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RG4515.AM:  Joseph Warren Keifer, 1836-1932

Diary:  1871

Springfield, Ohio:  Lawyer, soldier

Size:  1 item


Joseph Warren Keifer was born on January 30, 1836, the son of Joseph and Mary Smith Keifer, who were pioneer farmers in Ohio. Joseph Warren was educated at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and then took up law practice in Springfield in January of 1858. He served in the Civil War and attained the rank of Major General and later served in the Spanish American War. Keifer was a departmental commander of the Grand Army of the Republic and active in the cause of Ohio Soldiers and Sailors Home. He served as U.S. Representative from 1877 and 1885, and again from 1905 to 1911; and was speaker of the House during the Forty-Seventh Congress which met during 1881 to 1883.

Sometime after the Civil War, possibly in 1869, he became interested in Western farming lands, and purchased tracts in Nebraska. In June of 1871, he made a land examining trip covering Gage-Nuckolls Counties, which is the subject of this diary. Keifer’s son, Joseph Warren, Jr., came to Nebraska in 1886 and settled in Nuckolls County, where he farmed for many years. For additional information regarding this family consult Who’s Who in Nebraska, and Sheldon’s Nebraska, The Land and the People. Joseph Warren Keifer died on April 22, 1932 at Springfield, Ohio.


This collection consists of a folder of photocopied diary pages. The diary relates to a trip in June, 1871, that Gen. Keifer made with Judge William White from Springfield, Ohio, to Nebraska, and their subsequent activities of examining land. After their arrival in Brownville on June 21, the two men proceeded to visit Gage, Jefferson, Thayer and Nuckolls Counties for nine days before leaving for Ohio. Keifer’s entries relate to legal descriptions of the land, comments of improved and unimproved acres, availability of timber and water, descriptions of Swan City, Fairbury, Beatrice, and Hebron, notations on crops raised, and several graphic illustrations of lands they examined.


Diary, 1871, “A description of an excursion to the West, by Genl. J. W. Keifer,” 59 pgs.



Agriculture — Nebraska


Farm life — Nebraska

Gage County (Neb.)

Jefferson County (Neb.)

Keifer, Joseph Warren, 1836-1932

Land use

Nebraska — Economic conditions, 1865-1898

Nemaha County (Neb.)

Nuckolls County (Neb.)

Thayer County (Neb.)


DAB/ab   08-30-1967

nd   07-17-1997

11-06-2009   Revised TMM/tmm