Biography of Dr. Samuel W. Kelley
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

SAMUEL WALTER KELLEY, M. D., for many years an authority in pediatrics, has been located in Cleveland since he began practice. He was the first American surgeon to write a treatise on the surgical diseases of children. Through his book, and through the many years he devoted to teaching and staff work in Cleveland hospitals, he has exerted a profound influence on the medical profession of today.

Doctor Kelley was born at Adamsville, Muskingum County, Ohio, September 1, 1855, son of Walter and Selina Catherine (Kaemerer) Kelley. Both parents were born in this country, his father being a child of an Irish born father and American mother, while Selina Catherine Kaemerer represented German ancestry, but established in America before the Revolution.

Samuel Walter Kelley acquired a public school education at Zanesville, Ohio, and at St. Joseph, Michigan, and graduated in medicine from Western Reserve University in 1884. He also studied abroad in hospitals in London. In the forty years since his graduation he has devoted himself with singular fidelity to the demands of his profession.

Doctor Kelley was about twenty nine when he entered upon the practice of medicine and surgery. In his youth and early manhood he had a varied working experience, in market gardening, farming, as sailor before the mast, and as a cowboy in the Southwest, driving stock over the great trails leading from Texas up to Kansas and the Northwest. He had many experiences similar to those described by Emerson Hough, Andy Adams, Owen Wistar and others in their writings about the range and trail days of the Great West.

While he has a large private practice, Doctor Kelley is also well known by his official connections at the hospitals, institutions of medical education and professional organizations. He was chief of the department of diseases of children in the Polyclinic of Western Reserve University from 1886 to 1893. From 1893 to 1910 he was professor of diseases of children of the Cleveland College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Medical Department of Ohio Wesleyan University. He was surgeon to children of St. Luke's Hospital's senior staff, was secretary of the medical Etaff of the Cleveland City Hospital from 1891 to 1899, and its president from 1899 to 1902. He acted as pediatrist at the City Hospital from 1893 to 1910. From 1885 to 1901 Doctor Kelley was editor of the Cleveland Medical Gazette, president of the Ohio State Pediatric Society from 1896 to 1897, and was chairman of section on diseases of children of the American Medical Association in 1900-01. He was president of the Association of American Teachers of Diseases of Children in 1907-08, and is a member of the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States, the Ohio State Medical Association, and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

At the time of the Spanish American war, Doctor Kelley entered the service as a civilian surgeon, was recommended for "efficiency in the field under the most trying circumstances," and commissioned brigade surgeon with the rank of major on August 7, 1898. During the World war he served with the French Army and with the Red Cross for eight months, being past the age for admission to the United States Army. Doctor Kelley advocated the early entrance of this country into the World war, seeing that such a step was inevitable. In lectures and in individual arguments he urged prompt and forceful action in that crisis.

His "The Surgical Diseases of Children," the first treatise on the subject written by an American surgeon, was first published in 1909, and the second edition in 1914. He is also author of "About Children," published in 1897. Doctor Kelley is also known in the field of imaginative literature, being author of a small volume entitled the "Witchery o' the Moon, and Other Poems," published in 1919, and a medico historical novel "In the Year 1800," published in 1904, a book that pictures the state of medical science and practice as well as customs and conditions of that day. He is also the author of a number of original articles, essays and lectures on medical and other subjects. Doctor Kelley is a republican, and a member of the Cleveland Athletic Club. He has never affiliated with any religious denomination or sect. On July 2, 1884, at Wooster, Ohio, he married Miss Amelia Kemmerlein, daughter of George Kemmerlein and Johanna (Hartz) Kemmerlein. Her parents were born at Wittenberg, Germany. Mrs. Kelley was born at Wooster, Ohio, and was educated in the public schools there. Of the two children born to their marriage Walter Paul died in youth. The daughter, Katherine Mildred, married Reed Taylor, of Cleveland.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

Privacy Policy for OnlineBiographies


Cuyahoga County, Ohio Biographies

Names A to G
Names H to P
Names Q to Z



New York



For all your genealogy needs visit Linkpendium

Family Tree Maker 2012