JAMES KEITH, who was for a number of years Postmaster of East Stoughton (now Avon ), was born in this town, October 23, 1827 . He is a son of Clifford and Arethusa (Harris) Keith, and a direct descendant of the Rev. James Keith, a Scotch Presbyterian clergyman, said to have been the first preacher to locate in old Bridgewater, Mass. Clifford Keith was a general merchant of the former town of Stoughton, and was also for some time engaged in boot manufacturing there. A prominent citizen, he was for many years a Selectman of the town; and he served for a number of years as justice of the Peace. He died in 1878, in his seventy-seventh year.

James Keith received his early education in his native town, and later attended the academy in East Bridgewater . He then obtained a position as clerk in a wholesale shoe store in Philadelphia . After remaining there for a time, he was employed as clerk in general merchandise stores in Stoughton and Randolph successively. He subsequently found employment in shoe factories in East Stoughton , performing manual labor, and also acting as book-keeper. He was afterward engaged in the sale of stationery, periodicals, and gentlemen's furnishing goods in East Stoughton . Mr. Keith, who is a Republican politically, was appointed Postmaster of East Stoughton in 1867, and capably performed the duties of the office for seventeen consecutive years. For two years he was Town Treasurer of Avon, and for a number of years he has served as Justice of the Peace.

He has been twice married. His first wife, Eliza A. Packard, of Randolph , Mass. , left one daughter, Emma F., who is the wife of E. Lawrence Paine, of Randolph . His second wife, who was in maidenhood Miss Lucy S. Baker, of Bingham , Me. , bore him one son, James Frank [1862-1897], who is now deceased. Mr. Keith is a member of Rising Star Lodge, I.0.0.F., of Randolph . He is well known in Avon and the vicinity, and is a very popular citizen.

Source: Biographical Review - Volume XXV - Containing life sketches of leading citizens of Norfolk County Massachusetts . (Boston, Mass., Biographical Review Publishing Co., 1898), pgs. 419-420.  


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