Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens


W. ROBERT KELLER. The name of W. Robert Keller is a well-known and highly respected one in railroad circles in Springfield, he having been connected with the local lines for a quarter of a century, principally as conductor, having had a passenger run on the Ozark division of the Frisco since 1900. Early in life he manifested a natural inclination to this important field of human endeavor and, being alert, a keen observer and trustworthy, his rise was rapid and he is one of the most efficient conductors that has ever run out of the Queen City.

Mr. Keller was born near Marshfield, Webster county, Missouri, December 25, 1865. He is a son of Joseph and Martha (Burks) Keller, both natives of Tennessee, from which state they came to Webster county in an early day, locating on a farm and there the death of the father occurred in 1913, when past seventy years of age, his birth having occurred in 1842. He was well known in Webster county, was a successful farmer and a good citizen. The mother of our subject, who was also born in 1842, is still living on the old home place near Marshfield. Joseph Keller took a great deal of interest in the public affairs of his county and for a period of twenty years was a judge of the County Court, retaining the office until his health failed and compelled him to retire. During that period he did a great deal for the permanent good of his county, always alive to its best interests. He was a Republican in politics and a leader in his party in Webster county. During the Civil war he enlisted at the beginning of the struggle in the Home Guards and was stationed in Springfield with a regiment of over one thousand men during the time of the Wilson's Creek battle and was wounded at that time. His family consisted of six children, all still living, namely: James; W. Robert, of this sketch; John, Jennie, Sophia and Catherine.

W. Robert Keller grew to manhood on the home farm in Webster county and there did his full share of the work when a boy. He received a common school education there and while yet a mere lad he began his railroad career. He came to Springfield in the fall of 1890 and secured a position as brakeman on a freight train for the Kansas City, Ft. Scott & Memphis road, now a part of the Frisco System. His run was between Springfield and Thayer. He proved to be a hard and faithful worker and in 1893 was promoted to freight conductor, at which he worked until 1900, when he was promoted to passenger conductor and has remained thus engaged to the present time, his run being from Springfield to Memphis, Tennessee.

Mr. Keller was married in Springfield, in October, 1890, to Millie Pipkin, a native of Greene county, where she was reared and educated. She is a daughter of James Pipkin, who was a soldier in the Civil war.

Politically, Mr. Keller is a Republican. He is a member of Division No. 321, Order of Railway Conductors. He belongs to the Masonic order, including the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, and religiously he is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.

[1785-1786]


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