The following is a transcription of the biographical data and ancestry of John P. Keefer from the Biographical Annals of Franklin County.
BIOGRAPHICAL ANNALS OF FRANKLIN COUNTY.
JOHN P. KEEFER. Few men of Franklin county have been more actively identified with the mercantile interests of Chambersburg than Mr. John P. Keefer, a leading dry goods merchant of this city, born in Guilford township, Sept. 7, 1833, a son of John (II) and Hannah (Price) Keefer, deceased, and grandson of Jacob Keefer (I).
- JACOB KEEFER (who was among the very early settlers of Franklin county, was of German ancestry, and had the following family:1. JACOB.
- JOHN (II).
- CATHERINE married John Snively.
- NANCY married John Stauffer.
The old Keefer family was brought up in the faith of the German Baptist Brethren Church.
2. JOHN KEEFER, father of John P. Keefer, was born ih Guilford township, in 1800, and spent his life farming in his native township. In 1827, he married Hannah Price, who was born, reared and educated at Waynesboro, and they became the parents of four children:
- ELIZABETH, deceased, married Franklin Reed.
- HENRY married Elizabeth Strickler, and both are deceased.
- JOHN P. (III).
- DANIEL, deceased.
3. JOHN P. KEEFER was reared on his father’s homestead and attended the public schools until he was fifteen years of age, when he came to Chambersburg and entered the academy of this city, remaining one year. He then became clerk in a general merchandise store, owned by H. H. Hutz, and so continued until he was twenty-
one years of age. He was then made a partner, and the firm continued until after the war, when Mr. Keefer embarked in business for himself, since which time he has steadily grown in public favor, until he ranks among the leading merchants of Chambersburg. He enjoys the distinction of having been in business for forty-eight years, the longest term of any merchant here.
Mr. Keefer married Miss Rebecca Seibert of Chambersburg, daughter of Samuel and Agnes (Grove) Seibert, old settlers of Franklin county. Mr. and Mrs. Keefer became the parents of the following children:
- GEORGE G., of York, Pa., married Bertha Mumper, of York county, and they have three children: John, Samuel and Paul.
- ALICE married Dr. H. B. Creitzman, of Welsh Run, Pa., and they have one daughter: Mildred.
- CHARLES W. is assistant manager of his father’s dry goods business at Chambers-“bur g.
- MAURICE W., of Steelton, Pa., married Rose Stewart, and has one son: Stewart.
- ANNIE is at home.
- FLORENCE is at home.
In politics, Mr. Keefer is a sound Republican, and always supports the platform and candidates of his party, but has been too much occupied with his business affairs, to seek public office, although he is so popular in the city, that there is no doubt but that he could obtain almost any office within the gift of his fellow townsmen. In religious affiliations he is an earnest member of the Lutheran Church of Chambersburg, of which he has been deacon and trustee for many years. His fraternal associations have been of the most pleasant, he being an honored member of the I.O.O.F., and one of the most active supporters of that lodge.
Beginning many years ago, when commercial conditions were so essentially different from those of today, Mr. Keefer built up a business of which any man might well be proud; established a credit for his house that could not be shaken, and has gradually changed his policy to meet changed circumstances. Upon his books can be found names which were written there at the start, for once he gains a customer, it is seldom he loses him. Although he is somewhat advanced in years, Mr. Keefer is as energetic as ever, and superintends every detail of his large business, and ensures the same honorable treatment of all, which has been one of the leading characteristics of the house since its inception.
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