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Below is a family biography included in The History of Lawrence County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Thomas S. Kelley, a son of Josephus and Elizabeth O. (Simmons) Kelley, was born in Logansport, Ind., on September 26, 1840. The father was born in Carlisle, Ohio, in 1816. He spent his boyhood days in his native State, and secured a common-school education. When eighteen years of age he removed to Indiana, and under the command of Gen. Tipton assisted in transferring the Potawattomie Indians to their reservation in Kansas. The troops experienced some difficulty in collecting these Indians and organizing them for travel. The tribe numbered 1,100 souls, all of whom were located around Logansport, Ind. Besides traveling slowly on account of the women and children they consumed much time in killing game with which the West then abounded, and were two months making the journey. Elizabeth Simmons was born in Connecticut, and was reared in the East, principally in the city of Boston. When sixteen years of age she came with her parents to Indiana, and settled in Wabash, where she was married. To her and husband were born seven children, four of whom, Thomas S., Nathan P. J., Franklin and Redford (Mrs. Thomas Cherry) are living. Those dead are William F., Lydia M. and Mary H. Mary H., who was the wife of Eber Walker, died in Burlington, Iowa, and left five children: Maud, Ellen, Hattie, Josephus and William. Lydia M., who was the wife of Wesley Patterson, left two children: Essie and Lewis. The paternal grandparents of our subject were born in Ireland, and came to the United States at an early day. They settled in North Carolina, but afterward removed to Ohio. The maternal grandparents came from England, and when Mr. Kelley’s mother was an infant, her father died. Her mother afterward married again. Josephus Kelley was for a number of years engaged in the milling business, but on account of rheumatism exchanged that occupation for the shoemaker’s trade. In 1854 he set out in an ox-cart for Missouri. He located in Jasper County, ten miles northeast of Carthage, where he remained until 1870 with the exception of four years during the war, which he spent in Nebraska. In 1870 he removed to Lawrence County, and located upon the farm, where he died April 6, 1887, at the age of seventy-one years. His widow still occupies the homestead, and at the age of seventy years is hale and vigorous. Thomas S. Kelley came to Missouri with his father, and has since been engaged in farming. He owns 110 acres of land, sixty-five acres of which are under cultivation, On October 2, 1862, he enlisted in Company F, Eleventh Kansas Cavalry, and served with that command until the close of the war. He participated in a number of engagements, among which were Fort Wayne, Prairie Grove, Van Buren, and the fights against Price from Lexington to Kansas City. In 1868 he wedded Ruth Austin, a daughter of Nathan Austin, a North Carolinian, then living in Jasper County, Mo., and by her is the father of seven children, namely: Mina E., William O., Aral N. P. J., Pearl E., Nye A., Thomas O. and Lydia M. (deceased). Mr. Kelley is a member of the Masonic order and the Grange and is an influential supporter of the public schools. In politics he is a stanch Democrat.

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This family biography is one of 272 biographies included in The History of Lawrence County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Lawrence County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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