John F. Keating, a prominent figure in educational circles in southwestern Colorado, is now serving as superintendent of schools in Pueblo. Holding to high professional ideals and attacking everything that he does with a contagious enthusiasm, he inspires pupils and teachers under him with as much his own zeal and interest in the work and is therefore accomplishing most valuable results. He was born in West Milton, Ohio, on the 23d of September, 1862, and is a son of Lawrence and Bridget (Neil) Keating. The father was a farmer by occupation but at the time of the Civil war put aside all business and personal considerations and with unfaltering loyalty responded to the country’s call for troops. He went to the front in defense of the Union as a member of the One Hundred and Forty-second Ohio Volunteer Infantry and throughout days of peace as well as in time of war he was ever a faithful champion of the Stars and Stripes and the cause which the old flag represents. Both he and his wife have passed away. Their family numbered two sons and two daughters.
John F. Keating, the eldest of the family, began his education in the rural schools and afterward had the benefit of two years’ instruction in the high school at West Milton. He next took up the profession of teaching, which he followed through the winter seasons for five years, but ambitious to promote his own knowledge, he then entered the Northwestern Normal School at Ada, Ohio, in which he studied for two terms. His next step in the furtherance of his education was matriculation in the Ohio Wesleyan University, from which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1892. Continuing his education work, he became principal of the schools of Lena, Ohio, where he remained for two years, and while teaching there he completed his university course and was granted his degree.
The year 1893 witnessed the arrival of Professor Keating in Colorado, at which time he accepted the superintendency of schools at Aspen, where he remained for two years. He then resigned to accept a similar position at Central City and after a year he was elected to his present position as superintendent of the schools of Pueblo. No higher encomium upon his official service can be pronounced than the statement of the fact that for the past twenty-two years he has occupied this position and the school system of the city is a monument to his effort, his enterprise, his progressive spirit and his efficiency. He has the faculty of winning the confidence and cooperation of teachers and pupils and he is popular with all classes. While he holds to the highest ideals, his methods are of a most practical character and he has ever labored with the end in view of making education a most thorough preparation for life’s practical and responsible duties.
On the 18th of June, 1891, Mr. Keating was united in marriage to Miss Anna Travis, a graduate of the Ohio Wesleyan University of the class of 1891. Their children are as follows: Lawrence Francis and Jerome Hughes, both of whom are serving in the United States army in France; Katherine, who is a graduate of the University of Colorado; Martha, who is successfully teaching in a high school in Wyoming; Marion Marston, who is a member of the United States navy; and Ellen and Janet, who are still under the parental roof.
Professor Keating may well be proud of the record of his family. It is in harmony with the military spirit of their grandfather and with the equally strong and patriotic spirit of the father and they are now standing loyally by the colors, doing their part in France to sage the world for democracy. Professor Keating has always given his political allegiance to the republican party since age conferred upon him the right of franchise. In fraternal circles, too, he is well known. He has attained the thirty second degree of the Scottish Rite in Masonry and he belongs to the Woodmen of the World, while in Pueblo his membership relations extend to the Commerce Club and to the Minnequa Club. He is fond of the pleasures of outdoor life but he never allows outside interests to interfere with the faithful performance of his professional duties. Since 1895 he has been a member of the National Educational Association and in 1910 he was made national secretary of the Department of Superintendents. In 1904 he was elected a director of the N. E. A. as the representative from Colorado. He has frequently been a lecturer in teachers’ institutes, doing important work in this connection through-out Colorado for the past tweny-five years, and he has lectured for a number of years as a member of the summer faculty at the Colorado State Teachers’ College. At different times he has lectured at the Colorado Agricultural College and has been a member of the summer faculty of Denver University. At the last meeting of the National Educational Association, which convened in Pittsburgh in 1918, Mr. Keating was chairman of the resolutions committee and he presented the report to the association, which was enthusiastically received and adopted as read without amendments.
Recognition of his ability and high professional attainments has come to him as the years have passed. He received the Bachelor of Arts degree from the Ohio Wesleyan University and Denver University has since conferred upon him the degree of Master of Arts and Bachelor of Letters. He has done post graduate work in Chicago University and he early came to a realization that the keenest pleasure in life is that which comes from intellectual stimulus and activity. He holds membership in the Methodist church and his efforts in behalf of its upbuilding have been far-reaching and productive of results. Life has been to him purposeful and serious, and he has fully met every obligation that has develved upon him as the years ave passed. Not only has he done much public speaking along the line of his profession but has often addressed gatherings upon questions of the hour and issues of the day, and his is now numbered among the Four Minute men, who are bringing to the public accurate and intimate knowledge that the country wishes to convey to its citizens.
Source: Stone, Wilbur Fiske, History of Colorado, published 1918 by The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago, pp. 352-354. Available via books.google.com.