Arthur N. Mckeever

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Tina Hursh
January 30, 2000

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.
Chicago and New York, Volume II
pg. 79 & 80

Arthur N. McKeever is dean of the dental profession at Romney, and in his
professional work and as a citizen has been prominent in that community since
May 1, 1895. His name has been associated with several of the movements to
give Romney a place among the progressive cities of the state.

He was born at Edom, near Harrisonburg, in Rockingham County, Virginia,
February 6, 1874, but represents an old family of Hardy County, West Virginia.
His great-grandfather was one of three Scotch brothers who came from Scotland
and settled in New Jersey. The grandfather, Hugh McKeever, was born in New
Jersey in 1802 and as a young man settled in Hardy County and was a farmer
and tavern keeper at Wardensville. He died there in 1880. Hugh McKeever
married Miss Ogden, who died at Wardensville in 1888, at the age of
eightyy-four. They reared the following children: Isaac, who was a commission
merchant in Washington D.C., when he died; John, who died at Wardensville after
many years of work as a physician in Hampshire and Hardy counties; William, who
was in business with his brother Benjamin and died at Wardensville; Hezekiah,
a Confederate soldier killed in battle at Richmond; Benjamin Warden; Rebecca,
who married Asa Cline and died at Yellow Springs, Hampshire County; Amanda,
who lives at Wardensville, wife of Tilberry Orndorff; Lydia, who married David
Knee and died at Wardensville; and Jennie, who married David Dinges and died
at Wardensville.

Benjaming W. McKeever, father of Doctor McKeever, was born in the Wardensville
community in 1842, and early in the Civil war joined the Confederate army as
a member of the Thirty-third Virginia Cavalry, under General Imboden. Among
other engagements he was in the battle of New Market. He served as a private
and after the war followed merchandising at Edom in Rockingham County, but
finally returned to his native county and established his home at
Wardensville. He was a member of the Hardy County Court, was a democrat and a
Lutheran, and died at Wardensville in 1903, at the age of sixty-one. Benjamin
W. McKeeker married Mattie Neff, who was born in Shenandoah County, Virginia,
in 1854, on her father’s farm between Mount Jackson and New Market. She is
now living, at the age of sixty-nine. She is the mother of three children:
Doctor McKeever; Bernice of Wardensville, widow of James A. Heishman; and
Irene, Mrs. R.L. Husong, of Buffalo, New York.

Arthur McKeever was seven years of age when his parents left Rockingham County
and established their home at Wardensville, the rural village on the east side
of Hardy County, where he grew to manhood. He laid the foundation for his
literary education in the village schools then spent two years in Roanoke
College at Salem, Virginia, pursuing a literary-business course, and from
there entered the University of Maryland at Baltimore, graduating from the
dental department in the summer of 1895. He at once established his office at
Romney, and was the first resident dentist to practice there, and has been the
leader in his profession for nearly thirty years.

Doctor McKeever is a former mayor of Romney. During his administration the
water system was installed and the first concrete sidewalks constructed. He
also organized and was president of the Romney Improvement Company, which
installed the sewer system for the town. He was one of the organizers and the
first president of the First National Bank.

During the World war he was designated by the governor as dental examiner for
the Local Draft Board. Governor A.B. White commissioned him a member of the
Board of Regents of the Keyser branch of West Virginia University and he was
one of the committee for the building of the school at Keyser and served four
years as regent. Governor Glasscock appointed him a notary republic, and he
was recommissioned by Governor Cornwell. He served with the rank of colonel on
the staff of Governor Hatfield throughout his four-year term.

Doctor McKeever is a Republican, casting his first vote for Major McKinley for
President, and in former years attended numerous party conventions and is still
a member of the Second District Congressional Committee. He is a past master
of Romney Lodge of Masons, a past district deputy grand master, a member of
Keyser Chapter, R.A.M., the Knight Templar Commandery at Martinsburg, the
Ancient Order of United Workmen and belongs to Martinsburg Lodge, Benevolent
and Protective Order of Elks.

At Frostburg, Maryland, September 20, 1904, Doctor McKeever married Miss Katie
Keller, daughter of Joseph and Susie (Brooke) Keller. Her father was born at
Frostburg in December, 1873, and her musical talents were thoroughly trained,
and she finished her education in the Peabody Institute at Baltimore. She was
a teacher of music before her marriage. Doctor and Mrs. McKeever have two
daughters, Martha and Josephine.