A Narrative History
The People of Iowa
SPECIAL TREATMENT OF THEIR CHIEF ENTERPRISES IN
EDUCATION, RELIGION, VALOR, INDUSTRY,
EDGAR RUBEY HARLAN, LL. B., A. M.
Curator of the
Historical, Memorial and Art Department of Iowa
THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, Inc.
Chicago and New York
MRS. HARRY P. KEYHOE is a women of whom the City of Ottumwa is particularly
proud, reflecting her intellectual gifts and more than that her splendid
devotion to work and to organizations that reflect the enlightenment and
spiritual progress of the city.
Mrs. Keyhoe is the wife of Mr. Harry P. Keyhoe, who was born at Beverly,
Ohio, a son of Ephraim and Malvina (Gilmore) Keyhoe. he settled at Ottumwa in
1876, and for many years has been a master mechanic and active in the business
life of the city. For eight years he served on the City Council.
Mrs. Keyhoe's maiden name was Dora Smith. She was born in Des Moines
County, Iowa, and was married to Mr. Keyhoe in June, 1885. Her father, John B.
Smith, was born in 1835 and came to Iowa about 1855. he married Margery Helfer,
who was born in 1830. John B. Smith was a pioneer educator and was the
first instructor to bear the title of principal in Ottumwas schools.
Mrs. Keyhoe graduated from the Ottumwas High School in 1880. All through
the years she has been a student of literature and history and is recognized as
an authority on the history of Wapello County and of the state at large.
Frequently she has delivered addresses on Iowa history before organizations in
different cities. As a writer she has contributed to a number of
publications. mrs. Keyhoe has been a busy homemaker, mother, and through all these
activities has maintained an intimate touch with literary and religious and civic
organizations. She is an active member of the Shakespeare Club of Ottumwa,
next to the oldest of Iowa's women's clubs. In 1928 she represented the local
chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution at its national congress
in Washington and is a past regent of Elizabeth Ross Chapter, and at the
present time a member of the state committees of the Daughters of the American
Revolution. A service for which she is particularly honored has been through
the public library, working among children. She was prominent in organizing
and conducting the ever popular Story Hour and is known to the children as
"The Story Lady." The Republican party has frequently honored her by
appointment on various committees and as delegate to county and stare conventions, and
at the present time she is one of the three members of the Wapello County
Jury Commission. her most consecutive interest over a long period of years has
been her church. For forty years or more she has been a teacher in its
Sunday School, and her class of women is one of the outstanding organizations in
Mr. and Mrs. Keyhoe had a family of four children. Their daughter Winifred
is an artist and language teacher. Katherine is the wife of Baxter Smith, of
Ottumwa, and their children, the four grandchildren of Mr. and Mrs. Keyhoe,
are Baxter, Jr., Annette, Barbara and John. The other daughter is Miss
Constance. The only son, John, is deceased.
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