|Birth: ||Jun. 12, 1830, Ireland|
|Death: ||Aug. 15, 1906|
Editor, Journalist and Author. Born in Kings County Ireland and educated in Scotland. He apprenticed in the printer's trade at the age of 13 and by the time he was 18 was the foreman at the Dublin World. He came to the United States in 1848 settling in New York where he held positions at the New York Journal and The Leader. He served in the New York Militia.
In 1854 he had moved to New Orleans due to his health. He was there just a short time before going to Baton Rouge and then Nashville where he helped open the Methodist Publishing house. He returned to Baton Rouge to become the superintendent of State printing. In 1856 he married Josephine Esselman Smith in Nashville and in 1857 became the editor of the Daily News. He and his wife would be blessed with two children and when they were older Keating took them to New York where daughter Caroline Morton Keating studied piano in preparation for a career as a pianist and their son, Neil McLeod Keating, studied Art in New York and then in Paris.
His next big move came in 1858 when he moved to Memphis. He was a clerk at the Bulletin and served as private secretary on the staff of Leonidas Polk. He was with Polk until he contracted typhoid fever in 1861 which kept him confined for four months. As he recovered he served as a clerk with the Southern Express Co and is listed in Confederate records as an agent. He continued until Memphis fell to the Federal Army at which point he became the city editor to the only Democratic paper published in Memphis at that time, the Argus. He established the Daily Commercial which was later merged with the Argus to become the Commercial and Argus.
In 1867-68 he spent time in Washington with President Johnson but returned to Memphis in the summer of 1868. He purchased the Appeal from Gen Albert Pike and became managing editor.
Keating and his family survived the yellow fever epidemics of 1868, 1873, 1878 and 1879. During the 1878 Keating and just one assistant, Henry Mood, were responsible for publishing the paper when all of the other employees fell sick and died.
He published his great work about the epidemic in 1879 the "History of the Yellow Fever." He presented his ideas about the need for sanitary reform and the terrible conditions in Memphis to a group of prominent Memphians that included all of the physicians of the city. He was president of the Memphis branch of the International Red Cross and contributed papers to the American Health Association as well.
He held offices and memberships in a multitude of organizations included the Memphis Typographical Union, the Memphis Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and children, the Mozart Society and the Mendelssohn Society. His interest in history and membership in the Tennessee Historical Society cannot be overlooked. He wrote on such topics as educating black Americans as well as the operations of the Confederate armies in the state of Tennessee.
He held memberships in fraternal organizations like the Mason's and the Odd Fellow's. He had a passion for religion and studied under Bishop Quintard as well as Bishop Otey of the diocese of Tennessee. Being an avid reader he had a personal collection of books that rivaled many libraries.
Later in life he made his residence in Washington DC. Massachusetts records show he died at Bass Rocks, Gloucester Massachusets. His abundant life was distilled to these facts: he was married, 76 years old, born in Ireland to unknown parents, occupation retired. He died of nephritis. The informant was W.G. Read and the undertaker was John Lloyd. He was interred Aug. 18, 1906.
1870 Census of Memphis:
John Keating age 40, Editor
Josephine Keating age 30
Neil Keating age 12
Carrie Keating age 10
In the 1880 Census of Memphis he is listed as the Editor of the Appeal. Others in the household:
J.E., age 35 (wife)
Neil M. age 22 (Son)
Carrie M. age 20, (daughter)
Keating's daughter Carrie married William Gordon Reed in Memphis in 1890. After the death of her husband she and her son moved to Brookline Massachusetts. At this time her place of burial is unknown.
Josephine Esselman Smith Keating (1838 - 1908)*
Neil McLeod Keating (1858 - 1923)*
Forest Hills Cemetery and Crematory
Plot: In-door Columbarium, lower section, top shelf. The doors are locked, must call ahead to have someone let you in to visit 617-524-0128, Columbarium is located at: 171 Walk Hill Street, Boston, MA
Created by: Mary & Kent
Record added: Sep 26, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 117680624