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Jane Sumner Owen Keim


The family roll of honor in the Revolution contains the names of eighteen heroes in the three collateral lines of Sumner descent from the colonists, some of whom belong to that of Mrs. Keim, including also Robert, the son of her fighting ancestor. Captain John Sumner.

Mrs. Keim's paternal great-great-grandfather, Benjamin Owen, born in 1761, at Ashford, Connecticut, fourth descendant from Samuel and Priscilla Belcher Owen, who came to America from Wales in 1685, with their son Josiah, and settled first in Massachusetts and later in Rhode Island, was a captain in the Windham County, Connecticut, militia. The sixth line of Mrs. Keim's Colonial and Revolutionary ancestry, the Palmers, descended from Walter, the settler in the Endicott Colony, through Ruth Palmer, her great-grandmother, were also distinguished for patriotic service in the Revolution. Dr. Joseph Palmer, the father of Ruth Palmer, served as a surgeon in the Continental forces. At the outbreak of the Revolution he was captain of a company from Voluntown for the relief of Boston during the Lexington alarm.

Mrs. Jane Sumner Owen Keim was born in Hartford, Connecticut, and educated in the public schools of her native city, graduating in 1862 from the high school, formerly the Latin grammar school, founded in 1636, the second oldest institution of the kind in America. She took a higher course of two years at East Greenwich Seminary, on Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island.

She engaged immediately in charitable work in the city of her birth, teaching seven years in the Sixth Ward Evening School, and was active in city mission, Sunday and sewing schools. She also organized, with Miss Fannie Smith, authoress, pianist, and lecturer, and conducted for some years a boys' reading room and Sixth Ward Temperance Society, out of which initial movement sprung the "union for home work," a noble charity in Hartford to-day.

Mrs. Keim has the gratification of knowing that many boys taught by her in charity have become men of prosperous business in several states. On June 25, 1872, she became the wife of deBenneville Randolph Keim, of "Edgemount,'' Reading, Pennsylvania, an author and Washington correspondent. They spent six months in foreign travel. They visited the localities associated with their ancestral families and nearly all the countries of Europe, extending their journey to Nijni Novgorod, on the Volga.

Women of America

Source: The Part Taken by Women in American History, By Mrs. John A. Logan, Published by The Perry-Nalle Publishing Company, Wilmington, Delaware, 1912.


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