Alison Levi Keller was born in June of 1867 in Jacksonville, Calhoun County, Alabama. A. L. Keller’s family moved to Cook County, Texas when he was eight years old and then in 1879 they moved to Holder, Indian Territory in what is now Marshall County, Oklahoma. In early January of 1907, A.L. Keller along with his son Jesse and friend Bob Mitchell came to Jefferson County, Indian Territory to work a farm that was leased from the Indian landowner. In early summer Mrs. Keller, Mrs. Mitchell and the remaining children joined the original party at the camp that was established on the leased land. A.L. Keller and Bob Mitchell had built a temporary home, a wood sided tent was put up and used until a more permanent house could be built. It was in this tent that the first child was born at their new home. Allen Alexander Keller was born to Rosie and A.L. Keller five months before Oklahoma became a state and officially joined the union as the forty sixth state in these United States. Allen’s sister, Annie, told the story that it was raining so hard the day Allen was born that the family ducks were swimming inside the tent. A.L. Keller bought the original lease and added more land over the years. He farmed the land until his death in 1943.
Upon the death of A.L. Keller, his son Allen and his wife Nila bought the farm from Rosie Keller. Allen Keller had started helping his father on the farm at a very young age. He told his family about plowing with a team and having difficulty throwing the plow into the ground because he was so small. His father would hitch the team and take them to the field and get Allen started. By being thrifty and working hard Allen Keller added more acres to the farm that his father had built. Over the years I have heard stories about Mr. Keller and his being a hard worker always came up in the conversation. Besides being a good farmer, Allen was a skilled carpenter and often had to go to where the work was. He worked not only in Oklahoma but also in Texas and New Mexico. Like many people, Allen Keller worked hard to raise and provide for his family. Other than two years when he “ran off” to California and Oregan, he lived on the farm his father established in Jefferson County from 1907 when he was born until 1996 and farmed for most of those years.
In 1981, Allen’s daughter and her husband Lane Corley, moved back to the area and became more involved with the farm and in 1993 became owners of the Little Dipper Ranch, located southeast of Ryan, Oklahoma. When it was established in 1907, A. L. Keller grew cotton, oats and sorghum, I know that Allen farmed as well but have found no record of what he grew, The present day owners, Loretta and Lane Corley raise beef cattle and through the years have continued to do what her father and grandfather did before them. For three generations, the family has been good stewards of the land and have added to the original holdings that started with a small Indian lease of two hundred acres.
The first permanent structure built was a barn in 1907. Windmills were added in 1930 to pump water for the cattle and in 1950, Allen built a new barn and a house. The first is still in use as a horse barn and the house is still being lived in today.