Philadelphia, Charles Keemle began learning the
printing business at a young age in the office of
the Norfolk Herald, where he remained until 1816
and arrived in Vincennes, Indiana in 1817 having
journeyed on foot between Baltimore and
Pittsburgh. There he published the first number
of the Indiana Sentinel, but believing there was
better opportunity in St. Louis, he went there
and took charge of a paper called the Emigrant,
which was afterward merged into the St. Louis
Enquirer, with which Thomas H. Benton was
connected in the capacity of editor.
He gave up the printing
business in August of 1820, and became clerk to
the American Fur Company which started from St.
Louis that September, and spent the winter
trading successfully with the Kansas tribe of
Indians. Selected by Major Joshua Pilcher, he and
a company of fifty-four started from Fort Lisa
near Council BIuff, and arrived at the mouth of
the Yellowstone where they traded with the Crows,
Keemle acting as agent and clerk of the
expedition for three years. While in these remote
regions, he narrowly escaped with his life from
an Indian attack in which ten in his company were
killed, including the two leaders of the
expedition, Immell and Jones. Keemle, having
survived the attack was able to float down the
river back to the mouth of the Yellowstone.
connected with the company until 1825, at which
time he returned to St. Louis and once again
worked as a printer and publisher until about
1847. During this time, on 07 Oct 1833, he
married Mary Oliver, the only daughter of Thomas
P. Oliver, who of the prominent family of
Philadelphia, and later resident of Illinois.
Charles and Mary were the parents of at least
Mary and Jessie Dalrymple Keemle.
A personal friend
and supporter of Colonel Benton, he frequently
held prominent positions of public trust and was
for several years County Recorder. He died in St.
Louis on 27 Sep 1865 and was buried on the 30th
in Lot #1478.