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Kelley, James E. 1871-1937


Posted By: Linda Ziemann, volunteer (email)
Date: 9/19/2011 at 12:25:32

LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel
October 29, 1937

Well Known and Popular Citizen Dies After a Brief Illness
Served As Postmaster
Head of Financial Concern of Late Years

J. E. Kelley, 66, lifelong resident of Plymouth county, and well known
citizen of LeMars, since young manhood, died early Thursday morning at the
Sacred Heart Hospital in this city.

As the news of his death was circulated around town, expressions of regret
were heard in business places, stores and other places where people

Mr. Kelley enjoyed a great measure of esteem and regard and it is safe to
say was one of the most popular men in the community.

Mr. Kelley, attending to his business affairs, until last week as usual, had
been in poor health of late and Saturday entered the Sacred Heart Hospital.
He underwent abdominal operation Monday, in hopes of relief. He rallied for
a short time but on Tuesday suffered a relapse and pneumonia supervened.

James Edward Kelley was the son of James Cavanaugh Kelley and Ann Mee
Kelley, both natives of County Galway, Ireland, who came to America in their
youth and were married in Massachusetts, and later moved to Michigan.

James Kelley was born in Negaunee, Mich., July 16, 1871.

His parents came to Plymouth county when he was two months old and settled
on a homestead in Grant township.

James Kelley grew up on the farm and attended the rural schools, assisting
in the work on the farm. He became a student in the LeMars Normal school,
and the Dixon Business Training college in Dixon, Ill. Leaving college he
entered the employ of the firm of Tolerton & Warfield in Sioux City for a
few years. He taught in the rural schools when a youth.

Returning to LeMars, he entered the insurance business in which he was
engaged until becoming county deputy treasurer under R. H. Kain, county
treasurer, who held the office several terms.

Under the administration of President Wilson Mr. Kelley, who was an ardent
and faithful worker in the Democratic party, was appointed postmaster in
LeMars in 1915 and served in that capacity for nine years.

When his term of office expired, he re-entered the insurance business and
shortly after was elected treasurer-secretary of the Plymouth National Farm
Loan Association, which position he held until May, 1936, when the Plymouth
Association was merged with the associations from Sioux City, Danbury, and
Remsen, and offices were established in Sioux City, and Mr. Kelley was made
secretary and treasurer of the combined concerns with headquarters in Sioux

Mr. Kelley was an alert business man and had a good understanding of general
affairs. He was possessed of a fine personality, which attracted people to
him. Gifted with a ready wit, and a sense of humor, he was a delightful
companion. His memory will linger in the hearts of many of his friends.

He was a member of Trinity Council Knights of Columbus, and held offices at
different times in the organization. He was a member of the once famed
Prairie Club and often dwelt on the pleasant associations he formed there.

Mr. Kelley was married July 21, 1909, to Charlotte E. Pearce, daughter of
the late Fred Pearce and Ella Gannon Pearce, early day settlers in Union

Mr. Kelley is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter, Jas. P. Kelley,
a member of the law firms of Keenan & Kelley, Robert F. Kelley, a student at
Columbia College, Dubuque, and Kathleen C. Kelley, employed in the Sentinel

He also leaves two sisters, Mrs. Will McAuliffe and Mrs. Mary Keough, of
Porterville, Cal. He was preceded in death by two brothers, Matt B. Kelley
and P. F. Kelley.

The funeral will be held at 10 o’clock Sunday morning in St. James church,
Rev. Father L. Cooper celebrating the mass.

LeMars Globe-Post
November 1, 1937

Funeral Services Held Sunday Morning from St. James Catholic Church

Countless friends gathered at St. James Catholic church Sunday morning to
pay their last respects to James E. Kelley, well known business man of this
community, who passed away at the Sacred Heart Hospital, Thursday, following
an operation.

The large crowd attending the funeral is an example of the admiration and
esteem the public had for this man, who had endeared himself to all those
who knew him.

Pallbearers were: Frank Hentges, Jacob Koenig, Cloyd Woodke, R. J. Koehler,
Dr. M. J. Joynt, and John J. Keenan.

LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel, Nov. 2, 1937

Hundreds of Neighbors and Friends Pay Tribute to Popular Citizen

Between eight and nine hundred people gathered at St. James church Sunday
morning to attend the last rites for James E. Kelley, popular LeMars
citizen, who died Thursday, after a brief illness. A large number who came
to pay a last tribute were unable to gain access to the church, which was
filled to overflowing, and many stood outside the edifice, on the lawn,
during the service. Rev. Father L. J. Cooper, pastor of the church,
celebrated the mass and paid a brief and eloquent tribute to the memory of
the deceased. The long procession was headed by members of Trinity Council
Knights of Columbus, who attended services in a body.

Pallbearers were long associates and friends of the departed: Frank Hentges,
M. J. Joynt, J. T. Keenan, R. J. Koehler, J. G. Koenig, C. C. Woodke.

Hundreds of floral tributes were sent by sympathizing friends and members of
organizations. Among letters and cards of condolences were tributes from
Governor Kraschel and other state officers and from state officers of the
Knights of Columbus.

Among out of town relatives with their families who came to attend the
funeral were: Mrs. Mary Keough, Porterville, Calif.; Mrs. William
McAuliffe, Porterville, Calif.; Mr. and Mrs. John Horrigan, Mrs. Annie
Horrigan, Art Horrigan, Sioux City; Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Wright, Mr. and
Mrs. Melvin Clarke, Mr. and Mrs. Russell Clarke, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Clarke,
Kimbrae, Minn.; Raymond Clarke, Sloan, Iowa; Louella Clarke, Kimbrae, Minn.;
Mr. and Mrs. Miles Cunningham, Mrs. Grace Cunningham, Herb Cunningham,
Akron; Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Cunningham, Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Wernli, Sioux


Plymouth Obituaries maintained by Linda Ziemann.
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