John Kelly, banker and prosperous capitalist, was born in Lakawanna county, Pennsylvania, February 27, 1855, the son of Bernard and Ellen (Scarry) Kelly, and one of a family of seven: Mary A., born in 1851; John, whose name heads this review; Michael, born in 1857, who died in 1909; Katharine, born in 1859; Ella, born in 1861; James, born in 1862, who died in 1894, and Thomas, born in 1863. Michael Kelly was a conductor on the Erie & Wyoming railroad, and Thomas is now an engineer on the road. Mr. Kelly is descended from a long line of Irish ancestors, a people who have given this country some of her finest and most prominent men of affairs. He received his early educational advantages in the public schools of Lakawanna county, until he was sixteen years of age, then entered the Hollisterville Academy, where he graduated with great credit. After completing his studies Mr. Kelly engaged in farming, but in 1879 he came to Kansas, locating in Cloud county, where he engaged in teaching five years. Following this he was principal of the Jewell City High School for five years, and a member of the examining board four years. Believing in a thorough academic training Mr. Kelly attended the University of Kansas in the spring of 1880, where he took advanced courses along special lines. In the spring of 1890 he gave up teaching to enter the Citizens' National Bank of Concordia, as cashier of the savings department, a position he held two years before being promoted to the office of cashier. In 1896 he resigned to become president of the Bank of Beloit, Kan., an office he filled with marked ability two years. On May 7, 1898, Mr. Kelly came to Jamestown to establish the Jamestown State Bank, becoming its cashier, a position which he has since filled. He is the largest stockholder in the bank, takes an active part in its management and shapes its commercial policy, and it is largely due to his untiring efforts, keen business foresight and honest dealing that the bank today occupies the position of honor in the rank of State banks in Kansas.
Mr. Kelly is interested in all public improvements of Jamestown, and in April, 1911, was elected mayor of the city, which office he now holds. Since his administration began the town was devastated by fire, but under his direction and supervision it is being rebuilt rapidly. The new buildings are fine brick structures, while the streets are being improved, giving the city a well built appearance. Mr. Kelly has held several minor public offices, and may be said to be the builder of Jamestown, as well as a commercial leader of the country around. Fraternally he is associated with the Masonic order, being a member of the Concordia chapter, a Knight Templar, and is now priest of the Concordia lodge. On September 25, 1890, Mr. Kelly married Mary E., the daughter of John S. and Hanna Coldren Pratt. Mr. Pratt was born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, September 10, 1827. His wife was born at the same place, June 6, 1836. The Pratt family consists of nine children: Enos C., born in 1858; William E., born in 1860; Mary E., born November 17, 1862; Anna S., born in 1864; Jennie J., born in 1866; George L., born in 1869; Jessie R., born in 1872; Edgar, born in 1875, and John Oliver, born in 1877, all of whom were born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania. In 1886 the Pratt family came to Kansas, locating near Glasco, Cloud county, where the father engaged in farming. Edgar Pratt was a banker in Jamestown for eight years, then moved to Formoso, Kan., where he held the office of cashier a year before retiring from active business life. Mrs. Kelly was reared in her native town, attending the public schools there until she graduated, in 1881. Following this she entered the normal school at California, Pa., completing her course there in 1884. On leaving the normal she took a regular course at Waynesburg College, for one year. After the family came to Kansas she taught school in this State four years, at Jewell City. Mr. Kelly's efforts have been directed with great tact and ability, and his methods have been such as to gain him unqualified confidence and esteem on the part of those with whom he has been thrown in contact.Pages 622 from a supplemental volume of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed October 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM196. It is a single volume 3.
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