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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



Among the men who have accomplished much in the development of Sacramento and environs, is Mr. Keyes, organizer, secretary and manager of the Sacramento Natural Gas Company, who, in all his labors, has evidenced an executive ability and far-reaching business judgment unexcelled by his associates.

Born in London, Ontario, Canada, May 12, 1852, Mr. Keyes received his education in the schools of his native section and at an early age displayed the perseverance and high ambition which have characterized his career. His father, Henry Keyes, a native of London and a well-known writer of ability, contributing articles chiefly on the Canadian Northwest to different magazines, owned and operated a fine farm near London for many years and actively conducted his duties until he reached an advanced age, his stir- ring poem on the Northwest having been published after he entered his eighty-third year. His wife, formerly Martha Taylor, was a woman of exceptional culture and shared every joy and sorrow of her husband and children with the spirit of abnegation characteristic of the true wife and mother.

In 1868 Henry Keyes left Canada for the States, joining a surveying party as rodman on the Alabama & Chattanooga, now the Alabama & Great Southern Railroad, with whom he worked for two years. Subsequently he secured a situation in the service of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Company, running out of Chicago, and he remained with them until 1876, when he came to Placer county, Cal., and spent three years in following mining, at the end of that time locating in Stockton, where he started in the real estate business. So well did he succeed in this venture that for twenty years he conducted a real estate and insurance business there and also organized the Citizens Natural Gas Company of Stockton, the affairs of which he managed for fifteen years. In 1896 he started the organization of the Sacramento Natural Gas Co., and in 1899 he located his residence here. He developed natural gas in Sacramento City and nine wells have been put down by the company, which is incorporated with a capital stock of $500,000. It has fifty-five miles of gas mains and is conceded to be one of the most perfectly constructed and controlled systems of its character in the state.

Mr. Keyes is affiliated with Charity Lodge No. 6, I. O. O. F., of Stockton. He is a member of Morning Star Lodge No. 68, F. & A. M., of Stockton Chapter No. 8, E. A. M., and the Sacramento Commandery No. 2, K. T. He is also a member of all the Scottish Eite bodies of Sacramento up to the thirty-second degree, and is a member of Islam Temple, N. M. S., of San Francisco. Socially he is a member of the Sutter Club, his comprehensive knowledge of all public matters of interest playing no inconsiderable part in his popularity among his associates. 

History of Sacramento County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: William L. Willis
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1913)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011