The Church Historian's Press

James Keeler

1817– 1907

Born in Ferrisburg, Vermont; moved with his family to Ohio while a child; moved to Illinois in 1838; baptized there in December 1839; married Jane Herrett in 1842; became widower with a two-year-old daughter in 1845; arrived in Utah prior to October 1849, when he left Salt Lake City in company with GQC for California gold fields; had entered into agreement to give a portion of proceeds to Thomas Callister; at Slap Jack Bar with GQC in September 1850 when called on mission to Hawai‘i by Charles C. Rich; labored on Maui, 1850–53; appointed to labor on Big Island in October 1853, where he served as conference president; last of original missionaries to leave Hawai‘i; sailed for California in August 1855; arrived in Salt Lake City in December 1855; married Eliza Shelton in 1856 and Emily Shelton as plural wife the following year; called on second mission to Hawai‘i in 1857 but did not reach the islands because of Utah War; moved to Richfield, Utah; served mission to Hawai‘i, 1876–78; died in Sevier County, Utah. (See Esshom, Pioneers and Prominent Men, 982; Landon, To California in ’49, 184; Davies, Mormon Gold, 403; Thurber reminiscences and diary; MMH, biographical sketches; Keeler journals; GQC journal, frequent references, Sept. 1850–July 1854.)