Historic Detroit

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K.T. Keller House

Designed by Clarence E. Day for Kaufman Thuma Keller in 1926.

Kaufman Thuma Keller was born at in a small town Mt. Joy in PA and spent his early boyhood in the village and on an adjacent farm, where he washed wagon, and curried horses. He graduated at 18 from high school and earned enough money raising pigeons and working in a kitchen utensil factory to enable him to attend business school In Lancaster where he studied bookkeeping, shorthand, typewriting and commercial law.

At 18 he got a job as secretary to a lecturer and accompanied the latter to Britain. Two years later he was back in the United states. He landed a job at Westinghouse, and, certain his future lay In actual industrial production, he asked for a place In the machine shop. In three years he was assistant to the superintendent of the automobile engine department. He went to Detroit In 1910 and became associated with various manufacturers of automobile parts. A year later, Walter P. Chrysler brought him to the Buick company where he served as general master mechanic. When Chrysler left General Motors to found his own company, Keller remained behind but not for long. He was vice-president of Chevrolet in charge of manufacturing when in 1928 he accepted an offer from Chrysler to join the Chrysler organization. He was soon made president of the Dodge division, and in 1935 he was made president of the Chrysler Corp.

Last updated 05/04/2024