The Saw that Started it All

For over 100 years, the red-colored Round Barn in this Oklahoma County community has proven to be more than an unusual landmark; it’s become an important piece of history for residents and visitors alike.

And for 97-year-old Luther native and Arcadia resident Vivian Keely, memories of the Round Barn in its heyday are still clear in her mind as she takes time to come back to the restored barn and speak with Edmond Outlook about the rusty old saw blade that was used to cut the wood to create the barn.

As Keely tells it, flanked by her son John Keely and nephew Wilbur Holbrook, the old saw, given to her as a gift, had sat in her own barn, on her property a mile or so away, for many years.

”I got to thinking that maybe it needed to be here,” she said.

The path Keely took to get to this point started many years ago, on the eve of the Great Depression, when she moved to Arcadia to work as a teacher. She said while working in Arcadia, she “taught everything they handed me,” including English and home economics.

It was during this time that Keely met the man who would become her husband – fellow teacher, Preston Keely. But in those days, rules were such that male and female teachers couldn’t date, so Keely took a job teaching in Perkins, which allowed her to still see her beau and continue making a living teaching.

By the mid-1930’s, she had married into the Keely family, which was related to the Odor family and Round Barn builder, William Odor. As it happens, William Odor’s wife, Myriam Keely, was sister of Henan Keely.

As a member of the family, Keely got to know William Odor and one day he gave her the old saw blade.

“He said I might enjoy talking about it someday,” she said. “And that I might enjoy talking about (the barn