Joseph Brigham Keeler obituary
Joseph Brigham Keeler It is not a difficult task in America to find practical men. Experiences incident to the development of a continent continent have given them ability to understand the new and the strange, and to solve the problems of every-day existence. It is more difficult to find men of such unwavering religious convictions as to rout the forces of doubt and skepticism and safeguard spirituality. The practical seems too have usurped the field of the spiritual. The passing of Joseph Brigham Keeler, however, calls attention to a great type of character, of which he was a noble example, the peculiar development of a peculiar people of the pioneer intermountain region. Though gathered from the various walks of practical life, these pioneers were nevertheless nevertheless imbued with deep religious fervor. It was for this reason that they cast their lot with the despised refugees who migrated to the valleys of the Wasatch. As one of this group, the subject of this article, in boyhood learned from his mason father the craft of building adobe houses. When not wielding wielding the trowel, he followed the plow or irrigated fields ot wheat and corn. In the winter time he was afforded the opportunity opportunity of attending the humble schools of the day. But that is only a part of the story. The Sabbath school, the Mutual Improvement association, and the ward meeting supplemented the teachings of a devout, religious home. As a result of these influences he became a Mormon missionary and preached the Gospel of Christ according to the tenets of his faith to the people of America's Southland. When the Brigham Young Academy was founded he became became one of the orginal twenty-nine students, and so came under the tuition of that inspired teacher, Karl G. Maeser, and eventually became a teacher in the school. With great inheritance from a noble parentage and such experiences and training, Joseph Brigham Keeler developed into the dual personality of a practical man, of affairs and an earnest advocate of the religious life. As the man of affairs affairs he supervised the construction of buildings, participated in irrigation and land reclamation enterprises, and engaged in various business enterprises. In the realm of the spiritual, he was for many years active as teacher and supervisor of religious instruction at Brigham Young university and held many important ecclesiastical positions in ward and stake. But "he was never simply a perfunctory teacher or routine director of religious organizations. He was a student and thinker of life mean ability, and brought his profoundest thought to bear in expounding the doctrines of his church, both in oral discourse and printed word. His deep religious .-onvictions and earnest expression thereof has strengthened i nd preserved the faith of many who have heard his words. preserved me larun 01 many wnu imve ucoiu ma wv^uo. Five minutes before he was summoned he signed en- louraging, faith-promoting Christmas letters to his children and grandchildren. His Bible lay. open to Matthew's account of the birth of the Christ-child. With this setting passed a worthy representative of the culture of a peculiar people. A beautiful climax to a well-spent life.