K.T. Keller

KTKellerK. T. Keller graduated from Mount Joy High School in 1903 when the high school was housed in two rooms of the Marietta Street elementary and high school building. He was born in 1885, the son of Zachariah W. and Carrie Thuma Keller in Mount Joy. By 1906 he went to work as a clerk at Westinghouse and later became assistant general foreman in the department making engines for Chalmers Company. By 1910 Keller moved to Detroit and took the job of chief inspector of the Detroit Metals Products Co.

By 1911 he started “his climb” in the automobile industry. Walter Chrysler encouraged him to join the Chrysler Corporation, and by 1940, he was president of Chrysler Company. The next year Keller was the highest paid executive in the United States. In the 1940s, he was decorated with the Medal of Merit by the president, named chairman of President Truman’s five-man advisory committee on the Merchant Marine peacetime trade and national security, and named by Forbes magazine as one of America’s 50 foremost business leaders.

On September 30, 1948, all work halted at noon, businesses and schools closed and 5,000 citizens turned out to honor Mr. Keller during “K. T. Keller Day” in Mount Joy. Governor Duff presented K.T. with a citation naming him official “Pennsylvania Ambassador.” K.T. gave Mount Joy two fire trucks; one in 1935 and one in 1949.
In the 1950s, K.T. Keller became chairman of the Board at Chrysler, and was awarded the rare Gorgas Gold Medal for Distinguished Service to his country.