Michael Keller – Great Grand-Uncle

Mike Keller genealogy

Michael Keller was born in 1842 in Indiana. On 14 March 1864, he married Martha Hendrickson in Daviess County, Indiana. Mike served in the 27th Indiana Infantry during the Civil War. He and Martha are both buried in the Lee’s Summit Historical Cemetery, Lee’s Summit, Missouri.

Martha Jane Hendrickson Keller tombstone

Following the Civil War, Mike and his father-in-law, John Hendrickson, were in Kansas, during the time of many Indian raids. From the Kansas GenWeb pages:

by C. C. Hendrickson

In the spring of sixty-seven, we were reinforced by a few other settlers and among them was Fred Erhardt who proved to be a good neighbor and a valuable citizen. He was a veteran of the civil war and a man we could depend on in the time of trouble. There were the Olson’s and Corbon’s and Shaw’s and probably others that I can’t recall now, but these families were close to us.

In the spring of sixty-eight we were joined by others among them was John Hendrickson and his son in-law by the name Mike Keller. Mike settled east of where the Rees mill now stands, about eighty rods east on the south side of the creek and John Hendrickson’s claim joined what is now Lincoln Center on the southwest corner. He built his house near where the Alva Wilson house now stands. In August of the same year he and his son in- law had quite a scrap with the Indians. I never did know if they killed any Indians, but they had two of their blankets so they decided they had enough of the west and went back to Missouri that fall and never got back to Kansas only on a visit. It was the same kind of Indians that John Hendrickson and Mike Keller had the scrap with that captured the two little Bell girls on the Solomon river near where Beloit now stands. On account of the soldiers being so close to them they tied red handkerchicf’s on..their heads and left them. It was three days before they were found. Fred Arhardt (Erhardt) and Mart Hendrickson were out seeing if they could locate any Indians and run on to them near the mouth of the Spillman creek. At first they thought they were Indians when they got up close they saw they were the little girls. One was eight and one six. They seemed almost starved. The men brought them to my father’s house, William Hendrickson, as there was where the neighbors had gathered. The girls knew their father’s name so they sent them word and their folks came after them in about a week. I think both are still living near Beloit.

What an adventure they had!


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