William A. Kelly died in 19i3 upon his home farm in Knoxville township, which is now the home of his son, John
W. Kelly, who is mentioned elsewhere in this volume. For an extended period he had been connected with agricultural
interests and had made for himself a creditable name and place as a representative of agricultural life in Marion
He was born in Ohio in 1842 and was a son of John Kelly, a native of Wooster, Wayne county, Ohio. For some time
ere leaving his native state he made his home in Columbiana county, Ohio, and then in the year 1860 he and his
brother, Thomas Kelly, brought their families to Iowa, establishing their homes upon farms in Knoxville township.
They became well known and representative agriculturists of that district and had a large circle of friends almost
coextensive with the circle of their acquaintance.
The ancestral history of the family can be traced back to the colonial epoch in America. John and Thomas Kelly
were sons of William Kelly, who was a descendant of Nathan and Ann (Smith) Kelly, Scotch-Irish people, who came
to America in 1770. Nathan Kelly enlisted for service in the Revolutionary war in 1778 and loyally aided the colonists
in their struggle for independence.
Thus it was that William A. Kelly was eligible to membership in the Sons of the American Revolution. His patriotism
was manifest during the Civil war by his enlistment September 3, 1861, in Company K, Third Iowa Cavalry, and on
the 1st of January, 1864, he reenlisted. He was captured at Ripley, Mississippi, June 11, 1864, and was first confined
in Andersonville prison and later at Lawton, Georgia, from which place he was taken to Florence, South Carolina.
He was at length paroled on the 20th of March, 1867.
Mr. Kelly was one of a family of ten children who were brought by their parents to Iowa, the family home being
established in Knoxville township, Marion county, where representatives of the family have since been found. His
youthful experiences were those which usually fall to the lot of the farm lad. He assisted his father in the arduous
task of developing and improving a new farm and ultimately he began farming on his own account, becoming the owner
of an excellent tract of land which he carefully developed and improved to the time of his death, which occurred
in 1913. Like others of the family he was well known and his progressiveness in connection with community affairs
and his public spirited citizenship established him firmly in the regard of his fellow townsmen.
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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