In Memory

Florence Keith - Class Of 1889

Miss Florence Keith, who died early last Thursday morning at her home in Indianapolis, from injuries she received from a recent fall was buried in Delphi, her former home, Saturday afternoon. The remains were brought to the home of Mrs. John H. Burr where short services were held in charge of Rev. Van Curan of the Church of Christ of Indianapolis. The following appropriate sketch was written and read by Mrs. A. C. Clauser, a relative of the deceased: Florence Keith, daughter and only child of Alice Beck Keith and G. W. Keith, was born here in Delphi, in the old family home of her grand- father, Dr. W, H. Beck. Her mother who was a portrait painter of more than usual ability, was the oldest daughter of Martha Milroy Beck and. Dr. Beck, one of Delphi’s most prominent pioneer physicians. Florence was, from the first a beautiful and lovable child. She early displayed a talent for music and later a taste for writing. All during her school days she was found playing a leading role. Loved by and loving all, she was very happy in her girlhood associations. Especially close to her were Jessie Inglee Johnson, “Tin” Cartwright, Love Crampton Caulkins, Onie Cartwright Johnson, Catherine Schemer- horn Brackenridge and Georgia Dunkle. When high school days were over this group was scattered. Florence went with her mother to New York City where her mother had a studio and she herself followed for a time her natural bent for writing. She and her mother were called back to Delphi by the illness and death of her grandfather, Dr. Beck. Very soon after his death her grandmother Beck’s last illness began. It was beyond a doubt the natural outcome of her sorrow at the loss of her husband, for between them had existed a tie so close and tender that neither could long survive its breaking. Her grandmothers illness was long protracted. Not long after she was gone, Fannie Beck Knight died in New York City. Her three little motherless children, Dorothy, Emerson and Mildred Knight were sent back to their grandfathers home, where Florence lavished upon them more than a mothers tender care. Her own young life, so full of promise because of her unusual beauty, grace and talent, she dedicated to these three helpless little ones, with never a backward thought to the great sacrifice that she was making. Love made it for her not a duty but a privilege. All that she had hoped and dreamed for herself she now expected to realize in their fair young lives. When the children were nearly grown the family moved to Indianapolis that they might have the greater advantages of the city. Here her tender ministrations never ceased. Years passed by and in due time all three left home, Dorothy to become Mrs. Ashley Green, Emerson to marry and set up his own home and Mildred, too, as Mrs. Victor Richardson. But their going did not leave Florence free from care for by now her mother had come to be an invalid. All through her long invalidism she received a wealth of loving tender, far seeing, thoughtful care that left no wish unanticipated. Few mothers are so royally repaid for their own love and sacrifices as was she. With her mothers passing she still was not free to follow the path that youthful hopes had pointed out, for Mildred had come home with the delicate baby boy who owes his present fair chance in life to Florence's unusually intelligent and faithful care. Later Mildred's baby girl came to claim her share of love and attention and with her coming Mildred herself became an invalid. For a third time in her life Florence Wholly dedicated herself to the service of others. That she was tired and needed rest she never knew. So full were her thoughts of the loved ones who needed her care. Thus completely she gave her life to others with a love and devotion that was very beautiful. A thousand times and more, when night has come, she has tip-toed from the bed, turned down the light, softly stolen from the room and gently closed the door, that her loved one might sleep undisturbed. And now, for her, God has closed the door, that she too may sleep undisturbed.

Delphi Citizen September 29, 1927