John Kelly, of Jamestown, the cashier and one of the principal stockholders of the Jamestown Bank, has been associated with the people of Cloud county and vicinity since March, 1879. For several years he was a prominent educator and accounted one of the most successful. Mr. Kelly's place of nativity is Lackawanna county, Pennsylvania, where he was born on a farm near Scranton, and received the rudiments of his education there. When he came to Cloud county in 1879, he began his career as teacher in district No. 50. After teaching one term he entered the State University, took a special course for one year and resumed his school work; taught one year in Republic county and three years in district No. 8. During this period he was chosen one of the board of examiners, discharging the duties of this office for four years and instructed in the Cloud county Institute for three sessions. From 1885 until 1890, Mr. Kelly was principal of the Jewell city schools, of Jewell county, Kansas.
He next assumed control of the farm loan department of the firm of Caldwell & Peterson, of Concordia, until 1893, when he was elected cashier of the Citizens' National Bank. His services were evidently satisfactory, for he received successive promotion. The world is crowded with men ready and willing to embrace every opportunity for money, making, hence to obtain and hold a position of merit is a real compliment to a man. Three years later, December 1896, Mr. Kelly was elected president of the Bank of Beloit, which consolidated with the First National Bank of that city in March, 1898. He resigned his position with this banking house to establish the State Bank of Jamestown.
Mr. Kelly was married in 1890, to Mary E. Pratt, who was one of his corps of teachers in the Jewell city schools. Mr. Kelly is a son of Bernard Kelly, a native of Ireland. He died in 1892. His mother was Ellen Scarry, also of Irish birth, but for years a resident of Scranton, Pennsylvania, until her death, December 3, 1902. Mr. Kelly is one of six children, who are all living in Scranton. Mr. Kelly and a brother, who died in Texas, are the only members of the family who came west.
Mr. Kelly takes an active part in politics, votes the Republican ticket, but in local elections supports the best men - men of honor and integrity. He is serving on his third year as treasurer of the school board of Jamestown, and is a valuable and conservative officer. Mr. Kelly began life in Cloud county with small capital and has developed into one of the leading business men of the county. Personally he is congenial and very popular among his friends.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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