Kent Ellsworth KELLER, Congress, IL (1867-1954)


KELLER, Kent Ellsworth, a Representative from Illinois; born on a farm near Campbell Hill, Jackson County, Ill., June 4, 1867; attended the public schools in Ava, Ill.; was graduated from Southern Illinois Normal University at Carbondale in 1890; engaged as an editor and in the newspaper business in 1890 and 1891; taught school in Ava Township, Ill., in 1893 and 1894, and at Duckwater, Nye County, Nev., in 1884 and 1885; founded the Ava Community High School in 1889 and 1890; attended Heidelberg University, Germany, in 1891 and 1892; was graduated from St. Louis (Mo.) Law School in 1896; was admitted to the bar the same year and commenced practice in Ava, Ill.; went to Mexico in 1899, where he later engaged in mining; returned to Ava, Ill., in 1912 and engaged in literary work; served in the State senate 1913-1917; delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1916; elected as a Democrat to the Seventy-second and to the four succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1931-January 3, 1941); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1940 to the Seventy-seventh Congress and for election in 1942 to the Seventy-eighth Congress and in 1944 to the Seventy-ninth Congress; engaged in literary work and lecturing; served as special adviser to the United States Ambassador at Mexico City from June 1945 to August 1946; unsuccessful candidate for election in 1948 to the Eighty-first Congress and in 1950 to the Eighty-second Congress; died in Ava, Ill., September 3, 1954; interment in Ava Evergreen Cemetery.


Weiss, Stuart L. âKent Keller, The Liberal Bloc, and the New Deal.â Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 68 (April 1975): 143-58.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present