John E. Keith was the senior member of the firm J. E. Keith & Sons, marble cutters. An announcement of his company, less the sons, was in the local newspaper October 3, 1883. It said he was prepared to do all kinds of marble work, from a $3 tombstone to a $500 monument. He purchased marble direct from the quarries in Vermont and Marietta, Georgia, and granite from the celebrated Concord quarries in new Hampshire.
John Keith married Mary Elizabeth LaHeist (found on son Clarence’s death certificate). In the 1880 census for Breckinridge County he was listed as 43, a tombstone agent, with wife Mary, 39. Children in the census were Jennie, 17; Fannie, 15; Samuel, 12; Clarence, 10; and Proctor, 1.
Wednesday, February 3, 1909
Brief Illness For Mr. Keith
Widely Known Citizen and Monument Maker Dies at His Home In This City Saturday Night
Death Lamented By All
The entire town was deeply grieved Sunday morning in learning of the death of Mr. J. E. Keith, who had been ill such a short time. Wednesday night about one o’clock Mr. Keith was seized with a severe convulsion which was followed one after another until death came at ten o’clock Saturday night.
Mr. Keith was nearly seventy-three years old and was born in Breckinridge County, but was reared in Meade County where he was as well known. He came to this city in 1856. Last August Mr. and Mrs. Keith celebrated their golden wedding anniversary, and little did they believe their happiness would so soon be shattered.
In the death of Mr. Keith, Cloverport loses not only one of her best and oldest citizens, but one of the most active and decided men. He was never on the fence on any question that came up for the welfare of the town, especially for the temperance cause did he stand firm. He was a member of the Baptist church and his life as a christian was an example to both young and old. Everybody had faith in Mr. Keith and his character was highly esteemed.
Mr. Keith was engaged in the monument business here with his youngest son, Proctor Keith.
Besides Mrs. Keith he is survived by one daughter, Mrs. William Lusk, of Stonewall, Mississippi, and three sons, Clarence Keith of Elizabethtown, Sam Keith and Proctor Keith of this city. The latter three were at his bed-side during the last moments of his illness and had entire care of him.
Albert Keith of Florida, was an own brother of the deceased and George Keith of Evansville was a half-brother. Mrs. Jennie King of Brandenburg, and Mrs. Fannie Hemstetter of Leitchfield, were half-sisters.
Mrs. Lusk arrived from Stonewall, Mississippi, in time to attend the funeral. Misses Ola and Janie Keith and Robert Keith, of Owensboro; Miss Pauline Moorman, Lonnie and Marion Keith, grandchildren of the deceased were also here yesterday.
The funeral was held from the Baptist church at 2 o’clock yesterday afternoon. The services were conducted by Rev. Lewis and beautiful music was rendered by friends. The interment took place in the Cloverport Cemetery. The pall-bearers were: Charles Hall, John A. Barry, Charles Lightfoot, Robert Willis, Joe Allen and Marion Weatherholt.