Keeler, Charles Augustus, 1871-1937Variant names
Poet, adventurer, naturalist, and artist Charles Augustus Keeler was born in Milwaukee, and spent his teen-aged years in California. He attended the University of California, and took a position with the California Academy of Sciences; he joined the Sierra Club, and published books on natural sciences. He next focused on poetry, and published several books of verse, as well as drama. He made a trip around Cape Horn, and in 1899 took part in the Harriman Expedition to Alaska, where he befriended John Muir. He was associated with the Arts & Crafts Movement, and published books on architecture and suburban living, focussing on natural materials and a simple style. In his later years, he lectured widely, and promoted the First Berkeley Cosmic Society, a spiritual faith he pioneered that combined faith with artistic taste and scientific research.
From the description of Charles Keeler letter to Dr. Goodhue, 1911 June 22. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 64582032
Poet Charles Keeler was a Berkeley resident for most of his life. He was concerned with the aesthetics of architecture as well as literary arts and was a friend of Bernard Maybeck, who designed his Berkeley hills home. Keeler was a founder of the Hillside Club and of the First Berkeley Cosmic Society, a spiritual movement emphasizing "truth, love and beauty."
From the description of Charles Augustus Keeler papers, 1858-1949. (University of California, Berkeley). WorldCat record id: 36169814
Charles Augustus Keeler (1871-1937), an American poet and ornithologist, was the author of Bird notes afield (1899) and many volumes of verse.
From the description of Papers of Charles Augustus Keeler, 1895-1944. (Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens). WorldCat record id: 122584807
Poet and naturalist.
From the description of Lectures given under the auspices of the California Academy of Sciences, 1892, with related materials, 1891-1892. (University of California, Berkeley). WorldCat record id: 36169853
From the description of Charles Augustus Keeler letters : to Estelle Carpenter, 1907-1929. (University of California, Berkeley). WorldCat record id: 122647670
Charles Augustus Keeler was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on October 7, 1871. His father died a few years later, and, in l875, his mother married James K. Bartlett, a prominent physician. Through Dr. Bartlett's extensive library, Keeler was introduced to the world of art and literature. He was educated in both public and private schools and spent summers and other spare time pursuing his interest in biological science. In 1887, the family moved to Berkeley, California. Keeler continued high school and entered the University of California with the Class of 1893 but family illness prevented him from earning a degree. Instead, he accepted a position with the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. In 1893, the year of his marriage to Louise Mapes Bunnell, the Academy published his first book, Evolution of Colors of North American Land Birds. Although he seemed headed toward a career in science, Keeler realized that he wanted to devote his life to writing poetry and drama. His first book of poems, A Light Through the Storm, was published in San Francisco in 1894. During his lifetime he published more than a dozen books, primarily poetry, many illustrated by his wife. In addition, he gave hundreds of readings of his poetry and plays.
In 1899, Keeler went to Alaska as a member of the Harriman Expedition. In 1901 he and his wife, and their daughter, Merodine, spent three months touring the South Seas. Louise Keeler died in 1907. In 1911 Keeler embarked on a two-year world tour to give poetic and dramatic recitations. When he returned to Berkeley, he and his three children settled down in a studio which he had built on El Camino Real in the Claremont Hills. In 1921 he married Ormeida Curtis Harrison, an educator and poet. Both were active in the California Writers' Club and other community organizations. Also in 1921 he accepted a position as secretary of the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce. In 1925 he organized the First Berkeley Cosmic Society.
Keeler died in 1937. His papers, consisting of letters, manuscripts of his writings, diaries, notes, and clippings, were given to The Bancroft Library in 1958 by his daughters, Merodine McIntyre, and Eloise Keeler, with additions in 1968. The collection also contains correspondence and Papers of other family members including his first wife, Louise; their children, Merodine, Leonarde, and Eloise; and his second wife, Ormeida. Portraits have been removed to the pictorial collection.
A key to arrangement which describes the collection in greater detail follows.
From the guide to the Charles Augustus Keeler Papers, 1858-1949, (The Bancroft Library)
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