Gov. M. Keith Neville

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Morell Keith Neville

Also Known As: "Keith; Skipper; Skip"
Birthplace: North Platte, Nebraska
Death: Died in North Platte, Lincoln, Nebraska, United States
Place of Burial: North Platte Cemetery North Platte Lincoln County Nebraska
Immediate Family:

Son of William Neville; William NEVILLE; William Neville, U.S. Congress; Mary Ann "Mollie" Keith; Mollie A. KEITH and 1 other
Husband of <private> NEILL and Mary Virginia "Marie" Neill
Father of <private> NEVILLE; <private> NEVILLE; <private> NEVILLE; <private> NEVILLE; Mary Nelson "Mary Nel" Neville and 6 others
Half brother of William Rector Neville; Irene Theckla Neville; <private> NEVILLE and William Rector NEVILLE, Jr

Occupation: Gov of Nebraska 1917-1919, Ranching, Farming, Banking, Realestate
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Gov. M. Keith Neville

M. Keith Neville (February 25, 1884 – December 4, 1959) was a Nebraska Democratic politician and the 18th Governor of Nebraska.

Neville was born in North Platte, Nebraska and attended St.John's Academy. In 1905, he graduated from St. John's College (Annapolis/Santa Fe) in Annapolis, Maryland. He returned to manage the family ranch and served as the Director of the First National Bank in North Platt. He married Mary Virginia Neil on October 21, 1908, and they had four children.


Nicknamed the "Boy Governor" for his youth, thirty-two years of age, Neville was elected in 1916 as the governor of Nebraska, serving from 1917 to 1919. During his tenure a rigorous liquor law was sanctioned and World War I issues were dealt with.

In 1918 Neville returned to North Platt where he continued to be active in banking and ranching as well as politics. He was a delegate to Democratic National Convention from Nebraska in 1920, 1932, and 1956. He was a candidate for Nebraska U.S. Senator in 1954, but lost to Carl Curtis. For seventeen years, he was also coach of the North Platte High School football team.

Death and legacy

Neville died December 4, 1959 and is interred at North Platt Cemetery, North Platt, Lincoln County, Nebraska USA. He was a member of the Freemasons, the elks, the Moose, the Odd fellows, and Phi Sigma Kappa, as well as a member of the Episcopal Church.

-------------------- -------------------- Nebraska Governor Keith M. Neville

Born: February 25, 1884

Died: December 4, 1959

Birth State: Nebraska

Party: Democratic

Family: Married Mary Virginia Neill; four children

Religion: Episcopalian

School(s): St. John's College

Periods in Office: From: January 4, 1917

	To:	January 9, 1919

KEITH M. NEVILLE, the nineteenth governor of Nebraska, was born in North Platte, Nebraska, on February 25, 1884. His education was attained at St. John's Academy, and then at St. John's College in Maryland, where he graduated in 1905. Before entering politics, he managed the family ranch and served as the director of the First National Bank in North Platte. Neville secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote in November 1916. During his tenure, World War I issues were overseen and a rigorous prohibitory liquor law was sanctioned. After running unsuccessfully for reelection, Neville continued to stay politically active. He served as chairman of the Democratic State Central Committee in 1922; was the director to the National Recovery Act in 1933; and served as a Democratic National committeeman in 1934. Governor Keith M. Neville passed away on December 4, 1959, and was buried in the North Platte Cemetery in North Platte, Nebraska.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.


The following was written by Mary Nelson (Neville) Sieman:

Morell Keith Neville was the child of United States Congressman and Judge William Neville and Mary Ann "Molly" (Keith) Neville. His mother died within a week of giving birth. Keith was sent to live with his maternal grandfather, also recently widowed, but who had an Irish housekeeper "Biddy Kane" to take care of him.

Keith was educated in North Platte Public Schools, and then joined his father and Step-Mother. He continued his education in St. John's Academy. In 1905 he was graduated with a B.A. degree by St. John's College, Annapolis, Maryland.

On October 21, 1908, he married Mary Virginia Neill, daughter of Dr. William Neill and his wife, Virginia (Simmons) Neill, of Charles Town, Jefferson County, West Virginia. They returned to North Platte to make their home in the Keith house and to manage the ranch and farm lands and business properties that Keith had inherited. As an avocation, he also became the volunteer head Coach and later volunteer assistant coach of the North Platte High School football team. His 1921 team became state champion. This volunteer civic activity continued almost 50 years, in which time he became know as "Skipper" or "Skip" Neville, and his team, "The North Platte Bulldogs".

In 1913, Keith, Mary Virginia, and their daughters visited Mrs. Neville's parents at Pass-a-Grille Beach, Florida, and this island soon became their winter home. In 1938 they built a colonial red brick home there, and Mary Virginia Neville continued to own that home all her life.

In 1917 Keith Neville became the youngest Governor to serve the state of Nebraska. He served though the difficult years of WW1. The family entertained former President Theodore Roosevelt in their Lincoln, NE home when he came to speak in honor of Nebraska's fifty years of statehood.

After his term as Governor of Nebraska, Keith Neville concentrated his interests on local affairs, his banking and land ownerships, civic affairs, and his family, both past and future. He published and made free distribution of a Mexican War diary kept by his grandfather, 1st lieutenant Harvey Neville of Company H, 22nd Regiment, Illinois Volunteers.

Keith Neville died December 4, 1959, after an illness of only one week. His widow, Mary Virginia, known to her friends as "Marie" lived on until October 24, 1980, and most of those years were very active. She maintained her home in North Platte and her winter home at Pass-a-Grille Beach. In 1963 she was chosen as the North Platte "Mother of the Year", and in 1976 she was honored in Lincoln at a luncheon given by the governor and the Bicentennial Committee of the American Mothers Association. She also was listed as a "Notable Living Nebraskan" in the book OUT STANDING WOMEN OF NEBRASKA, 1776-1976. She was active in several private and political clubs and in her Episcopal Church, where she taught in the Sunday School. During WWII, she worked as a volunteer in North Platte's famous Canteen, giving food, drink, and cheer to military people traveling through. In its small way, The Society of John Neville Descendants honored Marie Neville by making her an honorary member.

Keith and Marie Neville had four daughters.


The following taken from the Political Graveyard:

NEVILLE, KEITH: Banker; b North Platte, Neb Feb 25, 1884; s of William Neville-Mary Ann Keith; ed St Johns Acad, Annapolis Md; St Johns Coll, Annapolis Md BA 1905; m Mary Virginia Neill Oct 21, 1908 Charles Town W Va; d Mary Nelson (Mrs Fred Sieman), Frances Elizabeth (Mrs W D Newberry), Virginia Neill (Mrs Donald F Robertson), Irene Morell; 1906- mgr family ranch & farm: 1910-31 dir First Natl Bank, North Platte; 1916-18 gov of Neb; 1922 receiver for Skinner Packing Co, Omaha; 1931- pres First Natl Bank, North Platte; 1933-39 dir Platte Valley Pub Power & Irrigation Dist; past mbr sch bd; past mbr city coun; chmn Neb Advertising Commission; Pershing Memorial Commission; past pres Neb St Sportsmens Assn; Lincoln Co Wildlife Club; C of C; BPOE; AF&AM 32o, Scot Rite of Hastings; York Rite, North Platte, Tangier Shrine; 1929 awarded cup by Rotary Club for outstanding performance in civic leadership; Dem, past natl
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Gov. M. Keith Neville's Timeline

North Platte, Nebraska
October 21, 1908
Age 24
Charleston, Jefferson Co, WV
October 21, 1908
Age 24
Charles Town, Jefferson, West Virginia, United States
November 30, 1910
Age 26
North Platte, Lincoln, Nebraska, United States
Age 27
May 24, 1913
Age 29
North Platte, Lincoln, Nebraska, United States
Age 29