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 George Keller DeLong

George Keller DeLong

Birth
Berks County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 19 Nov 1918 (aged 38)
Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial Allentown, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, USA
Memorial ID 100020548 · View Source
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George was a son of Benneville Bieber & Josephina Bast (Keller) DeLong.
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Following is a note found in "The Ambler Gazette of Thursday, March 33, 1906":
George Keller DeLong, of Pennsburg, a writer of verses of more than local recognition, has been making his home for some weeks at 506 Orange avenue, Ambler, having taken a position in the Asbestos Slate and Sheathing company's plant.
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The Pennsylvania Dutchman Lancaster 1949, by Alfred L. Shoemaker: Bertha Rex of Gettysburg and George Keller DeLong of Pennsburg and Allentown were our blind dialect poets. George Keller DeLong was born in Rockland Township, Berks County, on October 21, 1880, the fourth of fifteen children of Benneville B. and Josephine (Keller) DeLong. Seven members of this large family became blind. Actually baptized George Pierce DeLong, the poet changed his middle name to Keller when he started his literary career. Upon completing his education in the rural schools of Longswamp Township in Berks County, DeLong worked for a time as a laborer in the shipyards in Philadelphia. From about 1912 he lived in Pennsburg, where he made a living by selling his own make ice cream. When he was forced by blindness to give up his ice cream business he moved to Allentown where he made his home with his mother. The last three years of his life were doubly tragic; he became insane. George Keller DeLong died in the State Hospital at Rittersville on Nov 20, 1918 (or 19th per t.s.). He is buried in St. Mark's Cemetery in South Bethlehem.

Prolific Writer DeLong, who was a voluminous versifier, wrote much of his verse in total blindness. His brother Paul, also blind, tells me that George used to dictate the verse, either to him or to one of the young men he employed to guide him from door to door. For George Keller DeLong made a living peddling pamphlets of his poetry through the counties of southeastern Pennsylvania.

The blind poet was musically gifted, too; he played the piano, organ and harp. Besides peddling his poetry, he presented musical programs to audiences in country schoolhouses throughout Berks and Lehigh Counties. The songs he sang, many of them in Dutch, were always those of his own composition. There was one in particular, S maidel mit da goldgaile hawr (the girl with the golden hair), which it seems he preferred above all the rest. According to a sister, her brother actually at one time was in love with a girl with golden hair.
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1918 - George Keller DeLong, the blind man known for his poems and hymns, died Tuesday night at the State Hospital, Rittersville, aged 38 years and 28 days. He is survived by his parents, Benneville and Mrs. Josephine DeLong, five brothers and six sisters, Charles, Sellersville; Herbert, John and Paul, Allentown, and Melville, at home; Mrs. William Appel, Allentown; Mrs. Fred Sell, Chicago; Mrs. Peter Sell, Allentown; Mrs. Alfred Eppler, East Greenville; Mrs. Harry Bross, Souderton; Miss Ida DeLong, East Greenville. He was a member of the Knights of Pythias, of East Greenville. Funeral services will be held from the home of his mother, Mrs. Josephine, (word missing?) morning at ten o'clock, followed by interment in St. Marks Cemetery, South Allentown.
[The Allentown Morning Call, Allentown, PA, Thursday, November 21, 1918, page 5]



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  • Created by: Roy Delong
  • Added: 1 Nov 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 100020548
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for George Keller DeLong (21 Oct 1880–19 Nov 1918), Find A Grave Memorial no. 100020548, citing Saint Marks Cemetery, Allentown, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Roy Delong (contributor 47471761) .