Miami County, Ohio Genealogical Researchers -- Sponsored by the Computerized Heritage Association


    GIDEON KEYT, deceased, who for many years was one of Miami County's substantial and respected citizens as well as prominent farmers, belonged to one of the pioneer families of this section. He was born March 8, 1828, at Piqua, Miami County, Ohio, and was a son of James D. and Elizabeth (Widney) Keyt.

    The first of the family to come to America was John Keyt, who married Elizabeth Chilcot. They settled in the colony of New Jersey, near Elizabeth. They had one son by the name of James and three daughters. James (1732-1800) married Elizabeth Jessup (1732- 1824) by whom he had two sons and two daughters. One of the sons, Daniel, died in 1776 at the age of thirteen years. The other son, named James (17621800) married Elizabeth Ross (1762-1852) and they were the grandparents of the subject of this sketch.

    James D. Keyt, son of James and Elizabeth (Ross) Keyt, and father of Gideon, was born in New Jersey in 1794 and came to Miami County in 1819 as a pioneer settler. He married Elizabeth Widney (1801-1848), who was born in Pennsylvania and who was a daughter of John Widney, who had settled in Miami County in 1810.

    James D. Keyt was born in New Jersey in 1797 and came to Miami County in 1819 as a pioneer settler. He married Elizabeth Widney, who was born in Pennsylvania and who was a daughter of Stephen Widney, who had settled in Miami County when she was a child. After his marriage James D. Keyt resided at Piqua until 1830, when he purchased the farm of 160 acres near this city which became the Keyt home stead. Of this large tract he cleared and cultivated seventy-five acres, making also many improvements previous to 1842. In this year he retired to Piqua, where he subsequently resided until his death in 1849. He and his wife were the parents of nine children. James D. Keyt belonged to the better class of pioneer settlers who came here to found a home and who on that account were active in introducing the various conveniences of civilization, welcoming and upholding everything that made for the advancement of the community. He was one of those who worked hard to establish the early schools, to build the first churches, and to improve the highways, and, imbued with these ideas his son Gideon cherished the same ideals and worked for the same ends.

    Gideon Keyt took charge of the farm soon after the death of his father and resided on it thereafter until the close of his long and busy life. Both he and his father were stone masons by trade and they did at one time a large amount of work in that line, but later finding that the farm required his whole attention, Gideon gave up his trade and developed the farm into a valuable piece of agricultural property.

    December 27, 1864, Gideon Keyt was married to Miss Elizabeth Ward, who is a daughter of Elijah and Hannah Ward. They had five children born to them, namely: James Ward, Gideon E., Hannah Elizabeth, Laura Rachel, and Margaret Ellen. Their record in brief is as follows:

    James Ward Keyt was graduated from the Piqua High School in 1885 and from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1888. He subsequently attended the Cincinnati Law School, was admitted to the bar October 8, 1891, and is now a prominent attorney of Piqua. He was married November 5, 1896, to Edith Slauson, a native of Piqua, who is a graduate of the Piqua High School, and subsequently attended St. Margaret's School at Buffalo, New York. They have three children: Frances Elizabeth, Bernard S., and Isabel W. After graduating from the Ohio Wesleyan University and previous to his matriculation at the Cincinnati Law School he served as principal of Science Grove Seminary, at Robard, Kentucky, for one year. A Republican in politics, he served as mayor of Piqua for two terms-from 1893 to 1897.

    Gideon E. Keyt, the second child of the subject of this memoir, is now a leading lawyer of Toledo, Ohio. Hannah Elizabeth is now Mrs. Thomas Ferrick. Laura Rachel, died in 1875. Margaret E. resides in Toledo.

    The late Gideon Keyt was an excellent type of citizen, a law-abiding, public-spirited man, and of tried and true patriotism. During the Civil War he served as a member of Company C, 147th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry. His death took place January 12, 1901. In glancing back over his genealogy, it is interesting to note that the female representative in each generation in the direct line of descent from the immigrant ancestor, John Keyt, has been named Elizabeth. He himself by his marriage to Elizabeth Ward, added one more link to the genealogical chain thus formed.

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