|First Seen:||January 2015|
Founded in 1851 by Randolf Keller, a German immigrant and business-man, the original focus was in steel production, shipping the product across the state to supply the expansive construction projects of the fledgling government. California was built on Keller Steel, which filled the family coffers and made them rich beyond their dreams. As the Keller family prospered, and California grew, the family began to diversify their investments, getting into other manufacturing endeavors.
When William Keller (b.1843) took over the company upon the occasion of his father's death in 1910, the Keller Industries empire spanned the entirety of the American Southwest. He began investing in railroads, and Keller Steel began to flow east into construction projects across the territories. He also began to invest in some of the new sciences of the time, starting a lab section of Keller Industries. When World War One began in 1914, the steel mills were granted a contract to start supplying the military with smelted materials they needed, starting a long running relationship between the Kellers and the federal government. William went a step beyond, starting factories to make bullets and starting government sanctioned poppy farms to make opium for the war effort. This began Keller Industries pharmacology and agricultural divisions, and set William up to start hobby farming in his twilight years- when he planted the family vineyard.
William Keller (b. 1843), stepped down from his position in 1926, and gave up control of the company to his son James Keller (b.1904). James steered the company out of the roaring 20's and through the rocky waters of the great depression. The company took a hit like any other during the depression, but his college friendship with Franklin Roosevelt allowed his company to stay afloat as they turned again to federal contracts during the President's great recovery program. CCC sites across the western states were supplied with food and building materials from Keller Industries.
James Keller died in a traffic accident in 1940, leaving the company to his son, Julian Keller (b. 1929), who had been trying to establish contacts in China to begin shipping steel over-seas for their emerging economy. When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, Julian enlisted his company's full support in the war effort. The Kellers were again making bullets, bombs, and boats for the United States forces- and have been ever since. As the war went on, Keller Industries sciences division contributed resources to the Manhattan project. Once it was over, they played a key role in the rebuilding of Japan and western china, by shipping steel to them for construction projects. As Julian began to age, he started to see the company's part in the military industrial complex as abhorrent and started to pull back from federal contracts.
In his twilight years, he started to make bad choices, which led to the Keller Industries board of directors ousting him in 1978, installing his son William Keller (b. 1958) as the new CEO- who had been granted legal conservetorship over his father and use his controlling share to oust the former CEO. The company was in disrepair, but working with his wife, Elizabeth, he managed to turn the company around- by 1984 the company was more profitable than ever. Every maneuver, every choice, William seemed to make led to profit and wealth for Keller Industries. Again part of the military industrial complex, relying heavily on federal contracts, the company once again had extended its reach to numerous sub-divisions, including:
- Keller Steel
- Keller Arms
- Keller Agricultural- "Columbia"- which includes the family Liberty Wines line
- Keller Applied Sciences- "Applied Mechanics"
- Keller Robotics- "Mirai Anzen'na"
- Keller Pharmacology- "Caduceus Pharmaceuticals"
- Keller Communications- "Stahl Network"
Following William's arrest and imprisonment in 2014, control of the company has reverted to his wife, Elizabeth, with the assistance of their son, Julian Keller.
Introduced by: Ryan