John Kelly, who is farming on section 11, English township, was born upon the farm where he still resides on
the 12th of July, 1862, a son of John and Ann T. (Kelly) Kelly, who, although of the same name, were not related.
Both were natives of Ireland but removed to America in the early '40s. In 1847 the father went to California and
made a fortune there, remaining for five or six years. At the end of that time he went to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
where his marriage occurred. He and his wife came to Iowa county, Iowa, and settled upon a farm in English township,
residing for a number of years in a log cabin. Eventually a better structure was erected and the father made many
improvements upon his place, continuing to cultivate the land until called to the great beyond. His wife also passed
away upon the homestead. They were the parents of six children: Margaret, the wife of M. Curry, of this county;
Michael; John, of this review; Katherine, the wife of T. Donahoe, of this county; and two who have passed away.
John Kelly remained under the parental roof during the period of his boyhood and youth and upon reaching maturity
took charge of the operation of the homestead, which he later purchased. He now owns three hundred and eighty three
acres of land on section 11, English township, and specializes in the raising and feeding of stock. which he finds
very profitable. He is not afraid of hard work but plans so as to make his efforts as effective as possible, believing
that it is as bad to waste energy as to waste money, and his labors yield him a good financial return.
In 1891 Mr. Kelly married Miss Celia Elwood, who was born in Iowa county, a daughter of Patrick and Margaret (Fitzgerald)
Elwood, both natives of Ireland, who emigrated to America many years ago. They passed the remainder of their lives
in this country and were highly esteemed in the communities in which they resided. Mrs. Kelly is one of a family
of nine children and by her marriage has become the mother of eight children, as follows: Katherine M., who is
now attending school in Chicago; J. J., at home; Loretta and Irene, both in high school; Evelyn; Anna; Helen; and
one who has passed away.
Mr. Kelly is a democrat and for many years has been a school director. Both he and his wife are communicants of
the Roman Catholic church and are loyal to its teachings. Mr. Kelly has erected fine buildings upon his farm and
has made many other improvements which add to its value and attractiveness. He is also a director of the Mutual
Telephone Company and a director in the North English Savings Bank. The financial success which he has achieved,
however, is not held as high in his estimation as is the respect which his fellowmen accord him.
History of Iowa County, Iowa
And its People
By: James C. Dinwiddie
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Iowa County, IA
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