Biography of Sanford M. Keltner

SANFORD M. KELTNER. Eminently entitled to specific recognition in this history of Madison County is Mr. Keltner, who was one of the representative members of the bar of this section of the state for twenty-six years. He is president of the Anderson Trust Company and vice-president of the Anderson Computing Scale Company, two of the important corporations of the County, and he is known and honored as a citizen of substantial worth of character and marked loyalty and public spirit.

Mr. Keltner claims the Buckeye state as the place of his nativity and is a son of one of its sterling pioneer families. He was born in Preble County, Ohio, on the 10th of July, 1856, and is a son of Joseph and Rachel (Paulus) Keltner. He gained his rudimentary education in the schools of his native County and was about nine years of age when, in 1865, the family removed to Darke County, Ohio, where his mother’s death occurred when he was eleven years of age. Shortly afterward Mr. Keltner came to Indiana and found a home with James P. Burgess, an old gentleman who was then living two and one-half miles south of Richmond, Wayne County. Mr. Keltner remained in this kindly home until he had attained to the age of fifteen years, and in the meanwhile he had duly availed himself of the advantages of tthe local schools. At the age noted he went to Pierceton, Kosciusko County, this state, where his father had established a home after contracting a second marriage. At Pierceton the subject of this review continued his educational discipline in the public schools and he soon proved himself eligible for pedagogic honors. For some time he served as an able and popular teacher in the schools of Kosciusko County and in 1875 he entered the Indiana State Normal School at Terre Haute, where he continued his higher academic studies for two years. For several years thereafter he divided his time between teaching and attending school, and in September, 1881, he came to Anderson and assumed the position of principal of the public schools. He was most earnest and successful in his work in this connection. After devoting three years to teaching and executive duties in the city schools Mr. Keltner initated the work of preparing himself for the exacting profession in which he has achieved much of distinction and precedence. In June, 1884, he began the study of law in the office and under the able preceptorship of the firm of Robinson & Lovett, and he made rapid progress in his absorption and assimilation of the science of jurisprudence, with the result that he was admitted to the bar in 1886. After having been for three years identified with the activities of the firm mentioned, its members showed their appreciation of his character and ability by admitting him to partnership, whereupon the title of the firm was changed to Robinson, Lovett & Keltner. This effective alliance continued until Colonel Robinson, the senior member of the firm, was called to the bench of the appellate court, after which the firm of Lovett & Keltner continued the business. The firm, of Chipman, Keltner & Hendee, of which Mr. Keltner subsequently became a member, was formed on the 1st of June, 1893, and gained prestige as one of the leading law firms in this part of the state. On the 18 of June, 1910, Mr. Keltner severed his connection with the law firm at. Chipman, Keltner & Hendee, of which he had been an honored and valued member for a period of seventeen years, and thereupon he assumed the active management of the Anderson Trust Company, of which he is now president and to the affairs of which he gives all of his time and attention. He is one of the alert and liberal men of Madison County and has contributed in generous measure to the civic and material progress and prosperity of his home city, where it may well be said that his circle of friends is coincident with that of his acquaintances. As a lawyer he has been concerned in much important litigation in the courts of this section of the state and his reputation in his chosen profession is on a parity with his recognized ability and success as one of its prominent representatives in Madison County.

In politics Mr. Keltner has been found a staunch and effective exponent of the cause of the Republican party, and while he has not been imbued with ambition for political office he has served in local positions of trust and in the same has shown himself animated by the utmost civic liberality and progressiveness. He was for seventeen years a valued member of the Anderson board of education and he has been most zealous and enthusiastic in advancing the standard of the schools of the County. Doing the administration of Mayor John H. Terhune Mr. Keltner served as president of the board of public works of Anderson, and in this position he made his labors inure greatly to the good of the city and its people. He is affiliated with the local organizations of the Masonic fraternity, the Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks, and the Knights of Pythias.

On October 20, 1886, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Keltner to Miss Alice May Cockefair, who was born in Union County, this state, and who is a daughter of Sylvanus and Mary A. Cockefair. The two children of this union are Ruth and Mary. The family are members of the Presbyterian church.



Madison County IN,

Forkner, John. History of Madison County, Indiana: a narrative account of its historical progress, its people and its principal interests. Chicago: The Lewis publishing company, 1914.

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