In the field of practical achievement, in the clearing up and development of land, the making of two blades of grass grow where only one grew before, one of the men whose work deserves special mention is Adam Keil of Fall Creek Township. Mr. Keil resides twelve miles southeast of Quincy.
He is a member of one of the best known families of Adams County. It is unnecessary here to enter at length upon the family history, which has been told on other pages. Adam Keil was born on the old home near his present place December 23, 1869. He grew up on that farm and worked with his brothers at farming and threshing and contracting until he married.
At the age of twenty-seven Mrs. Keil married Anna Margaret Rothgeb. She was reared in Quincy and had lived for several years before her marriage in the old Squire Seehorn family.
After his marriage Mr. Keil located on his present farm. As his share of his father’s estate he received $6,000, and he used that capital to buy142 acres. Later he acquired 85 acres of bottom land 2 1/2 miles away. Still later he bought another 260 acres and now has, all told, 387 acres. Few men could have used this land and made so much out of it as Mr. Keil. The 160 acres tract was bottom land which no one else wanted. It was partly swamp, and had absolutely no economic value. Two creeks meanderedthrough it, and the area was covered by water, swamp grass, brush and timber, all of which had to be cleared away. Mr. Keil used a great dealof practical engineering skill in draining the land. He built levees against the water courses, straightened, dredged and channeled out the streams so as to give a free outlet to the surface waters, and eventually not only had his own land in cultivation and practically from from excessmoisture, but his enterprise affected favorably the value and productiveness of all the adjoining land, though his own initiative and labors were not recompensed except on his own land.
This farm lies west of Fall Creek station and about 2 1/2 miles from his home place. Wheat is the big crop Mr. Keil grows on his bottom land. He had 200 acres in that cereal in 1918 and the average production was thirty-two bushels to the acre. He also raised rye and oats on a large scale. The money feature of his farm, however, is livestock feeding. He keeps about 30 head of cattle, about 175 hogs, and sends between 100 and 125 hogs to the market every year, and also feeds a bunch of cattle, ranging from a half carload to two carloads. He buys much feeding stock in St. Louis. He keeps a bunch of mules for work purposes. Mr. Keil has improved the land with a complete set of modern farm buildings, with every facility for lightening the burdens of management. He also operates a threshing machine outfit and has done a great deal of road work and other contracting. One season he and his forces graded about seven miles of highway.
Mr. and Mrs. Keil have four children: Carl George, John Adam, Clara Marguerite Elizabeth, and William Fred Alfred, all of whom are at home.
Source: Quincy and Adams County History and Representative Men, p. 1067; by David Wilcox. Chicago: Lewis Publishing, 1919.