Biography of Thomas F. Keeher, Jr.

One of the leaders of the younger generation of Newport’s business men, Mr. Keeher, as the successor of his father in the building and contracting business established by the latter, has proven himself an exceptionally able business executive. Taking over this business immediately after his return from college, Mr. Keeher, though then only twenty-one years old, showed himself a “chip off the old block.” Not only has he maintained the fine reputation built up by his father, but he has even extended the operations of the firm, so that it ranks among the leading establishments of its kind in Newport. Of a pleasing personality and widely known and liked in his native city, he takes an active part in civic, social and fraternal affairs, and in every respect represents the finest type of useful, vigorous and public-spirited citizens.

Thomas F. Keeher, Jr., was born at Newport, April 14, 1905, a son of Thomas F., Sr., and Katherine (Duff) Keeher. His father, a native of Fall River, Massachusetts, was for many years and until his retirement in 1926, successfully engaged in the contracting and building business, a business which since his retirement has been continued by his son. Mr. Keeher’s mother was born at Dufftown, Scotland. Both his parents are still residents of Newport. Having received his early education in the public schools of his native city, Mr. Keeher later attended the Allen Military School, and then for one year, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire. The next three years he spent at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. Having completed his education, he returned to Newport and, in 1926, took over the business of his father, of which he has since been the sole proprietor. This business, operated under the name of Thomas F. Keeher, was established by Mr. Keeher’s father in 1909 and was built up by him into one of the largest and most successful contracting and building enterprises in Newport. Its success has been continued by Mr. Keeher, who has devoted himself with much ability and energy to the management of the business. Many important contracts have been handled by the firm, invariably to the entire satisfaction of its clients. Among these should be especially mentioned the following: the Newport Gum Factory, the barns on the estate of the late Alfred H. Vanderbilt, the Newport plant of Armour & Company, Trinity Parish House, the remodeling work of the interior of the Aquidneck Bank, the New York Yacht Club of Newport, the Colonial Theatre, the new bathing section of the Newport Beach, various operations on the Arthur Curtis James estate, and many other important commissions. Mr. Keeher is a member of St. Paul’s Lodge, No. 14, Free and Accepted Masons; Newport Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; Sigma Chi Fraternity; the Miantonomi Club; Lions International Club; the Wanumetonomy Golf Club, the Discussion Club, and the Newport Chamber of Commerce. In politics he is a supporter of the Republican party, while his religious affiliations are with the Protestant Episcopal Church. He is fond of outdoor life and of outdoor sports and is especially interested in baseball and horseback riding.

Mr. Keeher married Florence Caswell, like himself a native of Newport. Mr. and Mrs. Keeher have one child and make their home in Newport, where Mr. Keeher’s offices are located at No. 28 Bellevue Avenue.

Source: Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 3 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.

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