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Keenan Cemetery, Floresville, Wilson County, Texas

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Keenan Cemetery, Floresville, Wilson County, Texas

Posted: 9 May 2014 4:16AM GMT
Classification: Biography
This Keenan Cemetery was located at the junction of Farm to Market Road 427 (FM 427) and its junction with Farm to Market Road 537, near Floresville in Wilson County, Texas. There was only one stone in this cemetery. It was the marker for Mahala (Reed) Keenan [1844-1900]. The grave marker was located on the northeast corner of the intersection. On the stone's front at ground level was this biblical inscription: "Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do. John 14, 13." On the back of the stone is engraved _____Grandson ____; one of Mahala's Curtis grandsons, Keene Spruce Curtis, was also buried there. Keene was a son of Myrtle (Keenan) Curtis. Mahala Keenan had traveled to Texas, a warmer climate, in pursuit of a healthier place to live as she was suffering from tuberculosis.

Mahala was the eldest daughter of John O. Reed and Elizabeth Ann Rouse. Mahala was born in Shelby County, Indiana. She married Patrick Benjamin Keenan in Clay County, Illinois. Their children were: Henrietta, Charles Sherman, Clara May, Joel T., Fanella Myrtle, Wilbur E., and Elva L. Keenan. The children were all born near Falls of Rough in Breckinridge County, Kentucky, where the family of Patrick, her husband, had been born and lived.

Mahala was known as a "revivalist" minister of the gospel and practiced Methodism. Patrick, her husband, had built, with the assistance of others, the Keenan Chapel for Mahala. It was at Hickory Lick in the back woods of western Breckinridge County. Until she had a church, Mahala preached anywhere that a group could be assembled, mostly to share croppers or poor farmers there in Kentucky. She was known to ride a white donkey side saddle through the hills singing as she went.

Patrick died in 1896 and was buried at the Keenan Chapel. Later that year, Mahala went to Highway, Clinton County, Kentucky, to school her boys in a Methodist school there. Because her health had been poor for several years, she next moved in 1899, by covered wagon, to Texas hoping the warmer climate there would assist in the recovery of her health. Shortly after her arrival in Floresville in 1900, she succumbed to tuberculosis. Her son, Elva, also died shortly thereafter from tuberculosis while a teen and was buried in the same grave as was his mother.

When Mahala went to Floresville, Texas, the place was known to have had a number of well respected Methodist ministers in residence. This fact was most likely the reason that Mahala selected Floresville as her destination when leaving Kentucky.

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