LEONARD KECK. Both by birth and lineage Leonard Keck, of Greensburg, is a German. Adam Keck was a native of Wurtemberg and there followed the calling of farmer. His son, Christian Keck, was born in the same place and devoted himself likewise to agricultural pursuits. In his latter years he emigrated to the United States, where he passed the remainder of his life. He was a regular attendant and strict member of the Evangelical Lutheran church. In 1832 he married Rosa, daughter of Andrew Schwartz, and of their ten children six are now living, among them Leonard, mentioned hereafter. Christian Keck, died October 9, 1881.
Leonard Keck, youngest son of Christian and Rosa (Schwartz) Keck, was born April 12, 1849, in Wurtemberg, and was reared on a farm, receiving his education in private schools. He learned the trade of a linen weaver, which he followed for two years. At the age off seventeen he resolved to seek his fortune in the United States, an in company with his brother Frederick embarked on a westward bound vessel which landed them in New York city, June 28, 1866. Failing to secure any remunerative employment in that city he proceeded to western Pennsylvania, where he dug coal and worked at whatever else offered for the space of three months. In 1869 he moved to Greensburg, where he became a clerk in the store of Donohoe & Brother, to whom his services were peculiarly acceptable on account of his ability to speak the German language, many of their customers being natives of the Fatherland. He remained with the firm eleven years, and in 1880 opened a store on Main street, where his space was not one-half as large as any one of the three departments of his present extensive establishment. This initial effort was made about the time when Greensburg began to give promise in regard to her future importance as an industrial and commercial center of western Pennsylvania, and for over twenty years Mr. Keck successfully conducted his Main street store, never interesting himself in politics or engaging in speculations, but giving his whole time and attention to his business. He soon acquired a patronage and an increase of trade calling for a far larger space and stock of goods than he then owned. To met this demand he enlarged his present site on South Main street, near the court house, where his establishment is divided into three commodious departments, each of which is under the charge of an experienced manager. His sales yearly are in the neighborhood of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, and he numbers among his patrons the leading families of the town and county. Mr. Keck married, October 23, 1872, Lydia A., daughter of George Hons, of New Stanton, and their children are : Joseph Edward born June 30, 1874 ; Charles Warden, born June 26, 1876 ; Annie Marie, born August 29, 1885 ; Helen Winifred, born January 3, 1888 ; Leonard B., born October 11, 1890 ; George E., born October 22, 1893 ; Richard Allen, born February 11, 1895 ; and John Adam, born March 21, 1897.
Source Page 63 History of Westmoreland County, Volume II, Pennsylvania by John N. Boucher. New York, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1906
Transcribed January 1, 2000 by Marilynn Wienke for the Westmoreland County History Project
Contributed for use by the Westmoreland County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/westmoreland/)
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