Bernard T. Keating deals largely in real estate and represents several insurance companies in Streator, Illinois. He was born in Bothwell, Scotland, April 24, 1857, and came to America October 18, 1879, and in all these years has proved himself a most worthy citizen. James and Alice (Cunningham) Keating, his parents, were born in Ireland, shortly after marriage moved to Scotland, and came to this country in 1882, locating in Streator. James Keating died in 1897, in his seventy-fifth year, his wife dying three years previously, when she was sixty-five years of age.
Mr. Keating was educated in the common schools of Scotland and when twenty-two years old came to the United States, arriving in New York in 1879. He at once proceeded to this city, where he has since made his home. He worked for several years in the coal mine, beginning as a coal digger, and advanced through the several departments to be superintendent of the mine. In 1883 he began dealing in real estate, handling both city and farm property, and has been quite successful in making trades and sales. He also represents a number of insurance companies, both fire and life, and at present is district manager of the Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York.
In 1881 Mr. Keating was married to Miss Helen Lafferty, daughter of Frederick and Margaret Lafferty, of Streator. They have five children, Margaret, Bernard, Frederick, Richard and Bessie. For a number of years Mr. Keating has been secretary of the Home Building and Loan Association of this city, using his utmost endeavors to promote the advancement of the city's interests. He was also a member of the board of education for three years. He has taken a decided stand in favor of temperance, and was president of the Father Mathews Total Abstinence Society of Streator and extreasurer of the Catholic Total Abstinence Union of Illinois. We wish more such men might be induced to make their homes in America. In the spring of 1899 he was elected secretary of the executive committee of the Citizens' League, an organization combining the memberships of the various churches in the city, for the purpose of seeing that the laws were duly enforced. Largely through his efforts the saloon-keepers were forced to respect the law and all gambling devices were removed from the saloons. In recognition of his services in this work the Citizens' League in convention unanimously nominated Mr. Keating for the office of mayor, and although he was pledged the support of the League and a host of other citizens in sympathy with the movement, he respectfully declined the honor.
Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 79-80.