|ROBERT KEENAN, (Grandfather) of Oregon, was born in Fitchburg, September 16, 1854. He is the second son of John and Flora (McKee) Keenan, natives of Ireland. The father came from the old country and the mother from New York City to Lima, Ind.; they came from Indiana to Wisconsin by team, by way of Chicago and were married in the town of Dunn, Dane county. They were among the earliest settlers, coming with the Foxes in 1843.Mr. Keenan took up government land, one hundred and twenty aces, in Fitchburg-formerly Greenfield, a part of the precinct called Rome-improved it, and added to it until he owned at the time of his death in December, 1871, a large farm of four hundred and sixty-eight acres.
Mr. John Keenan was chairman of the town at the time of the Civil War and assisted in getting recruits for the services.
He had six children, four sons and two daughters, all living; they are J. A. Kennan, of Battle Creek, Ia.; Robert, the subject of this sketch; Jennie, (Mrs. Joseph Bennett), of Lancaster; Charles, of Battle Creek, Ia.; Agnes and George-who make their home with their mother in Madison-the latter being employed by the Avery Machinery Co. They were all born in Fitchburg and began their school life there at Oak Hall or the “old red brick.” J. A. attended the University of Wisconsin for two years and George for three.
Robert Keenan has been a farmer most of his life, beginning for himself when twenty-seven years old. He purchased the farm of one hundred and nineteen acres, where he lives, some eleven years ago. It is an improved property and he uses it chiefly for stock raising, making a specialty of short-horn cattle and Poland China hogs.
Mr. Keenan is a Democrat in politics, a member of the Modern Woodmen, of Oregon, and of the Presbyterian Church.
He was united in marriage, December 14, 1881, to Miss Ella York, daughter of Nathan and Phoebe Ann (Bartlett) York. Mr. York was born in Poughkeepsie, N. Y., and his wife in Newark, N. J. They came to Oregon in 1854, bought a hundred and sixty acres of land, improved it and finally sold it and moved into the village of Oregon where they now reside. They have had six children, two died in infancy; Mrs. Henrietta Lamont of Oregon; Mrs. St. John, of Monroe; Mrs. Coward, (deceased) and Mrs. Robert Keenan; they last has had three children, Flora May, York and John, all born on the old homestead where their father was born and which was the early home of the family. The daughter was graduated from the high school of Oregon, in 1904, and the two sons are now in attendance at the same school.
1906 History of Dane County, Wisconsin, p. 488-489.