is the wife of C. H. Danger, and the younger, Minnie, married J. J. Pennery. Mrs. Keough is a daughter of Carl Green, a German who came to the United States in 1850 and settled in Pennsylvania. In the Green family there were five children, William, Mary, Barbara, Louie and Elizabeth. William married Eliza Hulp and has one child. Mary, Mrs. William Little, has four children, Carlton, Ivan, Gladys and Christina. Barbara is married and has four daughters, and Louie also is the mother of four children.
Tracing the genealogy of the Keough family it is ascertained that previous generations lived in Ireland as far back as the record can be traced. George Keough, who was born in Ireland in 1807, married Mary Devereaux, who was born there in 1818. Their family comprised eight children, namely: Michael, John, George, Philip, Susan, Josephine, Minnie and Mary Ann. John is married and has a son, George. George married Mary Bowler and has two children, Charles and Inez. Philip, who makes his home =at Bishop, Inyo county, married Nora Hall and has four children, Chester, Carl, Merle and Edna. Susan, Mrs. Richard Fulfurd, has six children, four of them being named George, John, Richard and Elizabeth. Josephine is married and the mother of four children. Minnie, Mrs. George Robinson, has a daughter, Mollie. Mary Ann, Mrs. John Waysort, has a family of four children.
Since establishing his home in Sonoma county and taking up agricultural activities Mr. Keough has been interested in other movements besides such as support of progressive projects for the general welfare. Whenever any movement is brought forward for the ultimate good of the community he is ready to promote its success and contribute to its assistance. When a few progressive men first broached the subject of a telephone line he took up the movement with enthusiasm and contributed to the establishment of the system, since which time he has served as president of the local telephone line. Educational work also receives his stanch support. A firm believer in the inestimable value of the public-school system, he aids all enterprises for the advancement of its standard of education and the increasing of its usefulness. As school trustee he has rendered valuable service gratuitously to his district and by all means in his power has endeavored to advance the welfare of the school. At his home he is to be found busily engaged in caring for his tract of one hundred and fifteen acres, much of which is under cultivation to grain or in meadow, while five acres are planted to fruits of the choicest varieties. To some extent he also specializes in chickens and at this writing has on his farm a drove of six hundred hens, the income from which adds materially to his annual receipts.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011