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Addison A. Keiser.—Among the able representatives of the legal profession in Mason county is this well known citizen of Ludington, where he has built up a substantial practice, the extent and character of which bears evidence not only of his personal popularity but also of his ability as an advocate and counselor. Further interest attaches to his career as a member of the Michigan bar from the fact that he is a native son of the state and a member of a family whose name has been identified with the history of this favored commonwealth for more than two score of years.

Mr. Keiser was born on the homestead farm of his father in Greenbush township. Clinton county, Michigan, on the 4th of October, 1871, and is a son of John J. and Sarah (Biddle) Keiser, the former of whom was born in Tuscarawas county, Ohio, and the latter in Elkhart county, Indiana. John J. Keiser is a son of Rev. Joseph Keiser, who was a native of Pennsylvania and who was numbered among the pioneer settlers of Tuscarawas county, Ohio, where he developed a productive farm and where he served long and faithfully as a minister of the Evangelical church. He continued to reside in Ohio until the close of his life, ever earnest in good work and kindly deeds. His father, who likewise bore the name of Joseph, was a native of Germany and upon emigrating to America, in an early day. took up his residence in Pennsylvania, where he passed the residue of his life. John J. Keiser continued to maintain his home in Tuscarawas county, Ohio, until 1869, when he removed with his family to Michigan and purchased a tract of land in Clinton county, where he has since resided.

He still lives on the old homestead, which he developed into one of the fine farms of that county, and as a sterling citizen and a man of indefatigable industry he holds a secure place in the confidence and regard of the community in which he has so long made his home and to the development of which he has contributed his quota. He is sixty-nine years of age at the time of this writing, and his cherished and devoted wife is sixty-one years old (1911). Both are zealous members of the Evangelical church, and in politics he has ever given a stalwart support to the cause of the Republican party.

Mrs. Sarah (Biddle) Keiser was, as already noted, born in Elkhart county, Indiana, and she was a child at the time of her father's death. She was taken into the home of her uncle, Levi Biddle, and was reared to maturity in Tuscarawas county, Ohio, where her marriage was solemnized. Of the five children Addison A., of this review, was the third in order of birth, and concerning the others the following brief data are given: Clara is the wife of Charles Houk, of Summit township, Mason county, Michigan; Edward is a representative farmer of Clinton county; Almeda is the wife of Allen Houk, who is a prosperous agriculturist of Summit township, Mason county; and Miss Elda remains at the parental home.

Addison A. Keiser was reared to the sturdy discipline of the home farm which was the place of his nativity, and thus he early learned the lessons of practical industry and gained appreciation of the dignity of honest toil and endeavor. He duly availed himself of the advantages of the district schools and supplemented this discipline by attending the excellent public schools of St. Johns, the judicial center of Clinton county. There also he initiated the work of preparing himself for his chosen profession, as he began reading law in the office of the firm of Norton & Bronson, whose members were leading representatives of the Clinton county bar.

In February, 1892, he was matriculated in the law department of the University of Michigan, and, such had been his advancement under the effective private preceptorship just noted, he was graduated as a member of the class of 1893. He duly received his degree of Bachelor of Laws and was admitted to the bar of the state, at Ann Arbor, in June, 1893, at the time of his graduation. On the 10th of the following month he came to northern Michigan and established his permanent home in Ludington, where he entered the law office of Michael B. Danaher, with whom he was in practice for the ensuing six years. In 1895 Mr. Keiser was elected circuit-court commissioner for Mason county, and this office he retained for two years.

In 1898 further mark of popular esteem and of appreciation of his professional ability was given by his election to the office of prosecuting attorney. His first term of service amply demonstrated his powers, fidelity and loyalty as a public prosecutor, and he was chosen as his own successor in 1900, as was he again in 1902, so that he retained the office for six consecutive years. Mason county has never had a prosecuting attorney whose record has been more admirable in the conservation of justice and the protecting of the interests of the people.

Since 1905 Mr. Keiser has been engaged in the general practice of his profession, and he retains a large and representative clientage, in connection with which he has appeared in much important litigation in both the state and federal courts. In 1909 he was appointed United States commissioner for the Western district of Michigan, and he still remains incumbent of this office. He is liberal and progressive in his civic attitude and soon after coming to Ludington he was elected to represent the Second ward in the common council.

From the time of attaining to his legal majority he has been found arrayed as a staunch and effective exponent of the principles and policies for which the Republican party stands sponsor, and he is a leader in its councils in Mason county. He is a member of the Michigan State Bar Association, and is affiliated with the Knights of Pythias, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Knights of the Modern Maccabees and the Modern Woodmen of America. Mr. Kieiser has identified himself with the various business interests of local order, aside from the work of his profession, and has given special attention to the handling of real estate, in which line of enterprise he has contributed not a little to the material and social progress of his home city and county.

On the 23d of June, 1894, Mr. Keiser was united in marriage to Miss Anna Clark, who was born and reared in Clinton county, Michigan, and who is a daughter of Robert and Anna (Brubaker) Clark, now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Keiser have two children,—Marion, who was born on the 23d of April, 1898; and Donald, who was born on the 23d of August. 1905.

A history of northern Michigan and its people, Volume 2 By Perry Francis Powers, Harry Gardner Cutler

 

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