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Keeler, Martha Alice Fairbanks, 1860-1938



  • Existence: 1860-1938

Biographical History

Martha Alice Fairbanks Keeler (1860-1938) was a teacher, wife and mother in Utah.

Martha Alice Fairbanks Keeler was born to Mormon pioneers David Fairbanks and Susan Mandeville in Payson, UT on June 29, 1860. After graduating, she began teaching in Payson. One of her students was Salt Lake Tabernacle organist John J. McClellan. She also headed the community's dramatic club. Before turning 23, she married Joseph B. Keeler in the Salt Lake Endowment house in May of 1883 while the two attended Brigham Young Academy.

After their marriage, Martha and Joseph settled in Provo, where Martha served in various organizations in the city. While many of these organizations were based out of the Provo Stake (including serving as president of the 4th Ward's Y. L. M. I. A. and serving as the Stake's Relief Society President between 1906-1918), she also served in BYU Women's Organization - where she served as president between 1918-1919 and remained an honorary member until her death - and was a charter member of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers.

While together, Martha and Joseph had 10 children of whom 8 of them (5 sons and 3 daughters) lived after her death. Three children stayed in Utah, and the others ended up in Texas, Arizona, California, and Canada. After Joseph passed away in 1935, Martha stayed with her daughter Beulah McAllister in Los Angeles, Calif., until her death on October 2, 1938.


The Daily Herald, Oct. 3, 1938, p. 1,3 ("Death Claims Martha Keeler"), May 26, 2017 (Martha Alice Fairbanks; b. June 29, 1860; d. Oct. 2, 1938)

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Keeler family papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 2043
Scope and Contents Contains transcripts of the books "Some Christensens Who Came from Thy" by Virginia C. Keeler and "Build Thee More Stately" by Daniel A. Keeler alongside historical documents pertaining to the creation of those books and to the history of the Keeler family ranging from letters, photographs, and documents from Brigham Young Academy and Brigham Young University. Also includes material pertaining to Joseph B. Keeler, grandfather of Ellen Keeler Thompson. Dated 1847-1990.
Dates: 1847-1990

Oral history interview with Daniel Mandeville Keeler

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA OH 68
Scope and Contents Interview by Bertrand Harrison with Daniel Keeler, coal miner and steel worker, concerning the work of his father, Joseph B. Keeler, at Brigham Young Academy and Brigham Young University, 1884-1920. Includes comments on the development of BYU, and particularily the construction of campus buildings, and comments about BYU presidents. Also tells of Keeler's experiences as a student at BYU, his family, and the work of his parents in the Utah Stake with the development of Aaronic Priesthood and...
Dates: 1981