Ancestor 14 – Henry Keatley

Blacksmith, farmer and gentle man.

Henry was born in Pride (now Speedway), Mercer County, West Virginia, about 1868, to John Keatley and Susie Harvey.  No birth record has been located with the exact date of birth.

On the 1880 US Census Henry lived with his parents at the age of 13 – no birth date was recorded. He could read but not write.

By the 1900 US Census Henry lived with his wife Lula and they had been married for three years. Henry owned farm #72 with no mortgage.  He was 30 years of age and could read and write so he obviously learned over the years.  Also living at the same location was a black man Alfred Moore, age 32, with his birthplace in North Carolina.  Alfred lived in another building and helped out on the farm.  Based on previous census and county histories, Henry lived on the farm with his parents his entire life.

Just a sketch of his likeness done by a great-grandchild with instruction from his daughter Betty

On the 1910 US Census Mercer County, West Virginia, Henry was 43, and in the same household was Lula, and children Bettie B., John, Hattie, Sula (probably Marilee) and two boarders.

Henry was a good-natured man who liked to tease. He taught Betty, his oldest daughter, lyrics to sing when customers came into his blacksmith shop or store, the Grabnickel. They weren’t naughty lyrics, but they were intended to make fun of customers and were somewhat offensive such as teasing about being bald.  He worked hard and had a productive farm, rotating crops before it was commonly done by others.

Henry died from a heart attack before his 50th birthday leaving behind seven young children.  He is buried in the Keatley Family Cemetery in Speedway, Mercer, West Virginia.