History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/John H. Keatley
JOHN H. KEATLEY was born in Center County, Pennsylvania, December 1, 1838. He secured his early education by his own exertions, working on a farm to earn money to pursue his studies until able to teach school. While preparing for his chosen profession in the law, he earned his living by working on a farm during the summers and teaching winters. He was admitted to the bar in 1860 and immediately began practice, at the same time acting as editor of the Blair County Whig, a newspaper supporting the administration of Abraham Lincoln. When the call for 300,000 volunteers came in 1802, Mr. Keatley enlisted in the One Hundred Twenty-fifth Pennsylvania Regiment which was soon after engaged in the second Battle of Bull Run, South Mountain, Antietam, Chancellorsville, and in the Gettysburg campaign he was assistant Adjutant-General on the staff of General Higgins. In 1884-5 he was actively engaged in the last battles under General Grant which resulted in the capture of General Lee and his army. Before his return home Colonel Keatley was elected District Attorney of Blair County. After the close of the war he was detailed by General Terry to take charge of the Freedman's Bureau for five counties in southeastern Virginia, and was a judge of the military court at Norfolk. He served as District Attorney of Blair County until 1867, when he decided to remove to Iowa, locating at Cedar Falls. In 1868 he went to Council Bluffs and soon after became editor of the Daily Nonpareil, serving until April, 1870, when he accepted the position of assistant assessor of Internal Revenue. In 1872 he united with the Liberal Republicans and was made chairman of the State Central Committee, conducting the campaign on behalf of Horace Greeley for President against General Grant. In 1874 he was nominated for Attorney-General by the Antimonopoly party and the Democrats, but was defeated. In 1876 he was elected mayor of Council Bluffs, and in 1878 he was the Democratic candidate for Congress in the Eighth District.