by Mike Ellis
The little village of Keefer is still a quiet and humble village, much as it was about sixty years ago when my grandparents were young. It now has better roads and more modern conveniences, but it has fewer places of business. Like many other smaller communities in Grant County, it had a blacksmith, a gristmill, a post office, a doctor's office, a church, two country stores, and a one room school for all eight grades.
About forty years ago, Dink Lonkard ran the gristmill in the corner of his yard, not far from the house where he still lives. The church is still here, but the others: the doctor's office, the post office, and the school have been gone for many years.
At Keefer, two roads crossed; and people from miles around came here to purchase their supplies, to get their horses shod and to get their corn ground. They also came to the Keefer Post Office to get their mail and to the doctor's office for medicine.
It was about 1909 that the dirt road was “piked.” This means that the dirt road was changed to a rock road with all the rock broken up by hand. I think it was called “knapping” the rock. The rock was hauled to the roadside; then men would sit on a sack of straw in the road and break the rock with a small knapping hammer; the big pieces had to be broken first with a sledgehammer. The present Keefer Road is black topped. It crosses the new Interstate Highway near U.S. 25, not far from McComas' store.
Many people now living in Keefer are descendents of those who settled here in the early days. They remember that part of Keefer was named “Struttsville,” because on Sunday afternoons, the young men would dress up and strut up and down the dusty road with their sweetheart.
From a collection of essays written in American Literature Eleven. The class was taught by Ms. Hazel Ogden of Grant County High School in the 1963-1964 school year, and was typed by the typing classes of Mrs. Mattie Cox. It is copyrighted by the Grant County Schools, and is used here with their kind permission. We found a copy in UK's King Library.