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KEEP, IMLA

KEEP, IMLA (?–?). Imla Keep, one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists, doctor, and Brazoria County planter, may have lived in Mississippi before moving to Rapides Parish, Louisiana, where he practiced medicine and operated a plantation from 1819 to 1824. For a time he had a profitable practice, but he became increasingly interested in his planting and gradually lost his patients, a fact that may have moved him to join the Austin colony in Texas. Keep received title to a league of land now in Brazoria County on July 24, 1824, and arrived in Texas with Jared E. Groce in December. In 1825 Keep came from Louisiana aboard the Lady of the Lake in charge of goods for Groce. The goods were damaged on the voyage and were sold at auction; trouble over the goods probably caused the lawsuit that Keep won in May 1826 and the countersuit filed by Groce in 1827. The census of 1826 listed Keep as a farmer and stock raiser aged between twenty-five and forty, a widower with a small son. He took bankruptcy in March 1826 and by August 1826 planned to leave Texas and return to Louisiana.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
Eugene C. Barker, ed., The Austin Papers (3 vols., Washington: GPO, 1924–28). Lester G. Bugbee, "The Old Three Hundred: A List of Settlers in Austin's First Colony," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 1 (October 1897). Pat Ireland Nixon, The Medical Story of Early Texas, 1528–1853 (Lancaster, Pennsylvania: Lupe Memorial Fund, 1946).

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Handbook of Texas Online, "Keep, Imla," accessed July 28, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fke04.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.