SOURCE: Chicago: The Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1889.
Ouachita County, Arkansas - from Goodspeed's History of Arkansas
C. S. Keith, farmer and stock-raiser, Camden, Arkansas. Mr. Keith has been located in this county for many years, and he is well established as
a practical farmer and a successful stockman. He was born in Tennessee, in 1845 and is the son of John H. and Leutia (Davis) Keith, natives of
North Carolina and Tennessee, respectively, and the grandson of W. A. Keith, who was a solider in the war for
independence, and who was a school teacher, having a superior education for those days.
The latter was a native of Scotland, and received his education in that country. The
father of W. A. Keith and the great-grandfather of our subject was Robert Keith, who was rear admiral of the British fleet prior to the
Revolutionary War. The father of our subject, John H. Keith, was one of the leading ministers in the Old
School Presbyterian Church in Tennessee and Mississippi, moving to the latter State in 1848, and
taking charge of the Danville Presbyterian School, which position he held for
about ten or twelve years, or until 1860. One year later he moved near Searcy, White County, Arkansas and there continued to minister to the
spiritual wants of his fellow men until his death in 1867, at the age of sixty-five years.
He also carried on farming, having purchased a tract of land close to Searcy. His ministerial duties
extended over a period of forty years. He had received an excellent education in North Carolina, and
was a man beloved and eminently esteemed by all who knew him. Of the seven children born to his
marriage, four are now living: John Y. (an attorney, of Madison County, Tennessee), C. S., James O.
(resides in this county, engaged in farming), and Charlotta A. Mrs. Keith died in 1876,
near Camden, at the age of sixty seven years.
C. S. Keith had good educational advantages in Tennessee and
Mississippi, but the war breaking out, interfered very much with his schooling. In 1862 he enlisted in
Company I, Third Missouri Volunteer Infantry, United States Army, and served until the first attack on Vicksburg, in December, 1862. He was in the battle of Cotton Plant. From there he went up the river, where they
captured Arkansas Post, from there to Napoleon, Arkansas and from there to Milligan's
Bend, where Mr. Keith was captured by a portion of Capt. Johnson' men. He was paroled by order of Lieut. Gen. Holmes, and later came to Camden,
when he remained during the remainder of the war. He was wounded at Arkansas Post, in the left shoulder. Mr. Keith was sergeant of his company, and after both the captain and lieutenant
were killed, he commanded the company during this fight.
After the war he engaged in the grocery business, which he successfully carried on
two years. He then moved to the country, rented land for three years, and then purchased 300 acres, one and a half miles south of where he now
lives. In 1873 he purchased his present farm, consisting of 160 acres, with only three or four acres improved, and he now has about 100 acres
cleared, has erected good buildings, steam gin and grist-mill, and has made many improvement. A. A. Tufts of Camden, has an interest in the
mill and gin and he and Mr. Keith are the owners of about 10,000 acres of land in various portions of the
county. They have some well improved farms, and also have some fine trade of wild land. Mr. Keith
does some merchandising on his farm, more to supply his own forces than for a
general mercantile business and also owns, in connection with Mr. Tufts, some city property in Camden.
He was married in 1865, to Miss Mittie
A. Thomas, of Camden, and to them were born four children: Sarah L. (wife of J. H. Henderson), J. H. (who died in 1889, at the age of twenty one
years), J. Y. (at home), and Ella W. Mrs. Keith died in February, 1889, in full communion with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Mr. Keith is a
member of the A.F. & A. M, Camden Lodge No. 11, R. A. M., Whitefield Chapter. He is also a member of the Commandery of this order. Mr.
Keith has held the office of justice of the peace of this township for fourteen years, and is at present an incumbent of that office. He has also
held the office of school director for twenty years. In 1872 he was appointed assessor of the county by Ex-Governor Hadley, and served two
years, and was at one time associate justice of the peace of the county court. Politically, he is a Republican.