Lester Keller was born in Cadmus, Ohio. He was a graduate of Gallipolis High School. In 1883, he received his medical degree from Ohio Medical College in Cincinnati, Ohio. He opened his first practice in Gallipolis, Ohio.
On June 16, 1883, Dr. Lester Keller married Mary Allen. Mary was born in Ironton, Ohio on July 22, 1860. Her father was Judge Allen. She was raised and educated in Ironton.
Next, he moved to West Virginia near Echo. He worked for the Central Coal Company and the Buery, Cooper and Company. He remained in that location for eight years.
In 1892, he moved to Ironton.
While he was in Ironton, he worked at the Charles S. Gray Deaconess Hospital. At this hospital he became a mentor for a younger doctor. He helped Dr. William F. Marting study surgery.
In 1901, Dr. Keller became the first president of the Triple State Medical Association.
Dr. Keller established his own hospital in Ironton. The year was 1907 and the hospital was the Keller Hospital. One of his staff members was Dr. William F. Marting. Eventually, Marting became Dr. Keller’s partner.
In 1914, Dr. Keller sold his hospital to Dr. Marting. Dr. Keller and Mary drove a car from Ironton to their new home in California.
After leaving Ironton, Lester and Mary Keller lived in Hollywood.
Eventually, the couple moved at Yorba Linda on an Aztec avocado ranch. Mary managed the ranch until her death on August 23, 1920 at the age of 60 years old from appendicitis.
Mary had and operation the Thursday before her death on the following Monday. According to an article in the Morning Irontonian (11 September 1920, page 6), Mary has suffered for a few weeks and by the time the surgery occurred her recovery was impossible. It was her request for her body to be cremated and the ashes not preserved.
Dr. Keller was still alive at the time of Mary’s death. His niece was going to keep house for him. The avocado ranch had oil deposits and at the time of Mary’s death, Dr. Keller was asking for $150,000 for the property.