GARRETT KEEFE - Garrett Keefe, who became well known in business circles as a dealer in flour and feed in Springfield, arrived in the capital city in 1889 and made for himself a reputation that many a business man might well envy. He was a native of County Tipperary, Ireland, born February 7, 1835. His father, Patrick Keefe, became a resident of Springfield at an early day and both he and his wife are now deceased.
The son obtained his education in the schools of his native county, but his advantages in that direction were somewhat limited. In later years, however, reading experience and observation added to his knowledge and he became a practical and well informed business man. Ere leaving Great Britain he was married in April, 1861, in Monmouthshire, Wales, to Miss Mary Madden, a native of County Tipperary, Ireland, and a daughter of Timothy Madden, who died on the Emerald Isle. Coming to America, Mr. Keefe established his home in Springfield and became a factor in the business circles of the city as a dealer in flour and feed. He carried on a wholesale trade and was thus connected with commercial interests until his death. His widow and two sons then took charge of the business, located at Nos. 328 and 330 East Jefferson street and have since conducted the establishment under the firm style of Keefe & Sons.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Keefe were born the following named: Elizabeth, the wife of A. J. Dunnington, a resident of Springfield; Kate, the wife of Joseph Gallian; John, who married Mary Frye and is connected with his mother and brothers in the flour and feed business; Mary, who resides at home with her mother; Andrew G., who is another partner in the flour and feed business; William, who is occupying a clerical position at the stockyards in Chicago; and James Garrett and Patrick G., both of whom are deceased.
Mr. Keefe was a stanch advocate of the Republican party and took an active interest in its growth and success. He became a loyal son of his adopted country and in community affairs was influential, promoting the best interests of his city along many lines of progress and improvement. He was a member of the Catholic church, as is his widow, and all of their children. The family occupy a nice residence, which was built by Mr. Keefe a few years before his death. He passed away April 21, 1898, and his demise was the occasion of deep regret on the part of many friends as well as his immediate family. He was a worthy type of the Irish-American citizen, possessing the versatility and adaptability of his nation and also the progressive ideas and spirit which have led to the rapid development and improvement of the middle west.