William Keenan

WILLIAM KEENAN, the occupant of the old Keenan homestead in the town of Dunn, was born in the town of Fitchburg, Dane county, December 19, 1852. His parents were George and Matilda Elizabeth (Fox) Kennan, natives of Moat, County Meath, Ireland, where Mr. Keenan was born August 18, 1818, (8/18/1818) and his wife February 18, 1818. Mrs. Keenan was the daughter of Rev. William Fox, a Presbyterian minister and her mother was Eleanor Lynn.

In 1833, while Mrs. Keenan was still a girl, the family came to America, settling first in Cleveland and later in Lima, Indiana, where quite a number of the Fox family had settled. In 1842 she became the bride of George Keenan, and the following year the young couple came to Wisconsin with the rest of the Foxes, locating in a fertile valley extending from the town of Fitchburg into Oregon.

For seven years, George Keenan and his wife lived in Fitchburg, and then moved to the great farm in the town of Dunn, six miles away, where Mr. Keenan passed away July 10, 1891. Late the same year Mrs. Keenan moved to Madison, where she made her home until her death, which occurred October 13, 1905.

While paying for his first claim George Keenan worked at his trade of shoemaker in Madison, walking twelve miles night and morning between his home and his place of business. George Keenan was the father of eight children-Catherine became the wife of Elijah Tussler and died in 1894; Anthony died in 1876 at the age of twenty-nine; Charlotte is the wife of Forrest H. Colladay of Madison; William is on the old homestead in the town of Dunn; Caroline is the widow of the late Paul Tannert and resides in Madison; George is a practicing physician of Madison; Frances is the wife of A. B. Winegar of Madison; and Adelaide makes her home in Madison.

William Keenan received his education in the schools of Dunn township and had the benefit of three years study in the University of Wisconsin.

On November 30, 1876, he married Alice Ann, daughter of William McLain and Mary Ann (Kirk) Colladay of the town of Dunn. (See sketch of Charles M. Colladay). Mrs. Keenan was born February 21, 1852 and received her education in the schools of the town of Dunn and the Albion Academy. By her marriage to Mr. Keenan she is the mother of four children-Harry Anthony, born August 20, 1877, married Pearl Netherwood of Oregon village, and is now a practicing physician in Edgerton, Wis.; Mabel Claire, born July 21, 1879, lives at home; William MeLain, born December 5, 1881, lives at home; and Paul Oscar, born October 10, 1884, now attending dental college at Chicago.

Mr. Keenan is a member of Oregon Camp, No. 1372, Modern Woodmen of America, and is the present Chief Forester of that camp. The large farm of two hundred forty acres which Mr. Keenan manages is one of the finest in the county.

1906 History of Dane County, Wisconsin, p. 489-490.

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