Biography of O. S. Kelly
Springfield, Clark County, OH Biographies





O. S. KELLY, Champion Works, Springfield; is a native of Clark County; son of John Kelly, who was a native of Kentucky, and came with his father's family to Ohio in 1806. They settled in Green Township, then a part of Champaign County, where John grew to manhood and took part in the war of 1812; his father, James Kelly, was a soldier of the Revolution from the colony of Virginia, and raised a large family eight sons and four daughters most of whom have descendants now residing in this county. The subject of this sketch was born on a farm adjoining the old homestead, which his father purchased after his marriage with Margaret, daughter of Alexander McBeth, who was also an early resident of that part of the county. His father died Dec. 23, 1824, when he was but 10 years old, but his mother remained on the farm, and was married a second time about four years later. Oliver S. remained at home until 14 years of age, when circumstances compelled him to leave home and take care of himself, but fortunately he found a home with W. F. McIntire, familiarly known as "Uncle Billy," with whom he remained assisting on the farm until the spring of 1842, when he came to Springfield and began a carpenter apprenticeship with Joseph McIntire, a brother of his foster parent, serving three years, for which he received $168, in addition to his instruction in the trade and board. After which he worked as journeyman about one year, when he entered into partnership with J. A. Anderson, and the firm of Anderson & Kelly were leading builders and contractors until the spring of 1852, when the partnership was dissolved and Mr. Kelly went to California, leaving his wife and one child here. After a stay of nearly four years having accumulated enough money for a start, he returned to Springfield in 1856, and for a short time was connected with a wholesale grocery house. Jan. 1, he became a member of the firm of Whiteley, Fassler & Kelly; he being taken in partly because he was a wood mechanic, but more particularly because he had a few thousand dollars in ready money, an article which was very scarce in the infant days of this firm, which has since developed into one of the most important agricultural manufactories of the world. Mr. Kelly was married, Dec. 23, 1847, to Ruth inn, daughter of B. W. Peck, an old resident of Springfield, having removed here from Bridgeton, N. J., coming from Baltimore to Pittsburgh by wagon, and then on a "flat" dawn the Ohio to Cincinnati, where he left his family and came on foot to Springfield, and, having determined to locate here, secured a team and brought his family. Mrs. Kelly is also a native of Clark County; was born in Springfield Dec. 24, 1822. They have two children living - O. W. and E. S. Mr. Kelly, it will be seen, commenced the battle of life at the age of 14 without means or friends, though he soon found the latter in Mr. and Mrs. McIntire, whom he will ever gratefully remember, and by his own industry, frugality and energy, steadily, though at first slowly, gained his way to the position he now occupies as a manufacturer and citizen of this city. Mr. Kelly, while belonging to no sect or society, gives liberally his sympathy and support to all methods for the general good of the city. His residence, southwest corner of South Market and Mulberry streets, compares favorably with the elegant homes with which this part of the city abounds.

From:
History of Clark County, Ohio
W. H. Beers & Co.
Chicago 1881


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