Ralph P. Kelly owns and operates a fine farm of two hundred acres situated five and three quarters miles west
of Knoxville and also an eighty acre tract of fine land. He was born in Knoxville township on the 21st of March,
1872, a son of William Alexander and Sarah (Post) Kelly, both of whom are deceased. The father was born in Ohio
on the 5th of August, 1841, and grew to manhood there. In 1859 or 1860 he came to Marion county, Iowa, and at the
beginning of the Civil war, in 1861, he enlisted in Company K, Third Iowa Cavalry, serving under Captain Brown
and participating in a number of important engagements. He was captured and spent nine months in Andersonville
prison and three months in Libby prison. He was in the army for three years and his gallantry and faithfulness
won him promotion to the rank of sergeant. At the close of hostilities he returned to this county and joined his
parents, who had located near the site of the present Eden church and the Lincoln cemetery. William A. Kelly subsequently
removed to a farm a half mile south of White Breast creek, which he purchased in time and which remained his home
until his death. He was a republican and held a number of local offices. John C. Ferguson Post, No. 49, G. A. R.,
had no more enthusiastic member than Mr. Kelly, who greatly enjoyed his association with his old comrades in blue.
He was married in Salem, Ohio, to Miss Sarah Post, who died in 1872, leaving an only child, the subject of this
review. His second wife was Miss Mary Heckler, whom he married in Salem, Ohio, in 1876, and to that union was born
one child, John, who resides upon the old home place. The father was called to his reward on the 28th of May, 1913.
Ralph P. Kelly resided at home until he was twenty eight years of age and was then married and began farming upon
his own account. His labors have been rewarded by excellent crops and the neat appearance of everything about his
farm indicates his energy and good management. He understands the raising of crops from the preparation of the
soil for the planting to the gathering of the harvest and as he is enterprising and industrious his land yields
him a good income annually.
Mr. Kelly was married to Miss Maude Jordan, who was born upon the farm where she now resides, a daughter of Frederick
and Henrietta Jordan, who were natives of Germany but came to this county in 1860 and settled in Knoxville township.
Mr. Jordan was a large landowner, having at one time from seven hundred to eight hundred acres and when he died
still held title to four hundred and forty acres. He made many improvements upon his land and was one of the substantial
citizens of the county. He and his wife reared ten children who survive. Mr. Jordan died in 1900 when seventy three
years of age and his wife passed away in 1908 at the age of sixty seven years. They were Presbyterians in their
religious belief. To Mr. and Mrs. Kelly has been born a daughter, Irene Sarah, whose birth occurred on the 24th
of January, 1908. She is now attending school.
Mr. Kelly is a republican and his allegiance to that party is unwavering. Both he and his wife belong to the Presbyterian
church at Knoxville, attending its services faithfully and contributing to its support. He operates a fine two
hundred acre farm west of Knoxville which is part of the Jordan estate, and an eighty acre tract which is a part
of the W. A. Kelly place. In cultivating his places he is gaining personal success, but is also aiding in the agricultural
development of the county.
History of Marion County, Iowa
And its People
John W. Wright, Supervising Editor
W. A. Young, Associate
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Marion County, IA
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