Transcribed by Teresa Kesterke from: Biographical Review of Des Moines County, Iowa: Containing Biographical and Genealogical Sketches of Many of the Prominent Citizens of To-day and Also of the Past, Hobart Publishing Company, Chicago, 1905.


Among the self-made, energetic, and progressive men of the village of Mediapolis is Daniel Kelly, and his reputation is well deserved, for in him are embraced the characteristics of an unbending integrity, unabating industry, and an energy that never flags. Mr. Kelly is a native of Pennsylvania, his birth having occurred at Brady's Bend, Aug. 15, 1848. His parents, Daniel and Elizabeth (MacKeever) Kelly, moved to Linden, Ind., near La Fayette, when our subject was a lad of seven years. They did not remain long in Linden, and soon took up their residence in Jasper county, Indiana, where Mr. Kelly was a prosperous farmer for two years. Moving again, this time to North Judson, Stark county, Ind., he engaged in the mercantile business, in which he continued until he enlisted in the Civil War, and served until its close. He enlisted as a member of the Twenty-fifth Indiana Regiment. Mr. Kelly was wounded in battle and was allowed to come home on a furlough to be cared for. After being honorably discharged from the war he moved to Galveston, Cass county, Ind., and again engaged in the mercantile business, continuing in the same till his death, which occurred in March, 1893. His wife died about 1867.

The school privileges of our subject were exceedingly limited, as he was only permitted to attend school for a very brief time; but his father took great pains to teach him in all the common studies, and he has gained a vast amount of knowledge from his general reading: and to him the broad school of experience has really taken the place of a course in a higher school or a college, so that his own efforts have practically graduated him. Mr. Kelly started his business career as an apprentice in a tin-shop, where he served three years, and then worked as a journeyman for the following four years.

In 1873 he located in Mediapolis, and opened a stove and tin store, together with a repair shop, in which business he continued for about twelve years. He then added a stock of hardware, and shortly after engaged in partnership with Mr. E. Fry, who was in the furniture and undertaking business. This firm continued till 1891, when the partnership was dissolved, and Mr. Kelly conducted the store alone till 1893, when he sold his stock to Welsh & Wilson. Mr. Kelly has had a very successful business life, and is now abundantly able to retire from active duties and enjoy the well-earned fortune accumulated during his younger days. He is now practically out of business.

Mr. Kelly was married to Miss Hannah Jane King, May 18, 1879. Mrs. Kelly is a daughter of James William and Malissa (Van Osdol) King. They are the parents of five children: Mary Edith, the wife of J. W. Cocayne, and resides in Waverly, Iowa: Franklin Lloyd, Catherine May, William Walter, and Dale MacKeever, all at home. Mr. and Mrs. Kelly are faithful members of the Methodist church, in which the former has been a steward and trustee, and is now the president of the board of trustees. They have a handsome and commodious residence on the main street of the village, which is also one of the attractive features of the village. Through the long years that Mr. Kelly has been engaged in mercantile business as a member of several firms, his acquaintance in business and social circles has been continually broadened, while his upright course has won for him the unqualified regard of his fellow-men, and his record is worthy of the emulation of all young men.

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