JUDGE JOHN KEEN, JR.,
attorney-at-law, has been a resident of Fairfield since 1872, and in the years of his residence here has proved himself a most 6xemplary citizen and a valuable addition to the communal life of the city. He has been prominent in every good work promulgated for the betterment and general advancement of the civic life of the community, and has taken an active part in the political affairs of the city and county, filling with credit and distinction many responsible and important offices, and in every way giving of his influence and ability for the general good of the city. An honest gentleman and ever and always striving for that which will bring the greatest good to the greatest number of people, his life has been of a high and noble character that is recognized and appreciated by his fellow townspeople.
Born in Wayne county on a farm, on October 29, 1837, John Keen, Jr., is the son of James Keen, a native of Tennessee, and the grandson of Ashford Keen, also a native of that state. The birth of James Keen occurred September 10, 1812, and he died September 24, 1886. He migrated to Illinois in 1830, with his father, Ashford Keen, settling in Hickory Hill township, where he passed the remainder of his life. Ashford Keen, his father, was in the marine service during the war of 1812 and fought at the battle of Lake Erie under Commodore Perry, The life of James Keen was passed as a farmer. He married Harriet Book, a native of Kentucky and the daughter of Harry Book. They reared a family of eight, five sons and three daughters, namely: John, Jr.; Samuel, deceased; William, who died in service in the Union army in 1864, at Memphis; Elvis, resident of Hickory Hill township; Ashford, deceased; Catherine and Mary, both deceased; Elizabeth, who married one George Feddicord, now residing in Hickory Hill township.
In common with the early life of his brothers and sisters John Keen, Jr., attended the common schools of the home community and worked on his father's farm during school intervals. Following his attendance upon the common schools of Hickory Hill he entered the college at Salem, Marion county, after which he taught school and farmed for three years. He filled various township offices in those days, and was justice of the peace for nine years, supervisor one term, collector one year and assessor for a like period, and was town clerk for a year, all while he was tilling his farm in Hickory Hill township. In January, 1872, Mr. Keen removed to Fairfield, and it was then that he began the study of law, to which he had a strong inclination, and in 1878 he was admitted to the bar of the state of Illinois. Previous to this time he had served as county treasurer, having been elected in 1864 and serving until 1866. In 1882
Mr. Keen was elected to the office of county judge on the Republican ticket, filling that office until 1886. In that year the county records were mysteriously burned, and the services of Mr. Keen were in demand in the court house owing to his full knowledge of probate business and other matters of a similar nature. He served seven and a half years as deputy-county clerk under F. M. Brock. In 1888 Mr. Keen was elected secretary of the Fairfield Building and Loan Association and he is filling that position at the present time. For several years he has been secretary of the board of education and he has made his influence felt on that board for the betterment of educational conditions in Fairfield. His career in a public way in Fairfield has been of a frank and worthy nature, and he has been privileged to aid in the accomplishment of much that has been for the advancement of the city and county. He has been a member of the Masonic fraternity since 1865, and is also a member of the Odd Fellows. He is of the Presbyterian faith.
On April 7, 1859, Mr. Keen was united in marriage with Miss Martha J. Attebury. the daughter of Stout and Fannie Attebury. They have reared a family of three children, two sons and one daughter. Isaac N., the eldest, is married and resides in Fairfield, and is a father and a grandfather, his son, Estil, living in Vincennes, Indiana, and being the father of a daughter, Jessie Katharyn. Asa is also married and living in Fairfield; he has one daughter, Elsie. Harriet Lavinia is married to Rollo S. Clark and lives in Maunie, White county, lllinois. She has two children, Dorothy and Lucy.