Katharine Adams Keller

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Katharine Adams Keller (Adams)

Also Known As: "Catherine", "Everett", "Kate Adams", "Keller"
Birthplace: Colbert, AL, USA
Death: Died in Tuscumbia, Colbert, Alabama, United States
Place of Burial: Greenwood Cemetery Montgomery Montgomery County Alabama
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Brig. Gen. Charles W. Adams; Grandfather Adams; Lucy Helen Adams and Grandmother Adams
Wife of Capt. Arthur Keller, CSA and Arthur H. Keller
Mother of Helen Keller, Presidential Medal of Freedom; Mildred Campbell Tyson; Philip Brooks Keller; Polly Keller; Private User and 1 other
Half sister of Evelina Adams

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Katharine Adams Keller


Before her marriage to the captain, Kate had been a Memphis belle who had been pampered and protected by her father, Charles W. Adams, who was a brigadier general in the Confederate Army. But Kate, unlike her husband, was not a dyed-in-the-wool Southerner. Although she seldom mentioned them in the provincial postbellum society of Tuscumbia, she had illustrious northern roots. Her father had been born in Massachusetts and was related to the famous Adams family of New England. Later he moved to Arkansas and fought on the side of the South when the Civil War broke out. Her mother, Lucy Helen Everett, was related to the celebrated New England clergyman and orator Edward Everett, who had spoken on the same platform at Gettysburg with Abraham Lincoln, as well as Edward Everett Hale, the famous author of "The Man Without a Country," which strengthened the Union cause, and to General William Tecumseh Sherman. When the Civil War ended, Kate and her family had moved to Memphis, Tennessee.
   Marriage at age twenty-two to the forty-two-year-old captain ended Kate's luxurious existence. No longer did she live the carefree life of a pampered southern lady. Instead, this once indulged beauty was plunged into a rugged and primitive existence that was not unlike a pioneer woman's. As she discovered to her dismay, her jovial husband, like most of the southern gentility, during the tumultuous postbellum period, was struggling to make ends meet. Although a member of a distinguished southern family, Captain Keller, a former lawyer, was forced to earn a living both as a cotton plantation owner and as the editor of a weekly local newspaper, the North Alabamian. In 1885 his fortunes had taken an upturn when President Grover Cleveland appointed him U.S. marshal for the Northern District of Alabama. Still money was scarce, and Kate had to raise her own vegetables, fruit, and livestock. There were black servants to help run the plantation, but she did most of her own work, starting at dawn. To further cut down on expenses, she made her own butter, lard, bacon, and ham. She never complained publicly about her husband's shortcomings, attempting to sublimate her regrets about the marriage by becoming an ardent woman suffragist and finding refuge in books and other intellectual pursuits. She also found the time to cook and tend her flower garden, of which she was intensely proud. It was said that she raised the most beautiful roses that people had ever seen outside of a greenhouse. It was also said that she went for days without speaking to her husband. 
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Katharine Adams Keller's Timeline

Colbert, AL, USA
June 27, 1880
Age 40
Tuscumbia, Alabama, United States
Age 46
Tuscumbia, Colbert County, Alabama, USA
July 4, 1891
Age 51
Dallas, TX, USA
November 15, 1921
Age 81
Tuscumbia, Colbert, Alabama, United States