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Delaware County, Iowa


 Biography Directory

Joseph Kelley

Agriculturist & Stockman

Section 2, Coffins Grove Township



      Joseph Kelley, who has been a resident of Delaware county for nearly a half century, is a retired agriculturist living on his farm of one hundred and forty nine acres on section 2, Coffins Grove township, in the operation of which he was actively engaged until ten years ago. His birth occurred in Vermont on the 27th of April, 1825, his parents being Micajah and Betsy (Gifford) Kelley, likewise of that state. The mother passed away in Vermont, and the father subsequently removed to New York, where his demise occurred in 1882. Our subject is the only surviving member of a family of six children.

      Joseph Kelley removed to New York from his native state and there resided for a period of twenty three years. Subsequently he spent several years in Minnesota but returned to the Empire state and there remained until 1868, when he came to Delaware county, Iowa, within the borders of which he has since remained. He bought eighty acres of land in Coffins Grove township and later extended the boundaries of his farm by additional purchase until it now comprises one hundred and forty nine acres. Here he devoted his attention to farming and the raising of graded stock throughout the remainder of his active business career, meeting with a gratifying measure of success in his undertakings. For about ten years, however, he has lived retired, making his home on the farm with his son, who operates the place.

      On the 16th of November, 1856, in Wisconsin, Mr. Kelley was united in marriage to Miss Julia A. Seymour, a daughter of James Seymour, of New York. To them were born four children, two of whom survive as follows: James of Delaware county; and J. E. who wedded Miss Susan A. Richmond, a daughter of Justice S. and Mercy C. (Benson) Richmond, both of whom are deceased. Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Kelley had the following children: Edna, who is the wife of John Sutton of Delhi; Asa S.; C. Romeyn; Gladys, who gave her hand in marriage to Fred Ellsberry of Honey Creek Township; Harry Edgar; Joseph Micajah; Susan Gyneth; and Kenneth. Mrs. Kelley passed away May 19, 1903.

      Mr. Kelley gives his political allegiance to the democracy and has served as school director, road superintendent and township trustee, ever discharging his public duties in a prompt and capable manner. He has now passed the eighty ninth milestone on life's journey and may look back with pride upon an active honorable and useful career. He enjoys the highest esteem and veneration not only on account of his years but because they have been spent in such a manner as to reflect great credit upon him.



~ source: History of Delaware County, Iowa and its People, Illustrated, Volume II. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1914, Chicago. Page 163-164. Call Number 977.7385 H2m; LDS microfilm #934937.

~transcribed and contributed by Constance Diamond for Delaware County IAGenWeb


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