Tom H. Keene · 1978

Tom H. Keene was born on June 1, 1888 in Elkhart, Indiana. As a boy he carried the Chicago and Elkhart newspapers on delivery routes.

After his days of delivering, he went to work in the circulation department of the old Elkhart Review, switching to the news side in 1908. Five years later Keene became the city editor of the Elkhart Truth and in 1917 he was promoted to editor and general manager.

Keene was instrumental in making Elkhart a one newspaper city. In 1920, he had the Truth purchase assets of the Review and the city therefore only published one newspaper.

Keene was very much involved in the Elkhart community and he originated the idea of the "Heart of Elkhart" movement. It was later to become known as Community Chest.

During the depression, Keene developed a system of local unemployment relief that won recognition by President Hoover. He was also given an award by the University of Minnesota in 1948 for distinguished service to journalism.

Some of Keene’s activities included the Hoosier State Press Association, Inland Daily Press Association, Indiana Associated Press (in which at one time or another he served as president of all three), Rotary Club, Federated Parent-Teacher Associations, City Plan Commission, General Hospital Association, and the Chamber of Commerce.

Keene retired after 41 years of service with the Elkhart Truth.


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