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Chicago: Biographical Publishing Company

Page 598

ANDREW J. KEISER, of the firm of Keiser Bros, proprietors of the Anchor Rolling Mills, of Mt. Olive, is a native of Germany. The date of his birth is September 28, 1845, and the place Prussia. In 1854 he accompanied his parents to this country, the family making their first settlement in Macoupin County. (See sketch of C. J. Keiser for parental history). He acquired a good education in private and public schools in this county, and in 1869 started out in life for himself. He came into possession of one hundred and eighty acres of land, to the development of which he gave his undivided attention for several years. In 1875 by purchase he secured an additional two hundred acres, making his farm three hundred and eighty acres in extent. This is situated just across the line in Montgomery County and was brought up to its present high standard of improvement through his own efforts. Supplied with good houses, barns and other buildings, it is accounted one of the best farms in the community. In 1874 Mr. Keiser became connected with his brother C. J. and others in opening up and operating mines under the firm title of the Mt. Olive Coal Company. The brothers had personal control of the mines as long as they were the property of that company. About sixty car loads per day were taken out, but afterward the mines wee sold, becoming the property of the Consolidated Coal Company. There is now a yield of about one hundred and twenty cars daily, these being among the best mines in the State. There is a rich vein of coal seven feet in thickness and the shaft leads down in to the ground four hundred feet.

In 1869, in Mr. Olive township, Mr. Keiser was united in marriage with Miss Anna Ross, who was born in Alton in 1852 and is a daughter of Gerd and Marcke (Arkebauer) Ross, both of whom were natives of Germany, and when young came to the United States. They were married in Alton, spending some years in Madison County, after which they removed to a farm near Mt. Olive, where they are now living. They are members of the Lutheran Church and are numbered among the best and most highly respected citizens in the community. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Keiser were born three children, but Mary and John are now deceased. Anna G. is an intelligent and cultured young lady of twenty summers. The mother of this family was called to her final rest in 1875, dying at her home in Montgomery County when in the prime of life. Mr. Keiser was again married, his second union being with a sister of his first wife, Frances L. Ross, who was born in Alton in 1854 and when one year old came to Macoupin County. Four of the seven children born of that union died in childhood, namely: Anna, George, Mary and Martha. John G., Herman A., and Andrew J. F. are still at home with their parents.

The business with which Mr. Keiser is now connected has been carried on under the firm name of Keiser Bros. & Co., owners of the Anchor Rolling Mills since 1881, at which time he became a partner. He has since devoted his entire attention to the interests of the business, having the management of the operating of the mill under his personal control. He is one of the enterprising business men of Mt. Olive and is meeting with excellent success in his work. The product of the Anchor Mills is of excellent quality and therefore a fine trade is secured. This is one of the leading industries of the place and in fact is one of the largest businesses of the kind in this part of the county.

Mr. and Mrs. Keiser are both members of the Lutheran Church, in which he has been an officer for twenty years, and in the work of the church they take an active interest. In politics he is a Republican and has held a number of local offices. Fair and honest and in all his dealings he has won the confidence of all and by his pleasant manner and gentlemanly deportment has secured many friends.

1891 Index

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