Keefe Family

Keefe’s Men’s Wear

Miracle Mile History
In 1950 the firm of Sheldon-Thomas, Inc. bought the land from W.M. Livingston (Minneapolis) and S.F. Carmean (St. Louis Park) and requested a permit to build a 14-store shopping center, estimated to cost around $1 million. The plan was presented to the Village Council by a Phillip Neville. Despite a petition against the plan signed by 425 residents presented to the Village Council by attorney Hyman Edelman, the permit was granted on July 20, 1950. The subject of the objection was a 50-ft. driveway into Wooddale Avenue that was originally supposed to be part of a 100-ft. buffer strip between commercial and residential zoning. The President of Sheldon-Thomas was identified as Charles M. Redman (d. November 1, 1959).

Excerpt from Miracle Mile History

Keefe’s Men’s (and Students) Wear
5301 Miracle Mile: 1951-67.
This store (with W.T. Grant) was the second to open after Warner Hardware in June 1951. It was originally called John Keefe, Inc. Mr. Keefe, a graduate of the U of M, was described as having 20 years in the clothing business, the most recent at the New York office of the Dayton Company. He had also been associated with the Varsity Shop and Maurice L. Rothschild. The store was 20 ft. wide and 100 ft. deep, the last 40 ft. being storeroom space. The interior was decorated by Weidt Associates in white and pastels. In 1958 you could rent a tux for prom.

Excerpt from Miracle Mile Tenants.

Photos from about 1952
1955 photo courtesy Minnesota Historical Society, colorized by Emory Anderson
Interior of Keefe’s Men’s Wear. Left to right: Unknown, Byrne, Hugo, John

I remember going with my Dad and Mom on shopping trips to the store. While it was open, it was the only store my Dad bought his clothes at. I remember being very proud to see the Keefe name on the sign.

-Dinah Keefe

Our family visited the store on our visit in 1958, the first I can remember. The time before that was 1951 when I was only two years old. When we visited in 1958 it was called Keefe’s Men’s Wear. Byrne and John were both there. That was also the visit when your dad took the three of us and at least a couple kids from your family on a boat ride in a motorboat he borrowed from a friend. That was our first time in a motorboat so it was pretty exciting!  My parents were probably delighted to get a few hours of free time without the kids!

-Peter Whittredge

I remember the store and the display window. I was born in 1950. We moved from 51st and Sheridan to Ashley Road in 1956. The drive from Ashley to the store, on Excelsior Blvd was single laned and canopied by elm trees on both sides of the road. The phosphates at the counter in Snyder’s were tasty. Later I “manned” the floor at the store, worked for both my Dad and Uncle Byrne, bought cigarettes at Snyders for 27 cents a pack, and found that girls my age tended to work at the dry cleaner’s a couple of doors down.

-Danny Keefe

Ahh, memories!  I worked in the store, too.  Father’s Day was especially fun -all those ties!  And wrapping them in paper.  I don’t think I worked there after Byrne joined.  I think I was living in Washington.

-Mary J Keefe

Facebook post from 2014

Keefe Family

Alexander Patton – Bio

Alexander Patton was Richard Keefe’s Great-great-grandfather on his Mother’s side of the family.

This page is from the book Columbus Mayors, printed during the Bicentennial by the Columbus Citizen-Journal.

Keefe Family

Victoria Wegner – Birth Certificate

Victoria Wegner is Dolores Keefe’s Grandmother on her Father’s side of the family.

Chris Keefe’s translation – 12/14/09

The first line seems to be in Polish.
The second line on…

nata die vigesima Decembris
anno millesimo octingentesimo sexa-
gesimo octavo in Wenecya (sp?)
paroccia Wenecya Archidiocesis
(…) Victoria filia legi-
timatori Martini Wegner et
Dorotheae (….) mari-
torum religionis catholicae bapti-
zata est in ecclesia (Venetensi) die
vigesima secunda Decembris anno
millesimo octingentesimo sexagesimo
octavo 1868
in fidem etc. etc.

Translation of the preceding follows.

Born on the 20th of December in the year 1868
in the parish of (Wenecya);
Wenecya of the Archdiocese of (?). 
Victoria, daughter of legitimately married

Martin Wegner and Dorothea…
was baptized in the church of (Venetensi)
on the twenty second day of December of 1868.
In faith, etc. etc.

I think the rest is in Polish.
I’m not sure about the stuff in parenthesis – or the spelling!
Hope this helps! 

– Chris Keefe

Keefe Family

Keefe Family

Family Tree via Reunion®
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Keefe Family Videos via Vimeo®

Tralee – 217 Paisley Lane
History of Grandma Keefe’s house in Golden Valley.

Richard Keefe 1925-1992
Military History, Obituary and Pictures

Lt. Richard Keefe – Company I
Information on I-304-76

Victoria Wegner 1868-1956 – Polish Birth Certificate
Dolores Keefe’s Grandmother on her Father’s side of the family.

Alexander Patton 1791-1858 – Bio
Richard Keefe’s Great-great-grandfather on his Mother’s side of the family.

Keefe’s Men’s Wear
Keefe’s Men’s Wear on the Miracle Mile in St. Louis Park, MN.

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…