Mr. Harry J. Keser

Harry Keser Saloon Passenger Lost
Harry J. Keser image: New York Times, Sunday, 16 May 1915.
Born Harry J. Keser 30 March 1873 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died 7 May 1915 (age 42) At sea
Age on Lusitania 42
Ticket number 14678
Cabin number B 11
Traveling with Mary Keser (wife)
Body number 255
Occupation Banker (vice-president)
Citizenship United States
Residence Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, United States
Other name(s) none
Spouse(s) Mary Bringhurst Floyd (1874 - 1915, their deaths)
Harry Keser, 42, was the Vice President of the Philadelphia National Bank and was traveling aboard Lusitania with his wife Mary on bank business. They were United States citizens from Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, not far from downtown Philadelphia. Both Harry and Mary died in the Lusitania sinking, leaving behind a son, Floyd. Both Harry and Mary's bodies were recovered.


Harry was born 30 March 1873 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Carl William Keser and Johann Katharine Ruckert. On 11 April 1894 he married Mary Bringhurst Floyd of Wyncote, Pennsylvania, a former schoolteacher and principal of a public school. Their wedding was in Philadelphia. Their son, Floyd, was born on 30 August 1897 in Wyncote. At the time of the Lusitania, Floyd was attending law school at the University of Pennsylvania. Harry had been affiliated with Philadelphia National Bank for most of his business career, having joined the bank in 1888 and working there for the next 27 years. He served as secretary to bank president Comegys. In 1901 Keser became assistant cashier and was promoted to cashier in 1904. On 13 January 1915 he was elected first vice-president of the bank. His colleagues stated that he was of particular assistance to bank president Rue. His colleagues remembered Keser as having a "happy, genial disposition that gained him hosts of friends from all walks of life." The Kesers were accustomed to traveling to Spain every year, although starting in 1913 they began traveling to Germany.


Aboard Lusitania, the Kesers were in cabin B-11 and traveled on ticket 14678. They befriended Blish and Maude Thompson. When the ship was torpedoed and sinking on 7 May 1915, the Thompsons saw them on deck with Charlotte Luck and her sons Elbridge and Kenneth. Both Kesers were lost in the Lusitania sinking, leaving their son Floyd without a mother and father. Mary's body was recovered first, #208. Harry's body was recovered #255. Floyd Keser brought his case to the Mixed Claims Commission, which awarded him $25,000 for the loss of his parents.

Related pages

Harry and Mary Keser at the Mixed Claims Commission
Contributors Jim Kalafus, USA Michael Poirier, USA Horatio Connell Snyder, USA Judith Tavares References Snyder, Horation Connell. "Rash's Surname Index." The Pennocks of Primitive Hall. Web. 20 July 2011. <>. "Out of Town Passengers." The New York Times. Saturday, 8 May 1915. White, Alfred F. and Edward White. The Banking Law Journal, January-December 1915, Volume 32, page 360. Thames Building, New York, 1915.

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