Keefe Family


217 Paisley Lane – circa 1966

The map shown below is of Golden Valley circa 1888. Highlighted is the forty acres that Grandma Keefe and great-aunt Lucille would inherit from the Hughes sisters in the 1930s.

Click on images to see larger.

And here’s a map from 2012 overlaid on the 1888 map so you can get an idea how Golden Valley has changed since.

Excerpt from correspondance between Aunt Pat to Tom Keefe.
February 9, 2001

In a nutshell, my mother and Lucille were raised in a house on Royalston Avenue in north Minneapolis, near the Hughes family. There were four older children in the family, I think probably in late teens and twenties at least. The men, Daniel and Joe Hughes were firemen on the old horsedrawn fire engines. Their sisters were Mary, the oldest and Annie the younger. They were very fond of Mom and Lucille who visited them in the neighborhood and Mom stayed in touch with them after she moved away with her parents to 2536 Bryant Avenue S. when she and Lucille were in their teens and twenties.

When I was young and we all were living at 4112 Harriet Avenue S. I went with my mother and Grandma Byrne to visit the Hugheses especially at Christmas and sometimes at other times. Dan and Joe were dead, I never knew them. Mary died in 1934, in her eighties. I think Anne died in 1936 or 1937. None of the Hugheses married so there were no heirs and they in their will left everything to Mom and Lucille. This was a great surprise. They were on Relief, which was like Welfare, so my grandfather Byrne asked his lawyer and he suggested the heirs pay back to Relief what had been paid to the Hugheses during their life. They owned the house they lived in, which looked old on the outside but it was okay inside. I remember once I asked to go to the bathroom just so I could see the upstairs, I then saw the living room which was never used, had a full length picture of the Agony in the Garden on one wall, nice carpet on the floor, Dan’s and Joe’s uniforms hanging from a hall tree. There was a good bathroom upstairs and some bedrooms I did not look at. We used to sit in a tiny room with an old wood stove with the isinglass little amber windows in it with their big police dog. The kitchen had a hand pump and a sink and went out to the back where there used to be a stable for horses. It was like no other house I ever visited and fascinated me.

Next door there was a bar that was run and rented by some guy. Your father used to have to collect the rent from him sometimes. The Hugheses owned that and the forty acres in Golden Valley. They also owned some little tract of land near Lake Minnetonka and what was called Paisley Road. No one was ever able to locate it. Dick tried several times.

The forty acres had a house on it, a barn, a shed, a pump, an outhouse, and it was run by the Schultes, dirt poor farmers with ten children. The oldest girl, Henrietta, was my age, went to a German Catholic school, St. Joseph’s I think, as did the rest of the children. When in 1938 we decided to build on the land, the Schultes moved to a farm right behind us on 6th Ave. or Olson Highway. Dick bought a horse and kept it in their barn. He used to play with Kenny Schulte who was his age and with Lenny Brummer, who lived across Glenwood Avenue right back from where Bill and Lucille’s house was, the original farmhouse.

Excerpt from correspondance between Aunt Pat to Tom Keefe.
February 10, 2001

Just wanted to add a P.S. to what I wrote yesterday. I think I said that Annie and Mary Hughes were in their late teens and twenties when Mom and Lucille were children. I think they were more like in their thirties and forties. John, my brother, said that when he and Byrne were young and were living on 25th and Aldrich, Annie Hughes used to come in a horse-drawn sleigh and pick them up and take them for rides around the lake. My mother used to pick up Annie after Mary (Hughes) died, bring her to our house on 41st and Harriet for a day’s visit, and made her a dress while she was there. I remember that very well. Annie was a peppy, jolly person. She used to dye her hair, and I remember that I thought it was the same color as Dyanshine shoe polish we used to use.

That’s all for now.

Update from Maureen Gainey
July 10, 2012

One thing I can add to is what the Hughes brothers did for a living. J. Byrne Keefe senior – my dad – always told me that they were not fire FIGHTERS, they worked for a company that would go into buildings on fire and cover the merchandise, materials or machines to cut down on a loss – almost like a fire insurance company type job. So they didn’t fight the fires, but worked to prevent or lessen the loss.

Just a tidbit from Dad’s remembrance.

– Maureen Gainey


217 Paisley Lane – circa 1961

In 2018 Danny was able to give Tom, Deb and I a walkthrough of Grandma’s house before it was sold. Here’s a brief video.

Then and Now – Danny Keefe

Then and Now – Gone but not forgotten…

By Jim Keefe

Jim Keefe is the current artist of the Sally Forth comic strip. From 1996-2003 he was the writer and artist of the Flash Gordon comic strip. A graduate of the Joe Kubert School, Keefe likewise teaches Comic Art. Teaching and speaking engagements include SVA in Manhattan, Hofstra’s UCCE Youth Programs, and most recently the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.