William H. Keyes, County Sheriff

Source: 1880 Atlas of Steuben County, IN p.14 c.1

The present efficient Sheriff of Steuben County, Ind., was born in Knox County, Ohio December 12,1841, and is the son of Tolman Keyes, a native of Rutland, VT., and Mary Keyes nee Richards, a native of Delaware. His parents were married in Vermont, moving from there to Knox County, Ohio, in the Fall of 1844 came to Steuben County, Ind., settling in Richland Township, where they resided until death, dying as they had lived, firm believers in the faith of Wesley. William was the tenth in a family of eleven children, only four of whom are living. His youth was passed under his father’s roof; and at the district school he received an education which fitted him for the average “way of life.” At the age of eighteen, he began in life for himself, his father having sold the farm and retired from active business. Shortly after this, the country was plunged into Civil War by the machinations of scheming politicians, and in October 1861, he volunteered in defense of the Union and was mustered into Company A., Twenty-ninth Indiana Infantry, in which he remained a little over three years, taking part in all the engagements of his regiment but one. At the expiration of his term of service, he returned to Steuben County, Ind., where he remained three months, during which time he was married January 10, 1865 to Miss Melvina Cary, daughter of William S. and Malissa Cary, natives of Knox County, Ohio, who settled in Richland Township, Steuben County, Ind., in 1845, where her mother still resides, her father having died about 1870. Mrs. Keyes was born in Knox County, Ohio January 18, 1843, and she and husband “grew up from the cradle” together, sealing in after years the affection of childhood days by a happy marriage. Leaving his young wife, he again volunteered for service April 7, 1865, and was mustered into Company B, Fifty-sixth Pennsylvania Infantry, serving until the war was ended, when he returned to Steuben County and bought a farm, which occupation he has since followed. Politically, he has always been a Republican, was Trustee of Richland Township one term, and in October 1878, was elected Sheriff of Steuben County, beginning the duties of his office September 10, 1879, which he is filling capable, and satisfactorily to the people. He and wife have been members of the M. E. Church since early youth, and Mr. Keyes is a local preacher of that denomination. Mr. Keyes is a plain, blunt, outsp9oken man, and never hesitates to speak his convictions on any subject. Still, with all his bluntness, he is courteous and gentlemanly, and would not, intentionally, wrong or injure the feelings of his fellowman. He is well liked by all with whom he comes in contact, and will, we have no doubt, make an honest, faithful and popular official.