Biography of Charles H. Kelso
Rush County, IN Biographies





CHARLES H KELSO, former member of the board of county commissioners, one of the best known and most highly esteemed citizens of Rush county, a venerable retired farmer of Richland township, who has done his full share in the development of his section of the county, which he has honored by his citizenship for more than a half century, has ever given his support to all measures for the public good and his name has been synonymous with honorable dealings in all the relations of life. Mr. Kelso is descended from an old pioneer family of Indiana, the Kelsos having located in Dearborn county as early as 1812, Kelso township in that county having been named in honor of this family, particularly for John Kelso, the subject's paternal grandfather. The subject's parents were Henry and Catherine (Carroll) Kelso, the former a native of Dearborn county and the latter born in Ireland. Henry Kelso was reared to manhood, secured his education and was married in Dearborn county. He followed farming and remained in that county until a few years prior to his death, from which time he made his home with his son, Charles H. He was a farmer during all his active years, owning forty acres of land. He and his good wife died practically at the same time and were buried on the same day. They were the parents of eight children, of which number four are now living, Hester, Elizabeth, Mary and Charles H. Charles H. Kelso received his educational training in the common schools of Dearborn county and soon after completing his studies he enlisted in defense of his country, becoming a private in Company H, Eighty third regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry, which became a part of the Fifteenth corps of the Army of the Tennessee. Mr. Kelso took part in many of the stirring campaigns and hotly contested battles of that great struggle, in which he served nearly three years, being in the battles of Chickasaw Bluff, Arkansas Post, Vicksburg, Jackson, Missionary Ridge and other noted battles, and then was captured at Atlanta, Ga., and was confined in the notorious prison pens at Florence and Andersonville from August 1, 1864, to December, 1865. On his release, he received an honorable discharge and returned home. During the following two years Mr. Kelso was engaged in teaching school in Dearborn county, but in 1867 he came to Rush county and for a time was employed as a farm hand. He then rented farm land, which he operated up to 1884, when he bought the place on which he now lives, his first purchase comprising eighty acres, to which he later added until his holdings now amount to 142 acres, in Richland township. He, here carried on general farming and stock raising up to the time of his retirement in 1915, since when he has rested from his labors in quiet enjoyment of the fruits of his former toil, his farm being now rented. Charles H. Kelso was married to Mary E. King, the daughter of Charles and Alvira King, and they had ten children, seven of whom are now living, namely: Kenneth, who married Ella Barber and has two children, Fred and William; Fred, who married Jessie Krammes, and has three children, Lewis, Max E. and Louise; Charles, who married Catherine McKee and has one child, Mary Alice; Seth C., who married Mrs. Effie Hill and has one child, Easter Mary; James P., who married Ethel Simonson and has two children, Celia and Elmer; John M., who married Cornelia Inman; Thomas G., who married Blanche Hildreth and has three children, Carter, Alma and Hubert, and Rayburn, who married Amy Harget and has one child, Robert Charles. Mr. Kelso has been a life long supporter of the Republican party. He is a member of the Free and Accepted Masons and of the Grand Army of the. Republic. He and his wife are earnest members of the Christian church, at Hendersonville, of which Mr. Kelso is an elder. Quiet and unassuming in disposition, Mr. Kelso's life of over a half century in this community has been such as to gain for him the universal confidence and esteem of all who know him. In 1904 he was elected a member of the board of county commissioners from his district and by reelection served the public in that important capacity until 1911.

From:
Centennian History of Rush County, Indiana
Edited by: A. L. Gary and E. B. Thomas
Historical Publishing Company
Indianapolis 1921


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