Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Texas Ranger James Elijah Keese Honored in Bandera

Remembering an Early Texas Ranger: James Elijah Keese 1832-1896

Although his body has been buried for nine decades, the memory of James Elijah Keese was resurrected last week. More than 200 descendants and friends gathered for a dedication ceremony honoring his duties as a Texas Ranger.

Born in 1832 in Lawrenceburg, Tenn., Keese was one of six children to Thomas Jefferson and Eleanor Campbell Keese. The family found its way to the Republic of Texas in 1842.

Keese joined the Texas Rangers in 1851, at the age of 18. He was stationed at Fort Merrill in Nueces County. In 1864, he and two brothers, Oliver H.P. and Thomas Harrison, joined the 2nd Frontier District of Brown County as Confederate soldiers. Their company's duties entailed protecting the settlements from Indians and Union forces.

With his wife, Eleanor Lavina Lewis, Keese moved to Bandera County in December of 1871. Together, they raised 10 children - some of whom remained in the county
to raise their own families.

Read full article from the Bandera Bulletin