Keeler, Charles Augustus, 1871-1937

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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

California poet.

From the description of Charles Augustus Keeler letters : to Estelle Carpenter, 1907-1929. (University of California, Berkeley). WorldCat record id: 122647670

Biography

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)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Keeler, Charles Augustus, 1871-1937. Charles Augustus Keeler letters : to Estelle Carpenter, 1907-1929. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Keeler, Charles Augustus, 1871-1937. Charles Keeler letter to Dr. Goodhue, 1911 June 22. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
creatorOf Keeler, Charles Augustus, 1871-1937. Letter 1919 April 23, Berkeley, Calif. [to] Mr. [Edwin] Markham, [Staten Island] / Charles Augustus Keeler. Wagner College, Horrmann Library
creatorOf Charles Augustus Keeler Papers, 1858-1949 Bancroft Library
referencedIn Wilkinson, Marguerite Ogden Bigelow, 1883-1928. Letter 1917, May 17, New YorkCity [to] Mrs. Edwin Markham, [Staten Island] / Marguerite Ogden Bigelow Wilkinson. Wagner College, Horrmann Library
referencedIn Keeler, Leonarde. Leonarde Keeler papers, 1899-1973 (bulk 1923-1949). UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Keeler, Eloise, 1905-. Eloise Keeler papers, [ca. 1938-1986]. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Lockman, DeWitt McClellan, 1870-1957,. [Map of the area later bounded by 19th and 25th Streets, 7th Avenue and the Hudson River, Manhattan, New York (N.Y.)]. Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
creatorOf Markham, Edwin, 1852-1940. Letter 1919 May 2, Staten Island [to] Charles Keeler, Berkeley, Calif. / [Edwin Markham]. Wagner College, Horrmann Library
referencedIn Papers relating to John Wright Buckham's book, George Holmes Howison: Philosopher and Teacher, 1929-1935 Bancroft Library
creatorOf Connor, J. Torrey, 1869-1937. J. Torrey Connor papers, ca. 1890-1930. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Monterey Public Library. California History Room. Authors clippings : California Literary Centennial, 1950 folder 1840-1912. Monterey Public Library
creatorOf Keeler, Charles Augustus, 1871-1937. Charles Augustus Keeler papers : additions, ca. 1889-1979 (bulk 1911-1933) UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Keeler, Charles Augustus, 1871-1937. Letter, 1900 July 2, Glen Ellen, Calif., to Harold G. Rugg. Dartmouth College Library
referencedIn Century Company records, 1870-1924 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Keeler, Charles Augustus, 1871-1937. Lectures given under the auspices of the California Academy of Sciences, 1892, with related materials, 1891-1892. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Keeler, Charles Augustus, 1871-1937. Charles Augustus Keeler papers, 1858-1949. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Keeler, Teresa. [Letter], 1855. Indiana State Library - ISL
referencedIn Henry Meade Bland Papers, ca. 1905-1931 Bancroft Library
referencedIn California Promotion Committee of San Francisco. Letter, Mar. 29, San Francisco, Calif. [to] Mr. Edwin Markham, New York City. / Rufus P. Jennings. Wagner College, Horrmann Library
creatorOf Keeler, Charles Augustus, 1871-1937. Charles Augustus Keeler letter : Berkeley, Calif. to Emory Evans Smith, Berkeley, Calif. 1899 Apr. 29. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Kelley, Edgar Stillman, 1857-1944. A California idyll : for coloratura soprano and orchestra, op. 38 / text by Charles Keeler ; composed by Edgar Stillman Kelly ; piano arrangement. University of Cincinnati - Main Campus, Langsam Library
referencedIn Leonarde Keeler papers, 1899-1972, bulk 1923-1949 Bancroft Library
referencedIn The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire Digital Collection Bancroft Library
creatorOf Contra Costa Hills Fire Protection Committee. Fire protection in the Berkeley Hills, 1921-1926. University of California, Bancroft Library, ARL
referencedIn Metcalf, Woodbridge, 1888-. Woodbridge Metcalf papers, 1927-1932. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Radcliffe, Zoe Green. Zoë Green Radcliffe papers, 1899-1932. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf California Home Protection League (Berkeley, Calif.). California Home Protection League miscellany, 1922-1924. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Keeler, Charles Augustus, 1871-1937. Papers of Charles Augustus Keeler, 1895-1944. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn Correspondence and compositions, 1859-1930. Houghton Library.
referencedIn California Promotion Committee of San Francisco. Letter, Jan 11, San Francisco, Calif. [to] Mr. Edwin Markham, New York City. / Rufus P. Jennings. Wagner College, Horrmann Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Atherton, Gertrude Franklin Horn, 1857-1948. person
associatedWith Austin, Mary Hunter, 1868-1934. person
associatedWith Badè, William Frederic, 1871-1936. person
correspondedWith Bland, Henry Meade, 1863-1931 person
associatedWith Browne, Francis F. (Francis Fisher), 1843-1913. person
associatedWith Buckham, John Wright, 1864-1945 person
associatedWith Burbank, Luther, 1849-1926. person
associatedWith Burgess, Gelett, 1866-1951. person
associatedWith Burroughs, John, 1837-1921. person
associatedWith California Academy of Sciences. corporateBody
associatedWith California Home Protection League (Berkeley, Calif.) corporateBody
associatedWith California Promotion Committee of San Francisco. corporateBody
associatedWith California Promotion Committee of San Francisco. corporateBody
associatedWith Carman, Bliss, 1861-1929. person
associatedWith Carpenter, Estelle, 1874-1948. person
correspondedWith Century Company corporateBody
associatedWith Cheney, John Vance, 1848-1922. person
associatedWith Clayes, Mary Bird. person
associatedWith Connor, J. Torrey, 1869-1937. person
associatedWith Contra Costa Hills Fire Protection Committee. corporateBody
associatedWith Coolbrith, Ina D. (Ina Donna), 1842?-1928. person
associatedWith Coolidge, Mary Roberts, 1860-1945. person
correspondedWith Dellenbaugh, Frederick Samuel, 1853-1935 person
associatedWith Dodge, Mary Mapes, 1830-1905. person
associatedWith First Berkeley Cosmic Society (Berkeley, Calif.) corporateBody
associatedWith Foote, Mary Hallock, 1847-1938. person
associatedWith Gilder, Richard Watson, 1844-1909. person
associatedWith Goodhue, Edward Solon, 1863-1935, person
associatedWith Hillside Club (Berkeley, Calif.) corporateBody
associatedWith Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964. person
associatedWith Howe, Julia Ward, 1819-1910. person
associatedWith Hyslop, James H. (James Hervey), 1854- person
associatedWith James, George Wharton, 1858-1923. person
associatedWith Jordan, David Starr, 1851-1931. person
associatedWith Keeler, Eloise, 1905- person
associatedWith Keeler, Leonarde. person
associatedWith Keeler, Louise Mapes Bunnell. person
associatedWith Keeler, Teresa. person
associatedWith Kelley, Edgar Stillman, 1857-1944. person
associatedWith LeConte, Joseph, 1823-1901. person
associatedWith London, Jack, 1876-1916. person
associatedWith Lummis, Charles Fletcher, 1859-1928. person
associatedWith Mallard, Bailey, 1859-1941. person
associatedWith Markham, Edwin, 1852-1940. person
associatedWith Maybeck, Bernard R. person
associatedWith Merriam, C. Hart (Clinton Hart), 1855-1942. person
associatedWith Metcalf, Woodbridge, 1888- person
associatedWith Millard, Bailey, 1859-1941. person
associatedWith Monterey Public Library. California History Room. corporateBody
associatedWith Muir, John, 1838-1914. person
associatedWith Noguchi, Yoné, 1875-1947. person
associatedWith Radcliffe, Zoe Green. person
associatedWith Robinson, Edwin Arlington, 1869-1935. person
associatedWith Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919. person
associatedWith Scudder, Horace Elisha, 1838-1902. person
associatedWith Smith, Emory Evans. person
associatedWith Stebbins, Lucy Poate, b. 1886. person
associatedWith Sterling, George, 1869-1926. person
associatedWith Stoddard, Charles Warren, 1843-1909. person
associatedWith Sun, Yat-sen, 1866-1925. person
associatedWith Taylor, Bayard, 1825-1878. person
associatedWith Vollmer, August, 1876-1955. person
associatedWith Wilkinson, Marguerite Ogden Bigelow, 1883-1928. person
associatedWith Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924. person
associatedWith Wittaker, Herman, 1867-1919. person
correspondedWith Woodberry, George Edward, 1855-1930 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
California
California
California
California--Berkeley
United States
Subject
Poets, American--20th century
Poets, American--20th century--Archives
Authors, American--20th century--Correspondence
Male authors, American--Correspondence
Birds
Ornithologists--Archives
Zoology--1758-1900
Authors, American
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1871-10-07

Death 1937-07-31

Americans

Information

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