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Biographical Sketch
Edwin C. Kelley
Doniphan County, Kansas


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The following transcription is from a 750 page book titled "Genealogical and Biographical Record of North-Eastern Kansas, dated 1900.  These have been diligently transcribed and generously contributed by Penny R. Harrell, please give her a very big Thank You for her hard work!

Gold Bar

Edwin C. Kelley.

On the roll of residents of Doniphan county who during the civil war "wore the blue" in defense of their country and loyally aided in the suppression of the rebellion of the south, is E. C. Kelley a well known and highly respected citizen of Elwood, whose life history cannot fail to prove of interest to many of our readers, for he is both widely and favorably known in this part of the state.

A native of Michigan, he was born in Lenawee county, February 6, 1841, and is a son of L. Kelley, a native of Dennis, Massachusetts.  The grandfather, John Kelley, was born in a Quaker settlement at Sydney, Maine.  L. Kelley took up his abode in Michigan in 1838, in a region which at that time was an almost unbroken wilderness.  He was twice married, his first union being with Miss Deborah Estes, and to them were born six children namely: Ben, Rufus, John, Content, Mary J. and Sarah.  For his second wife Mr. Kelley chose Miss Lydia Hoxsie, who was born in Cayuga county, New York, a daughter of John Hoxsie, a soldier of the War of 1812.  By their union three children were born, namely: Edwin C., Allan and Betsy Ann.

The father died near Adrian, Michigan, at the advanced age of ninety years.  His life was an honorable and upright one in harmony with his belief as a member of the Society of Friends.  In anti-slavery days he was a stanch abolitionist and when the Republican party was formed to prevent the extension of slavery he joined its ranks and continued to follow its banner throughout the remainder of his life.

His wife, who was a consistent member of the Society of Friends, died at the age of eighty-four years.  Edwin C. Kelley was reared in Michigan and attended the public schools.  During the civil war he enlisted in Company G, Fourth Michigan Infantry, on the 6th of February, 1862, being on that day just twenty-one years of age.  He took part in some of the most memorable engagements of the war, including the siege of Yorktown, Fredericksburg, the seven-day battle of the wilderness, the engagement at Richmond, Gaines' Mills, White Oak Springs, Malvern Hill and Gettysburg.  During his service he spent some months in the hospitals of Maryland and when honorably discharged returned to his home in Adrian.  He was always found at his post of duty, faithfully defending the cause represented by the old flag, and upon the battle fields of the south he bravely labored to preserve the Union. 

In 1867 occurred the marriage of Mr. Kelley and Miss Edy Potter, who was born, reared and educated in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Her father, Jeremiah Potter, was a native of Herkimer county, New York, and was of New England lineage.  His wife, who bore the maiden name of Nancy Johnson, was born in Oswego county, New York, and was a daughter of Andrew Johnson.

Mr. and Mrs. Potter became the parents of eleven children, but three died in childhood.  Those who reached the age of maturity were Corydon, Demetra, Morton, Josephine, Homer, Mrs. Edy Kelley, Morell and Cora.  The father died at the age of sixty-six years, while his wife passed away at the age of eighty-four.  Both were members of the Universalist church and he was a Democrat in his political affiliations.  Mrs. Kelley successfully engaged in teaching for some time previous to their marriage and is a lady of culture and broad general information.  Unto our subject and his wife have been born five children: Lola, who is an artist of superior talent and a successful art teacher; Bennie, Florence and Edwina.  One child, Alma, the second of the family, died at the age of nineteen years.

Mr. Kelley gives his political support to the Republican party, but has never sought or desired office, content to support the principles he believes by his ballot with seeking for reward through official preferment.  He belongs to the Grand Army of the Republic in Gratiot county, Michigan.  His identification with Kansas dates from 1886, at which time he located in Ellis county, where he remained for three years.  For the last ten years he has been a resident of Doniphan county and is one of the honored and prosperous citizens within its borders.  All who know him esteem him highly for his sterling worth, for his loyal service on the battle fields of the south was but an indication of the fidelity which characterized his entire career.

  Gold Bar

Last update: Saturday, January 17, 2004 15:38:14

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