As we learn from the first chapter of Helen Keller's autobiography, The Story of My Life, Helen came from a very noteworthy Southern family of Tuscumbia, Alabama. Her father was Arthur Henley Keller, who served as a captain of the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Captain Keller owned a homestead in Alabama that they named Ivy Green because, as Helen informs us, the house and the surrounding trees and fences were covered in beautiful English ivy. Helen also informs us that, after the Civil War, when he married Helen's mother, Kate Adams, his second wife, he built a small house annexed from the main house, in Southern tradition, and Helen was born in this house and lived their until her illness had passed.
Though Helen does not mention so in her autobiography, there are several other things we know about Captain Keller. First, after the Civil War, he worked as a lawyer until 1874. He then bought the publication the North Alabamian and presided for 10 years as editor. Later, in 1885, "he was appointed United States Marshall for the Northern District of Alabama" and later was elected as a senator (Kentucky Comprehensive Genealogy Database Project, Colbert County, Alabama, Biographies, "Arthur Henley Keller").