CHARLES KELLY, is a member of family that established their home within the borders of Benton county in the early days of its history and from those early times until the present the name of Kelly has been prominently associated with the agricultural interests of the county. He was born on his father's farm in Union township in 1858, a son of Patrick and Mary (Ryan) Kelly, whose history is recorded elsewhere. He was reared as a farmer's son, receiving in the meantime a good educational training in the public schools, with three terms in the academy at Vinton, and remaining at home with his parents until his marriage he located then at his present home. He received at that time one hundred acres of improved land from his father, but he has since added to the boundaries of his farm until it now contains two hundred and twenty acres, and he has placed his entire estate under a splendid state of cultivation and has erected commodious and pleasant farm buildings. He is both largely engaged in general farming and stock raising, and he has served his township as an assessor and as a school director.
Mr. Kelly married on January 2, 1882, Mary O'Brien, who was born in Iowa township, Benton county, January 12, 1861, a daughter of Thomas and Mary (Caslow) O'Brien, who were born in Ireland. Coming from their native land to the United States in 1853 they landed in New Orleans, and coming up the river to St. Louis, Missouri, they remained there until 1857, when they continued their journey to Benton county. They purchased land in Iowa township and spent the remainder of their lives there, Mr. O'Brien dying in 1880. when forty-six years of age, and his wife in 1903, at the age of seventy-four. Eight of their eleven children are yet living, namely: John and Thomas, both of whom are living in Iowa township; Mary, who became the wife of Mr. Kelly; Ellen, the wife of James Maher, of Union township; Patrick, whose home is also in Iowa township; Margaret, the wife of Matthew Donahue, of San Francisco, California; Edward, whose home is unknown; and Agnes, the wife of Edward Maher, of Union township. The nine children who have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Kelly are: Thomas, a Union township agriculturist, and Mabel, Luretta, Gertrude, Edward, Florence, Lillian, Bernard and Anna. The family are members of the Catholic church at Van Home.