James  Edwin  Keeling, M.D.

          “The family of this name were Kentuckians, but sent representatives to Indiana in time to be classed among the earliest of Shelby county pioneers.  The first comers located on land in the vicinity of what is now the town of Geneva, and there reared a family, of whom the most noted was  W. W. Keeling.  He was born a mile from the village in Shelby county, Indiana, October 10, 1830, and after growing up became a school teacher.  Later he studied medicine and was one of the pioneer physicians of the eastern part of Shelby county.  He was always fond of politics and figured as one of the local leaders of the Democratic party.  After removing to Nebraska he was elected a member of the Legislature and became well known as an advocate of the Democratic party principles.  He met  Marian Spier, a native of Switzerland county, Indiana, born July 25, 1837, and the child of parents who came from Edinburg, Scotland.  Doctor Keeling and his lady were married at Omaha, Nebraska, June 22, 1858, and are still residents of that state, hale and hearty for their ages.  They had five children, John R., a resident of Shelbyville;  Charles M., a physician in South Dakota;  William F., a citizen of Montana;  James Edwin  and  Mrs. Marian R. Collver  of Omaha.  Doctor Keeling still does a little practice in his Nebraska home, but has changed politics to the Prohibition party and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.
          James Edwin Keeling, his father's fourth child, was born in Geneva, Shelby county, Indiana, October 20, 1867.  After finishing in the country schools he attended Hartsville College and the Hope Normal, laying the foundations for a good education with a view to a professional career.  Eventually he became a student of the Indiana Medical College, from which he was graduated in the class of 1891, after which he took a post-graduate course in one of the best medical institutes of New York.  He holds membership in the American Medical Association, also in the county and state associations devoted to physicians.  Doctor Keeling began practice at Geneva and remained there for twelve years, when he established himself at Waldron, since which he has enjoyed a good and steadily growing patronage.   He is popular with the profession as well as the people, and is regarded as one of the county's most prominent physicians of his age.  He is a member of the Masonic Order, Modern Woodmen, Ben Hur and Knights of Pythias.  He is also a member of the Methodist church and Prohibition party, holding views on the importance of temperance and the necessity of moral education for our youth.  April 12, 1891, Doctor Keeling was married to  Lizzie Benjamin, by whom he has had one child, Roy E., born January 29, 1892.  The mother dying February 9, 1895, Doctor Keeling was married to  Mary J. Mitchell  on April 28, 1896.  She was born February 20, 1876, in Tipton county.  By this union there were four children:  Forest E., born June 8, 1897;  Irene, born September 16, 1898, died June 29, 1899;  Fredrick A., born March 9, 1900, and  Lucille Gladys, born December 8, 1902.”
From pp. 689-690 of Chadwick's 1909 History of Shelby County, Indiana
Submitted by Don T. Mitchell, grand nephew of Mary Jane (Mitchell) Keeling (1876-1947.

Notes: (1) William Wesley Keeling (1831-1918), son of  John  and  Rebecca (Farrall) Keeling and father of 'Uncle Doc', was first married to  Marietta Mitchell  (1837-1855).  She was a daughter of  Reuben and Margaret Jane (Champ) Mitchell  of Noble Twp.  Their two children died in infancy.  (2) Mary Jane 'Jenny' (Mitchell) Keeling was the oldest child of  William Alexander  and  Elizabeth Margaret 'Maggie' (Allen) Mitchell, also of Noble Twp.

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