When Gustave J. Keim, a man six feet in height and finely proportioned, a man of notable military presence, takes his position at the head of his company, - a captain of the Uniformed Rank of the Knights of Pythias, he commands the respect of all observers and is looked upon with just pride by those under his orders. He is in the prime of early manhood, as his birth occurred June 12, 1867, and Ottawa was the place of that event. He has grown to maturity in this town, receiving his education in her public schools, and since entering the world of business Ottawa has continued to be his home. The associations of his whole life thus being connected with this immediate locality, he is thoroughly patriotic and genuinely interested in everything relating to the growth and prosperity of the town.
The father of our subject, Martin Keim, was a native of Germany, born August 6, 1836. He was reared on his father's farm and in 1857, when the young man was twenty-one years of age. his senior paid three hundred dollars to the government for the release of the son from the law requiring military service. Soon afterward Martin Keim bade adieu to the Fatherland and came to America. During the civil war he enlisted in the defense of the land of his adoption, and participated in some of the worst battles of the conflict, including that of Chickamauga and the siege of Vicksburg. He served in the Twenty-fourth Illinois Infantry, his commanding officer being Colonel Hecker, who was a German and had done valiant service in the Mexican war, with General Thomas. By trade Martin Keim was a cooper, and after the close of the war he settled in Ottawa, where he found employment. Socially he was identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
In 1866 Mr. Keim married Miss Lizzie Gabauer, likewise a native of Germany; and as the years rolled by six children came to bless their happy home. One son died at the age of nineteen years, but the other children are still living, and are named respectively Gustave, Adam, George, Herman and Emma.
Gustave Keim, the first-born, was taken into business with his father as soon as he was old enough to be of service, and was quite young when he had mastered the trade. He has continued in the butcher business and has built up a fine reputation for honor and exactness in all his transactions. He belongs to the Knights of Pythias, St. Elmo Lodge, No. 70; Humboldt Lodge, No. 555, of the Masons, and is a member of the Union Hose Company, which is organized for protection against fire. Politically he uses his franchise in favor of the principles and nominees of the Democratic party.
On the 20th of July, 1897, Mr. Keim married Miss Adeline Meyer, a well known Ottawa lady. The young couple have one child, a son, named Walter M. They have a pleasant, cosy home and have a host of friends in this place.
Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 203-204.