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Wagon Ruts West

By Ralph Ray Keeney

Published in 1983


    The following selection is taken from "Wagon Ruts West" written & published by Ralph Ray Keeney in 1983. The book  is currently out of print. This section is published with the kind permission of Ralph Ray Keeney. The book this selection is drawn from is under copyright and permission has been granted for educational purposes and it is not to be used in any way for any profit or commercial venture.

Click here to read letter of permission.

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The following is Section 30

Jonathan H.  Keeney


___John, Sr. (1750? - 1845?) Married Martha -
| Jonathan Anthony (1778  - 1850)
| ___ John Jr. (1780 - 1845) Married Mary Ramsey Buckhalter, 1805
| |   Mary (1806 - 1850-)
| |   Thomas (1808 - 1842)
| |   Isley (1811 - 1842)
| |   Jonathan (1813 - 1878)
| |   James (1816 - 1885) 
| |   Abraham (1818 - 1843)
| | ____Andrew Jackson (1819 - 1898) Married Elizabeth Mulholland, 1841
| | | Frances Ann - drowned with Mother in the Missouri Riv.
| | | 2. Married Hannah Daniels Cooper (daughter, Anna Cooper)
| | | Elias P. (1852 - 1857)
| | | James Madison ( 1853 - 1913)
| | | George R. (1856 - 1859)
| | | William Daniel (1857 - 1930)
| | | ____John Blanden (1859 - 1942) Married Ella Hurt, 1881
| | | |    Maude (1882 - 1958)
| | | |    Rhoda C. (1884 - 1884)
| | | |    Ira Marvin (1885 - 1945)
| | | | ___ Willard Warren (1888 - 1958)    Married Alice L. Crall, 1920
| | | | |      Jack LeRoy, 1921
| | | | |      Ralph Ray, 1923
| | | | |      Harold Blanding, (1925 - 1925)
| | | | |      Loa May, 1926
| | | | |      Ida Dee, 1929
| | | | |     Billie Fae, 1932
| | | | |      William Warren, 1933
| | | | |____Bessie Jo, 1935
| | | |______Glenn (1894 - 1954)
| | | 3 Married Amanda Jane Morse Matthews, 1861 (daughter, Rebecca)
| | |      Martha Ellen "Matty" (1862 - 1911)
| | |      Benjamin Franklin (1865 - 1935)
| | |      Andrew Alva (1866 - 1954)
| | |________Thomas Paine (1869 - 1947)
| | Rebecca (1821 - 1895)
| | Eli (twin) (1828 - 1878)
| |___________ Elias (twin) (1828 - 1910)
| Thomas (1782 - 1846)   
| Nancy ( 1786 - -- )
| James (- - - )
| Hiram (-- - )
|_________Others -


(B. Feb. 4, 1824 - Mo. - D. Jan. 17, 1884)
Have found no record of his parentage.

Jonathan was born in Missouri on Feb. 4, 1824 and married Mary Adeline Lamb who was born in Kentucky on Dec. 28, 1827.

At the age of 33 Jonathan and his wife Mary with five children started across the plains in 1857 by ox team, and went to Sonoma County, California. Another child, the sixed, was born on route.

In the spring of 1858 they came by boat to Portland, Oregon. From there they went to Linn County, then on to Lane County, near Eugene where they established a farm.

In the spring of 1861 they moved east of the mountains to Umatilla County where Jonathan entered into the industry of raising sheep. It was reported that he was a prominent wool grower of Umatilla County, and a man of high esteem.

Jonathan Keeney died n Umatilla County in 1884 and his wife Mary A. passed away in 1885.

Seven children were born of this union: John Henry, Joseph Watson, Marshall Sherman, Thomas Benton, Calista, Sarah C., Charles Edward. For more detail - see Genealogy charts (Jonathan H. Keeney).

The three ooldest sons left the Pilot Rock ranch in Umatilla County and went to establish a ranch near Long Creek, Oregon in 1874.

This Jonathan H. Keeney brought his family across the plains from Missouri the same year as my great grandfather Andrew Jackson Keeney brought his. They both journeyed first to Sonoma, California and then by boat to Oregon the following year, stopping in Linn County then going on to Lane County to establish ranches. It would seem that they may have been related, perhaps cousins, but no proof of this has yet been established, or even if they were together travelling west to Oregon by way of California.

Joseph Watson Keeney was a son of Jonathan H. Keeney, and Joseph Watson had a son named Birt Keeney who lived in Ione, Oregon - 1910, and he was a cousin to Willard Warren Keeney.

Will of Jonathan H. Keeney (1824 - 1884)

Dated 28 August 1880, Filed 22 January 1884, Pendleton, Umatilla County, Oregon page 78

Know all men by these presents that I, Jonathan H. Keeney of Umatilla County State of Oregon, being of sound and disposing mind, do make Publish and Declare this to be my last Will and Testament herby revoking all former wills and testaments made by me.

1st: It is my will that my executer pay all my just debts and funeral expenses out of my effects at the time of my death.

2nd: I give and bequeath to my beloved wife Mary A. Keeney the use of all my property both personal and real during her natural life.

3rd: I give and bequest to my youngest son Charles Edward Keeney, after the death of my said wife Mary A. Keeney, the following described real estate to-wit: The Northwest quarter (N.W.1/4) of section Thirty Three (33) in Township one (1) South of Range Thirty Two (32) East of the Willamette Meridian in Umatilla County, State of Oregon.

3rd: It is my will that at the death of my said wife Mary A. Keeney all my property both personal and real left and not consumed by my said wife in support of herself and the support and education of my said son Charles Edward Keeney, be divided equally between my children, John Henry Keeney, Joseph W. Keeney, M.S. Keeney, Thomas B. Keeney, Calista Hardesty, Sarah C. Jones and Charles Edward Keeney.

4th: It is my will that in case any of my said children shall die leaving no heirs of their body living at the time of the death of my wife Mary A. Keeney, that such child's part of my estate shall be distributed with the rest of my property share and share alike with the survivors of my children.

5th: I appoint my two sons M.S. Keeney and Thomas B. Keeney executors of this my last will and testament without the necessity of giving any bonds.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 23rd day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty.

Jonathan H. Keeney (Seal)

Witness: J.H. Turner, J.C. Leasure

Filed: 22 January 1884
      (J.P. Busbee) Clerk         Recorded: 7 February 1884


Jonathan H. Keeney;
    Born - Feb. 4th 1824 - Died - Jan. 17th 1884 at Pilot Rock, Oregon, Umatilla County.
    Married - April 18th 1844 - Henry Co., Mo. to Mary Adeline Lamb
    Children were: Jonathan, Adeline, John, Joseph, Marshal, Thomas, Calista, Sarah

This Account of Jonathan H. Keeney's sons was given in
The History of Baker, Grant, Malheur, and Harney Counties

page 458

THOMAS B. KEENEY - It is with pleasure that we accord to the enterprising stockman and esteemed citizen of Gant county whose name is at the head of this artical a representation in this volume, since his life of activity and wisdom in operation have justly entitled him to be ranked with the leading stockmen of the county and with its most substantial citizens, having ever manifested stanch principles of uprightness and an unswerving integrity that is but commernsrate with his other qualities of worth.

Thomas B. is the son of Jonathan and Maary A. Keeney, having been born on September 10, 1852, in Jasper county, Missouri, whence in 1857 his parents came across the plains with ox teams, the family consisting of five children and the father and mother at the start and the father and mother and six children at the close, with they landed in Sonoma county, California, having consumed six months on the road. In the spring of 1858 the family came to Linn county, near Eugine. It was in the spring of 1861 that they moved east of the mountains to Umatilla county, where the father entered into the industry of raising sheep. Our subject received his education in the various schools at the places where the family resided. He remained at the home place, assisting his father in raising cattle and sheep until 1874, when he and his brother, Marshall S., came to the vicinity of Longcreek and entered into partnership in the stock business. They have been attended with prosparity from the beginning, a sure result of care, wisdom and industry such as they have manifested. The estate of the firm consists of one thousand acres, will improved and all fenced. Mr. Keeney has a good residence, barn and orchard, and other improvements of value and comfort. Formerly they were operating in sheep, but these were sold and they now give their attention to cattle, of which they have large herds. During the time of trouble with the Indians they suffered heavy losses fro these savages, but since they have been uniformly successful inn their enterprises.

Mr. Keeney and Miss Nancy E., daughter of Huse and Eliza Snodderly, of Prineville, occurred in 1882, on December 1. To them wee born the following children: Elsie Fay, Dora Dott and James Crittenden, the last one deceased. In 1899 Mrs. Keeney was called from the duties and walks of this life to the world world beyond, leaving her husband and little ones to morn her sad demise. Mr. Keeney's father was a prominent wool grower of Umatilla county and a man highly esteemed. His dath occured in 1884, and the mother was called the next year to follow her companion.

page 473

MARSHALL S. KEENEY. - In the person of the estimable gentleman and successful business man whose name appears above we have one of Grant counnty's most successful stockmen, a keen business man possessed of excellent foreight and talents that have demonstrated him one of the best handlers of finance in the county, while his principles of uprightness and uniform straightforwardness have made him respected by all and a worthy promoter of the interest of the county, having also materially augmented its wealth by his good judgement and wise procedue and thrift.

Marshall S. is the sone of Jonathan and Mary A. Keeney, and was born on October 1, 1850, in Lawrence county, Missouri. Seven years later, in the spring, the family started across the plains, being composted of five children and the parents. When they landed in Healdsburgh, Sonoma county, California, six months later, there was another child, it having been born on the way. In the spring of 1858 they came to Linn county, Oregon, and soon removed to Lane conty, settling near Eugene. Our subject remained there until 1865, having assisted his father on the farm and in the stock business. Then he came across the mountains with a band of sheep to Umatilla county. In 1868 he went to San Joaquin valley, California; later he went again to Lane county, Oregon, and in 1870 came to Birch creek, Umatilla county, whence two years later he went to the Owyhee river in Idaho with a herd of cattle. In 1873 he went to Wallowa county and from there rturned to his home in Umatilla county. From there, in company with his brother, he went again to the San Joaquin valley, this time for a herd of horses, with which they returned the same year to Grant county and settled on their present place. He is in partnership with his brother, Thomas B., and together they own one thousand acre of good land, that is all fenced and well improved. Formerly they were handling sheep, but these were replaced with cattle, of whch stock they at the present time own large herds. Mr. Keeney has a good home and ll the accessory improvements tht make the rural life both profitable and confortable.

The marriage of Mr. Keeney and Miss Carrie, daughter of Enoch and Permelia Conger, living near Longcreek, was solemmized on December 25, 1882. To them were born two children, Bertha A. and Hubert C. who is deceased, having passed away on March 12, 1889. Mrs. Keeney died in November, 1889. Mr. Keeney's father , one of the prominent citizens of Umatilla county, died in 1884, and the mother one year later.

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A Keeney Family Genealogy was established in 1986 & has been online ever since under one name or another.
 This site is maintained as a hobby site, some information may not be accurate.