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Name Keeling, William Henry
Born 03/18/1835
Birthplace Vermont
Places of residence Nebraska, Falls City
Father Keeling, Henry
Mother Hill, Nancy
Education Attended the common schools and the academy at Bakersfield, Vermont.
Notes Major Keeling had rare experiences on the western plains in the early days of the "wild and woolly West." He mingled much with the Indians, was a friend to them and in turn was beloved by them; he had great influence over them. While in Montana they called him "The man that shakes hands and gives us bread and meat." He and General Sherman remained warm friends until the latter’s death.
Occupation Worked at the printer’s trade until 1853, when he joined his father in New Orleans. In April, 1855, he entered the employ of the United States government, and was a member of a surveying corps at Leavenworth, Kansas. Served with the13TH U. S. INFANTRY, 1861-68. He then clerked in a grocery store at Leavenworth until the spring of 1856, following which he entered the employ of an immigration company in eastern Iowa for one year. He followed surveying in Louisiana a year 1858, then went to Houston, Texas, where he was associated with a family that were relatives of William H. Taft, later to become President of the United States, remaining with that household until 1860. He planned to go into business in the South, but sickness overtaking him, he returned to the old homestead, later coming to St. Louis, where he worked awhile, going to eastern Iowa in 1861, where he recruited for the United States army. He was offered a commission of lieutenant-colonel of a regiment of volunteers, but declined, preferring to remain with the Thirteenth Regiment of the regular army. On May 6, 1866, he was sent from Ft. Leavenworth to Montana, as quartermaster in charge of a vast amount of government supplies carried on several steamer. He built the military post at the mouth of the Judith river in Montana, known as Camp Cooke. He also selected the site of Ft. Shaw. He retired from the service in 1867, after a most commendable record, receiving an honorable discharge.
He came to Falls City in 1868 and engaged in the general merchandise business with Maj. J. E. Burbank, until 1872, when he was appointed army post trader for the United States
government at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. He held this position until the spring of 1886, when he returned to Falls City, where he had retained some business interests during his absence at the fort, and here he again entered actively into mercantile pursuits. It was a partnership business until in January,
1888, when he conducted the store alone until 1893. Served as mayor of Falls City three different terms, during which he did much for the general welfare of the community.
Relationships Paternal grandmother was a revolutionary pensioner, who, when 96, traveled from Rockford, Illinois, to Connecticut.
Role Business
Spouse Dunham, Abbie E. (d. 1866), Hoyt, Eliza (d. 1891), Miller, Zaida (Zadie)
Children 3 children with Eliza Hoyt: Lois H., Grace N., and Taylor. Taylor lived in Montana and had at least one child, Lois Harriet.

1 child with Zaida: William M. Keeling
Deceased 03/06/1920
Deceased where Falls City, Nebraska

Associated Records

Image of 11310-26 - Rattle; Gourd; Painted

11310-26 - Rattle; Gourd; Painted

Rattle made of a long necked gourd. Gourd has a curved stem that points downward in a curve. The gourd has been cut open at the bottom to insert shaker material (probably small stones) and carefully glued together. The bottom of the gourd is painted gold, with small flecks of red paint showing through. The gourd is painted with scalloped designs that resemble mountains and suns. There are rows of horizontal lines painted around the midsection of the gourd. All of the decorative lines are black. The gourd is a dark golden yellow color. The entire gourd is covered with a clear shellac or glaze.

Image of 11310-27 - Pounder; Pemmican; Stone Head; Rawhide Handle

11310-27 - Pounder; Pemmican; Stone Head; Rawhide Handle

Pounder with stone head. Stone head is large and a dark brownish red color. Handle is made of wood and covered with rawhide. Rawhide wraps around center of stone head, with front and back parts of stone exposed. Rawhide is stitched with sinew.

Image of 11310-3 - Bow, Wood; No String

11310-3 - Bow, Wood; No String

Wooden bow made of dark honey colored wood. Bow has an S curve shape. One end of bow carved into bulb shape, opposite end carved into hook shape. Bow string missing. The name "Keeling 44" is written in ink on interior.

Image of 11310-4 - Bow, Wood; Hemp String; Yarn Decoration

11310-4 - Bow, Wood; Hemp String; Yarn Decoration

Bow made of dark honey colored wood. S curved. Bow string is made of plied cord, possibly hemp that is attached to one end of the bow with a noose type knot. The bow string hangs loosely, unattached to the other tip of the bow. There are strips of rawhide wrapped around both ends of the bow. Semi clean looking sections at the center portion of the bow look like they were previously wrapped with sinew as well. Both ends of the bow are notched with on each side, with the top portion carved into a bone type shape The body of the bow has an hourglass shape. The users hand is probably supposed to be placed in between these sets of notches. The name "Keeling" is written in ink on the wood. Strands

Image of 11310-5 - Headdress, Eagle Feather, Single Trail, Red Wool; Geometric Beadwork, Sioux

11310-5 - Headdress, Eagle Feather, Single Trail, Red Wool; Geometric Beadwork, Sioux

Eagle feather headdress. Swept back bonnet, single straight line trail; skull cap of commercial felt; circled by bald eagle feathers tipped with yellow dyed horsehair. Quills attached to cap by bending and wrapping with red wool stroud cloth and tied with white string. Trail of feathers form the trail. The trail is made of a narrow strip of red wool backed with thick white canvas fabric. Deerskin browband is covered with glass bead work. Beads are white and blue are attached to leather with sinew and lazy stitch. The beadwork is attached to the leather in a geometric stepped triangle design. Each triangle is separated by small red squares. Strips of green and red silk ribbons hang from each

Image of 11310-6 - Headdress, Eagle Feather, Single Trail, Red Wool; Geometric Beadwork, Sioux

11310-6 - Headdress, Eagle Feather, Single Trail, Red Wool; Geometric Beadwork, Sioux

Eagle feather headdress. Swept back bonnet, single straight line trail; skull cap of commercial felt; circled by bald eagle feathers tipped with yellow dyed horsehair. Quills attached to cap by bending and wrapping with red wool stroud cloth and tied with white string. Trail of 35 feathers form the trail. The trail is made of a narrow strip of red wool backed with thick white canvas fabric. Deerskin browband is covered with glass bead work. Beads are white, green, red and yellow and are attached to leather with sinew and lazy stitch. The beadwork is attached to the leather in a geometric stepped triangle design. Each triangle is separated by small red squares. Strips of hide with fur fragment

Image of 11310-7 - Coat, Deerskin; Fringe; Beaded Floral Design

11310-7 - Coat, Deerskin; Fringe; Beaded Floral Design

Men's coat made of leather. Leather appears to be buckskin. Cut leather fringe trims the side seams and bottoms arm seams. The back of the neckline and front chest are decorated with black wool that has beaded applique designs. The beaded designs are attached to the wool thread and have visible paper templates. The edges of the black wool is trimmed with cream colored silk. The beaded design is a woodland style floral. with blue, pink, white and yellow beads. The edges of the cuffs, opening and hem are trimmed with hide that has fragments of fur still attached. The fur looks like rabbit or sheared beaver. The front of the coat closes with leather strips.

Image of 11310-8 - Leggings, Alaskan; W/ Feet Attached

11310-8 - Leggings, Alaskan; W/ Feet Attached

Men's leather pants with attached moccasins. Pants are made of light colored leather. The front of the pants have a slit style opening. Beaded strips are attached to the circumference of the ankles, around the knees and running up and down the outside front edges of each leg. The beads are red, white and blue and strung with sinew. The tops of the attached moccasins have rust colored pigment painted onto them in a triangular shape-this might be original markings for placement of beadwork. "Keeling #10" is written on the inside of the leggings with purple ink.

Image of 11310-9 - Pin Cushion; Turtle Shape

11310-9 - Pin Cushion; Turtle Shape

Turtle shaped pin cushion made of fabric and beads. The bottom of the pin cushion has a coverign of black fabric that is stretched over a flat round piece of thick board that is visible in a few places where there is insect damage. The "shell" part of the turtle is soft, without an underframe and is covered with red woven wool. The pin cushion is stuffed with an identified material. The top of the turtle shell is covered with a netting of jet black glass beads, with red beads incorporated into the design at the points where the beads cross. The feet and head are made of red and black fabric, stuffed and covered with beaded net. The turtle has two black metal sequin eyes with clear glass seed