Looking for KELLER, PERRY, GRIFFITH'S of Clay-Greene counties, Indiana
I am looking for cousins linked to the above lines, which is only a few of the surnames, some of the other surnames are: Orman, Ellis,
Burger, Dyer, Dalton, Phipps, Hubble, Garlit ,Brothers, and so on.
I did not name them all, just from memory....
My father was Alfred Pearl Keller born 1913,son of Charles Harrison
Keller and Alva Mae Griffith. Alva Mae was the daughter of Joshua
Marion Griffith, a Civil war veteran. Her Mother was Margaret Ann Ellis.
Joshua Marion's father was also a Joshua Griffith. Related to the
Joseph, Bartlett Griffith line.
I would love to meet some of my family from this connection. I do not know any of the Griffith cousins.
On the Keller side: Charles H. Keller was born in 1891 in Clay county, Indiana. His father was Alfred Keller, his mother: Melinda
Charles was married first to: Effie Perry born in 1883. Effie met a terrible death due to an accidental fire, when she was cleaning the
coal oil lamps and caught on fire. She died in 1910 after suffering
terribly for 3 day
Charles and Effie had the following children: Earl, Bessie Marie,
Burnette, and Forrest Wayne.
After the death of Effie, these children went to live with various
relatives, I believe on the Perry side, until Charles remarried and
settled in with a new wife.
Alva Mae and Charles Keller were married on May 31, 1912 in Clay county. Alva had a child named Merle, out of wedlock (evidently)
who was given the Keller name. The first child born of Alva and Charles Keller was: Alfred Pearl Keller, who was my father.
Later children were: Mildred Irene, Riley Leroy, Virgil, Harry, James, Linda (died at age 2), and Rex.
I'm told that Charles was a gentle man, mild mannered, who loved
children, gardening and music. My dad told me that grandpa could always be found with a lap full of children.
Charles was in an auto accident in 1935. He suffered a broken neck,
which was not correctly diagnosed. After 3 months of terrible pain
and becoming paralyzed, Charles died.
Dad told me that he never got over missing his father. None of my
siblings had the privilge of knowing Grandpa.
Alva Mae Griffith Keller was a strong, hard working lady, who had
not had the chance for formal education. Her mother died when she
was a young child. It seems that Grandpa Joshua Marion was not very
warm or gentle. Probably after his awful experience in the civil war,
he was unable to be the kind of dad that was needed.
Grandma Alva wasn't warm or cuddly to most of her grandkids. She might
have been to the first few in her early years. Later, we were not a
big deal, just more to add to her growing litter.
It is my understanding that she had no childhood, that she had to become a responsible adult way beyond her actual years. No Mother to
shield her, as mother's have a tendency to do. Alva's older sister
Paulina Rozetta, "Liney", took over the raising of Alva.
Liney probably had more on her plate than she could handle also. Grandma Alva shared with my Mother, that it was a bleak existance.
Some of Grandma's attributes were her hard work, excellent cooking,
neat house and her ability to be pretty and well dressed without
alot to work with. I'm told that Grandma loved pretty clothes and
nice things. There wasn't much income in those days, so she didn't have the chance to have much of those items.
After Charles died Grandma married several more times. Once to George
Parson ( Dad said he was a prince of a guy ) and then to a Duck Terrill. I only knew him by "Duck", though that wasn't his real name.
Grandma Alva suffered from diabetes, which many of us now fight. It
appears to be a strong genetic problem in our family. Several of my
sibling's children have hypoglycemia that fluctuates so badly as to
appear as diabetes. One of my brothers and I also have diabetes... or so they call it. It is really a blood sugar problem that swings wildly
back and forth, from hypo to hyper.
Two of my grandchildren, (siblings), have ketonic hypoglycemia, ( I may have mispelled). I am writing this as I am interested in finding
out if other family members have shown problems with blood sugar,
(outside of my immediate family). I believe that medical knowledge has not gotten to the exact problem yet on this blood sugar disorder.
Any input from others on this genetic illness is welcome.
My parents Alfred (Pearl) Keller and Ruth Edelman Keller had 9 children: Dickie ( who lived only 18 mo.-aprox.), Phyllis, Charles,
Wilma Jean, Frances, Ronald, Stevie (lived 3 days -spinal bifida),
Roger and Susie.
Mom and Dad bought a farm in Lewis during the depression years and there for the most part, was home. Dad was a coal miner and farmed
too, working nearly night and day to provide for his quiver of children.
Mother kept hearth and home together, also working long, long hours
to help provide: selling eggs, milk, cottage cheese and such, to save
a little extra money to pay off the farm. (which they did in about 2
My parents were strong christians, (Dad was not raised in Church but
believed and became a christian), sharing what they had with anyone
in need. Countless people were welcomed into thier home to share the
bounty that the Lord provided.
Our home in Lewis, Indiana was the host place for numerous, taffy pulls, donut fries, ice skating, home made ice cream feeds...you name it. All were welcome and many attended.
I have never met more hospitable people than my parents. Never did I hear them worry over the cost of extra people being fed or the extra
work that it made. " Come on in and sit down and eat" was always the
Dad and Mother were strong believers in Christian education. We were
all sent to church school and even sent to boarding academies, as there was no christian high school near. Can you imagine the sacrifice
and penny pinching it took for a coal miner to send 7 kids through
school. Yet Dad always said, " It was the best money I ever spent".
The highest salary Dad ever made was the last 3 years of work history.
I think it was between 6 and 7 dollars an hour.
Most of Daddy's coal mining work was in terrible conditions, (no OSHA), no safty rules as they have today. He was scarred up from
the years of coal mining. His nose was cut off and had to be re attached,slate fell numerous times and cut and bruised him. He had
black marks in many places where he had slate injuries that left bits
of coal as tatoo's. YET, I NEVER hear him complain that the work was
too hard, or that he didn't feel like going to work.
Daddy loved his family so dearly! Each of us thought we were his favorite. Even his grandchildren used to playfully argue which one
was his favorite, as they each thought they were.
I don't know how he showed us that he loved us so much, but we all knew that he did. You never came too early or stayed late enough for
Mom or Dad. It seemed they never got tired of a home bursting with
When it was time for us to come home for a get- together, Dad would
start asking about the menu as he was anxious to go shopping and buy
the food. His motto was: "I want there to be plenty of food, we don't
want to run out". I don't think we ever did, no matter how many extra
people we drug home with us. Everyone was welcome. No reservations
needed. That was Mom and Dad's idea of hospitality.
In the late 1960's we moved to Dayton, Tennesse for my folks to be
faculty at a christian boarding school, similar to the ones that
we children attended. Some of the happiest memories of mine were
made there. For me as a child, it was a care free life. I played in
the woods, explored caves, swam in the pool at the bottom of the water
falls deep in the woods, and just had a wonderful time.
It was my privilege to have nieces and nephews near my age to play
with. My dearest friend was my younger nephew, Chuckie. He is the
son of my oldest brother Chuck Keller and Melba Jordan Keller.
Chuckie and I were the best of friends, playing together from the
time we got up to bedtime. I recall waiting outside his bedroom for
him to get up from his nap, ( sometimes shortening the nap, if I could get away with it).
Chuckies Mom, Melba, was just the best big sister to me. She put up
with my constent intrusion into her house. If she got tired of me, she
never showed it. Still today, she is one of my dearest friends.
Not only did I have Chuckie, but also his siblings: Kim, Jeannie and
Sally as side kicks. I enjoyed hosting them through my explorations,
fort making and camp sites. They injested happily many pots of soup and various of my first cooking. Hopefully, it didn't hurt them.
I would go raid the big gardens available, make a camp fire and start
cooking. We would eat all that pot and make another.
Melba was very tolerant and trusting with me. She never complained to
my Mother of how dirty they got or how dangerous our explorations were.
Actually, they were dangerous, but I was too young to understand the
danger. I know the angels were with us. We swam in snake infested
streams, rafting there too. Caves were explored, the entire mountain
that we could walk too and still get home by dark, was our domain.
Now when I go there, I wear boots and watch carefully for snakes. Then
we wondered barefoot, tromping about, never worrying about that.
Both copperheads and rattlesnakes are thick in those areas. I am terribly snake aware now. Somehow then, the Lord protected me from
any bad encounters.
The place that we lived was Laurelbrook School in Dayton, Tennessee.
This school is on top of part of the WaldenRidge mountain range. There
are hundreds of acres of wooded mountains there.
At the time that we lived there, each of my older set of siblings lived there with the exception of my brother Ron. All the other's were
either faculty or the spouses were. Some of the jobs they filled were:
principal, farm manager, mechanic shop, math teacher, head nurse at the nursing home, dietician aide, laundry manager (for both the school
students and the nursing home, elementary teacher. I may have left some out.
Luckily, my job was being a child. Other than helping at the laundry
and going to school, I was often free to play in the woods. I can't
imagine a better place for a child.
Meals were always provided at the cafeteria, if some of our Mother's
were working at one of the above jobs. We just went to the cafeteria
when the bell rang. It was wonderful! On Sabbath, everyone rested
from the work and just enjoyed going to church and spending time
together. Often we hiked through the mountains, going to a new water
falls or cave.
I had my big brothers there to explore with and get us down into
caves and such that Chuckie and I couldn't do on our own.
IT was quite the life.
Now both of my parents: Ruth and Pearl Keller are resting in the graveyard in Jasonville, Indiana. Along with them are 2 babies that
died in infancy. Mother's parents,sibling and such are also there.
In this spot lies 2 of my siblings children, Jeanne Diane Keller,
(Chuck and Melba's child), who died of diabetes complications.
Also my beloved nephew John Martin Laswell lies near-by. John Martin is the son of Frances Laswell Shaver and John Laswell Sr.
John Martin was also a dear, dear friend, as well as my nephew. We
were close and loved each other from his birth. Many the day that
John spent in my home, traveling long distances to be with us.
We lost John in a plane crash where he was the pilot. It appears the
plane he was flying ( contract pilot) was not properly maintained.
On take-off, the engines failed. Along with John, 4 ministers were
also killed. John was flying them to a ministerial type meeting in
We await the resurrection when we will once again see these missed
This plot of ground that holds so many loved ones will one day be
my place of rest. My brother Roger, who is only about 2 years older
than I, has terminal cancer and is in the last stages of life. Soon
another grave will be opened there and another, so dear to my heart
will be laid to rest to await the promised trumpet of the Lord, when