Keiler Park in Paducah, Ky was dedicated on December 23, 1930
Body of John W. Keiler
to Arrive Here Tonight
for Burial Next Monday
Prominent Paducahan Died
Wednesday Night at Mayo
Clinic in Rochester
The body of John W. Keiler, 67 years of age, for many years a prominent business man of Paducah and one of the wealthiest citizens of western Kentucky, who died Wednesday night at Rochester, Minn., following an illness of several months, will arrive here tonight and will be taken to the funeral chapel of the Roth Undertaking company.
Later, the body will be removed to the Keiler home, West Terrace, on Broadway, where funeral services will be held Monday morning at 11 o'clock. Burial will be in the Friedman-Keiler mausoleum in the Temple Israel cemetery on the Lone Oak road.
The death of Mr. Keiler occurred in the Mayo Brothers Clinic in Rochester, where he had been for treatment since the early part of March. His condition had been critical for several days, and all the members of the family were at his bedside when the end came.
Mr. Keiler had been ill since last December, when he underwent an operation in Los Angeles for the removal of a growth on his right shoulder. Following the operation, the tissues failed to heal properly and it was found that the trouble was malignant in nature, when Mr. Keiler was taken to the Mayo Brothers clinic. He remained in Rochester for treatment but his condition steadily grew worse, and the malady in his shoulder became complicated, which finally resulted in his death.
Mr. Keiler retired from active business ten years ago. Since that time he had spent much of his time in Los Angeles and at his summer residence at Charlevoix, Michigan.
Through his many business interests Mr. Keiler accumulated a large fortune and extensive property holdings. He was rated a millionaire. Mr. Keiler was president of the Palmer Hotel company, which formerly owned the old Kentucky theater, now the Orpheum. He was also president of the Avondale Heights company, and vice-president of the Strand Amusement company. He was a director in the City National Bank, and was financially interested in numerous Paducah enterprises.
Mr. Keiler was born in St. Louis, on July 4, 1862, at Ninth and Olive streets, the present site of the old St. Louis postoffice. He was the son of William Keiler, a native of Germany, and Mrs. Sarah Levy Keiler, who was born in England. Mr. Keiler's father came to the United States in 1838 and settled in St. Louis.
Mr. Keiler received a common school education in St. Louis, and came to Paducah in 1886. He traveled for the Thompson, Wilson and company for a while. He started in business two years later, organizing John W. Keiler and company. He entered into business partnership shortly thereafter with the late Joseph L. Friedman, and became the junior partner in the firm of Friedman, Keiler and company. This concern began business in 1888, and in a short while became known as one of the leading wholesale whiskey firms in Kentucky. The plant of the company was located in the large brick building at Second and Jefferson streets, which is now occupied by the International Shoe company.
Mr. Friedman died in 1913. Mr. Keiler dissolved the firm of Friedman, Keiler and company in 1919, with the advent of prohibition. In that year he organized the firm of John W. Keiler and Son, with his son, Leo F. Keiler, and became interested in the handling of investment securities. When Mr. Keiler retired from active business several; years ago he placed the majority of his investment interests in the hands of a New York firm.
Mr. Keiler made a large gift for the construction of the bowl and stadium at Augusta Tilghman high school in 1923, and in his honor the stadium was named the John W. Keiler field. Mr. Keiler has also made donations to various activities at Tilghman high school, including blankets for the members of the football team each year. Leo F. Keiler has shared his father's interest in Tilghman for several years and has been one of the most loyal supporters of all Paducah high school affairs. Mr. Keiler gave his palatial home, West Terrace, on west Broadway, which is one of the most beautiful homes in western Kentucky, to his son several years ago.
Mr. Keiler was married to Miss Blanche Friedman, the sister of his business partner, December 29, 1886. They had two children, Leo F. Keiler, of Paducah, and Anita Keiler, now Mrs. Tom May, of Los Angeles.
Mr. Keiler is survived by his widow, his son and daughter, and four grandchildren: John William II and Blanche, children of Mr. and Mrs. Leo F. Keiler, of Paducah; and David May II and Rose May, children of Mr. and Mrs. Tom May of Los Angeles.
Mr. Keiler was a member of the Temple Israel, of this city, and a member of the Standard Club and the Paducah lodge of Elks.
The pallbearers will be: Active—A. R. Meyers, Adolph Weil, James C. Utterback, Robert L. Reeves, Abe Livingston, Muscoe Burnett, Gus Thompson and Ernest Lackey.
Honorary—Dr. Frank Boyd, Louie Rubel, Henry Petter, William Rieke, Rodney Davis, Rankin Kirkland, William F. Bradshaw, Hubbard S.
The News-Democrat -
Friday, May 24, 1929, p. 1
Blanche Christie Friedman Keiler
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