Gilded Age Collections

Collection ID: GA-21
Location: GA-21

(Description ID: 594271)

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums 

Joseph Warren Keifer 


Biographical Sketch
Scope and Content

This collection was acquired by the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums in 1975. 

Biographical Sketch
General Joseph Warren Keifer was born in Clark County, Ohio on January 30, 1836 to Joseph and Mary Keifer. A graduate of Antioch College, Keifer became a lawyer and practiced law in Springfield from 1858 until 1861, at which time he enlisted and served as a major with the 3d Ohio Volunteer Infantry. In 1860, Keifer married Eliza Stouts. The couple had four children.

After fighting in several battles and sustaining wounds during the Battle of the Wilderness, Keifer lent his aid towards the capture of Robert E. Lee’s army. Following the Civil War, Keifer continued to practice law in his hometown of Springfield. A Republican, Keifer found a place in the Ohio Senate and was later elected into the House of Representatives, becoming the Speaker of the House for a period of time.

Failing to regain his seat in the 49th Congress, Keifer returned to the military and served in the Spanish-American War. In 1905, Keifer returned to Congress as a representative and maintained his seat until 1910 when he moved home to Springfield. Gen. Keifer also spent time as the president of Lagonda National Bank, and was a trustee of the Ohio Soldiers’ & Sailors’ Orphans’ Home and Antioch College.  Joseph Keifer died in 1932 at the age of 96. 

Scope and Content
This collection dates from 1852 to 1931 and contains primarily speeches and correspondence. Gen. Keifer’s speeches relate mostly to his military battles, military experience, and the politics of his time. As for the correspondence, the letters in this collection all seem to be of a professional nature, often regarding the military and political career of Gen. Keifer. The correspondence also contains a small portion written by Gen. Keifer’s colleagues. These names include Jefferson Davis and M.C. Meigs. Among these items are also certificates, a roster of military officers and troops, a framed sketch, badges and buttons, newspaper clippings, and other documents. Additionally, there are two pamphlets written on Gen. Keifer that serve well as biographies. 

Ac. 3022 



  1. Speeches of Gen. J. Warren Keifer Undated-1869
  2. Correspondence Undated-August 1898
  3. Speeches of Gen. J. Warren Keifer 1870-1883 (bound volumes)
  4. Speeches of Gen. J. Warren Keifer 1879-1883
  5. Speeches of Gen. J. Warren Keifer 1884
  6. Correspondence Sept. 1898-1931
  7. Speeches of J. Warren Keifer 1887-1903
  8. Speeches of Gen. J. Warren Keifer 1904
  9. Speeches of Gen. J. Warren Keifer 1907-1909
  10. Pamphlets: “Joseph Warren Keifer,” “General Keifer Honored”
  11. Original and Supplemental Reports of J. W. Keifer, June 16 & Dec. 22, 1863
  12. Certificates of J. Warren Keifer 1858-1904
  13. Miscellaneous Documents, Newspaper Clippings, Photograph 



  1. Speeches of Gen. J. Warren Keifer 1914-1927
  2. Badges and Buttons
  3. Miscellaneous
  4. Speeches of Gen. J. Warren Keifer 1910-1911
  5. Roster of Officers and Troops of the Seventh Army Corps, Camp Onward- Dec. 1898
  6. Sketch of Brig. General Keifer’s Headquarters
  7. Document Cylinder - empty