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031_Keyes Notes on His Life


031_Keyes Notes on His Life


This is a short review of Keyes' life in outline form listing his education, professional activities, and personal life.






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Cornell College Archives, Mt. Vernon, Iowa

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Charles Reuben Keyes

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College Archivist, Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, Iowa. Phone: 319-895-4240,

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Keyes Notes on His Life

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Research Notes by C.W. Haywood

Charles Reuben Keyes

Born 5 May 1871 Mt. Vernon, Iowa son of Marsden Keyes who was a prominent local builder, worked on the construction of many of the landmark victorian homes in town, including Rood House.

Mt Vernon Public Schools, 1888
Cornell Academy 88-89
Ph.B Cornell College, 1894
A.M. Harvard University, 1898
Ph.D Harvard University, 1923 (first Cornellian to earn a doctorate from Harvard)

University of Munich 1912
University of Berlin 1913

Teacher at Norway, Ia 1891
Principal of schools, Blairstown, Iowa 1894-1897
Instructor in German University of California at Berkeley, 1900-1903
Professor of German Language and Literature, 1903-1912
Leaves of Absence 1912-1913
Alumni Professor of German Language and Literature, 1913-1941
Emeritus Lecturer, 1941-1944
Visiting Professor in Anthropology, University of Iowa 1944-1945

Director of the Iowa Archaeological Survey 1921-1950

The visiting professorship at Iowa was designed to provide Keyes with a stipend as he catalogued the 125,000 specimens of Iowa archaeology which he accumulated over 23 seasons as research associated of the SHSI

Fascinated by archeology and ornithology from childhood on

Directed mound excavations throughout the state with Ellison Orr after 1934 made a practice before that time of examining only existing artifacts etc.

Had a study on the fourth floor of Law Hall

Four complete issues of the Palimpsest were devoted to Keyes articles during his lifetime

Promoted the creation of Effigy Mounds Nat Mon.

Helped establish the annual Plains conference of archaeologists in 1931.

Kindly person, warned students to watch their health

Had a great sense of humor with students

Member of the Miltonians while at Cornell College

As a young man was the co editor of the weekly paper "the Remarkable" which later became the Record and then was merged with the Hawkeye
Active in promoting athletics at Cornell although not himself athletic
Chairman of the College Athletic committee for thirty years
President of the Midwest Athletic Conference twice
Died 23 July 1951 at Mr. Vernon ashes scattered in Palisades Keppler Park

Wife Sarah Mary Nauman
B 15 October 1874
M 5 August 1903
D 6 June 1963
PhB Cornell, 1900
Two children, Catharine and Margaret (who, as a professor at U of I directed restoration of the Old Capitol in the 1970's)

Bibliography at Keyes' publications prepared by H. Ennis, published in Journal of Iowa Archaeological Society (Jan 1952 lists 38 articles on ornithology, archaeology & other publications on German Lit.