Biography of John Kelley
Franklin County, NY Biographies





John Kelley, born in Franklin. Franklin county, Vt., January 20, 1841, came to Bellmont with his parents in 1842, and has ever since resided in Bellmont or Malone. There were eight children in the family, and the father not having been strong, the duty of caring for the mother and for the sisters and younger brothers devolved largely upon the subject of this sketch from the time that he was old enough to work, which in those days was at an early age. There was little time for attending school, and except for a few winter weeks in district schools Mr. Kelley had no educational opportunities until at the age of nineteen he succeeded in arranging With O. T. Hosford to work for his board and attend Franklin Academy. Students in this day who sometimes feel that their struggle is a hard one may find encouragement in learning what that schooling eost Mr. Kelley. He had to take care of fifteen head of cattle, saw the daily supply of wood, draw hay or fill ice houses every Saturday, and give one cord of wood from his father's farm (which he chopped himself out of school hours) for each week's board and lodging, hauling the wood with a yoke of oxen. But it was more an actual, intense hunger for knowledge and self improvement, prompting to home study and omnivorous reading, that gave to Mr. Kelley his remarkable fund of general information and equipped him to put his thoughts and convictions on paper in a strikingly readable and persuasive way. Mr. Kelley continued to make Beilmont his home until 1880, always taking interest and hearing his part in the duties of good citizenship. fle held there the offices of constable, commissioner of highways, justice of the peace and supervisor, and was also a justice of sessions when the county court of sessions used to have its so called "side judges." Upon his removal to Malone Mr. Kelley bought and engaged in operating a planing mill and sash and trim factory, in which business he still continues. in the years when political ardor moves men more than it is apt to do in age Mr. Kelley was one of the most active, enthusiastic and influential Democrats in the county, but always from conviction, and never as a self seeker. His leadership gave him close relations with Governors Hill, Flower and Dix, and with Senator Murphy, so that more than once he was able through them to promote local enterprises of importance to Malone and Franklin county. Mr. Kelley has always taken a broad and intelligent interest in local public affairs, and especially in the public schools. For forty years he was a school trustee, and at present is president of the Malone village board of education.

From:
Historical Sketches of Franklin County
and its several towns.
By: Frederick J. Seaver Malone, New York.
J. B. Lyon Company, Printers Albany, NY 1918.


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