Bernard Keenan - The Immigrant

Bernard Keenan came to America from Forkhill, Mullabawn, County Armagh, Ireland about 1853, possibly with older siblings Ellen and Patrick. This was the time of the potato famine in Ireland.

Bernard resided in Iowa until 1857 when he crossed the plains to the gold fields of California. In 1860 he followed the gold trail to Boise Idaho. He drove a stage coach between Boise, Walla Walla and Pendleton until 1863-64, then moved to Walla Walla or Pendleton. He came to Weston Oregon about 1870, married Triphane Wilder and had a daughter, Bertha. After Triphane's death he married her sister, Lydia Emma Wilder, and had Grace, Arthur and Alvin. Bernard and Lydia removed to Biggs Oregon about 1906 where he died November 21, 1924. He is buried in the IOOF Cemetery at The Dalles Oregon.


Bernard KEENAN was a Stage driver between Walla Walla and Pendleton in the early days. 84 years and 6 months of age, a resident at Biggs for the last 18 years and a well known pioneer of Oregon died at his home last night.

Mr. KEENAN drove stage between Walla Walla and Pendleton for a number of years prior to 1870, having come west from Iowa where he settled as a boy in 1857.

Born in the county Cork (Kork) Ireland in 1840.The deceased came to the United States in 1851 and resided in Iowa until 1857, when he went crossed the plains to the gold fields of California.In 1860 he followed the gold trail to Boise, Idaho where he drove stage until 1863-4, moving to Walla Walla and Pendleton.

He moved to Umitillia County in 1870 and resided there for 36 years after which he took residence in Biggs,Oregon.(about 1906) where he lived for the rest of his life.

Mr. KEENAN survived by two daughters and two sons, named as follows, Mrs. Grace SHEARER of Biggs, and Mrs. Bertha NEAGLE of Pendleton, Alva KEENAN (Alvin) of Biggs, Oregon and Arthur of Hoquiam, Washington.

He was predeceased last August by his wife who died in Pendleton, August 19 and was buried in the IOOF Cemetery at The Dalles, Oregon. Funeral Service will be held at the Burget and Calloway Funeral Chapel at 3:00 Saturday afternoon. Rev. FISH will officiate.

[The above obituary was copied from a newspaper clipping that my Aunt Bertha has. Bertha, her sister Mary and Mary's two daughters, Ella and Joyce, reside at grandpa, Harry T. SHEARER's home in The Dalles. 905 Case, St. ]


From Calloway Funeral Home

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Brenda Lee Keenan said...

My name is Brenda Lee Keenan and I live in Gatlinburg, TN. I am looking to see where I fit in this family.
I eas raised in NY, then moved to Chicago until God told me to move to TN. My dads name is Sherman Henry Keenan.

David said...

There are also Keenan's in New Brunswick Canada. They emigrated to Johnsville, NB from Ireland in the early 1880s, I believe. My mother was a Keenan.

Her father was Alvin Keenan. We have a book of the family's history

email me for more info

David said...

Hello everyone,
My name is David Keenan. I am the great grandson of Bernard Keenan. My father, Bernard James 'Jim' was the only son of my grandfather was Arthur Keenan of Klamath Falls, OR. I am writing to let you know that my father passed away last week at the age of 85. I would be interested in learing more about my grandfather, Arthur, as he shared very little with me.
Thanks and regards, David

Timm Hill said...

Did he have a sister named Rebecca and brother named walter