KELLER, John Peter
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KELLER, JOHN PETER, son of Charles Andrew Keller and Judith Barbara Bigler, was born at Lancaster, Pa., September 28, 1776. His ancestor belonged to one of the oldest families in Switzerland, and emigrated to America in 1735. John Peter learned the trade of a brass founder, coming to Harrisburg in 1796. In 1801 he established himself in business as "brass founder and rope-maker," which proved successful, and afterwards in general merchandising. He was a member of the borough council almost continuously from 1810 to 1824, and was quite prominent and influential in the public affairs of his day. He was identified with nearly all the early enterprises of the town, such as the Harrisburg Bridge Company, Harrisburg and Middletown Turnpike Company, and at his death was the last survivor of the original board of directors of the Harrisburg Bank. He was a gentleman of thrift, industry and indomitable energy, upright, honored and respected by his fellow-citizens. He was no less decided and influential as a Christian, being one of the founders of the Lutheran church in Harrisburg. He died at Harrisburg October 1, 1859, in the eighty-fourth year of his age. Mr. Keller was twice married. His first wife was Catharine Schaeffer, daughter of Rev. Frederick Schaeffer, D. D., of Lancaster, born November 6, 1774, died December 19, 1842, and by whom he had the following children: Frederick, George, Rev. Emanuel. Eliza, m. James R. Boyd, Maria, m. Lewis L. Plitt, Catharine, m. James Gilliard, John Peter, Sophia, m. Thomas Montgomery, William, Frederick, George, Benjamin, Peter, Charles and Charles Andrew. His second wife was Mrs. Rachel Cochran, widow of William Cochran, formerly sheriff of the county, who survived him thirteen years.