JOHN KELLY was born on the farm which he now owns
on April 3, 1860, a son of honored early pioneers of Benton county,
Patrick and Mary (Ryan) Kelly, who are mentioned on other pages of this
work. It was also upon this old homestead that John Kelly passed the
days of his boyhood and youth, receiving in the meantime his education
in the neighborhood school, and here he is now extensively engaged in
general farming and stock raising. He remained under the parental roof
until his marriage, then renting for two years, after which, he
returned and bought the homestead, a beautiful tract of three hundred
and seventy acres, and its many valuable improvements have been placed
there by him. He has a splendid modern home, and all buildings in
keeping therewith. He is a representative citizen, a splendid business
man, an active worker in the interests of Democracy, and he has served
his community as a school director.
On the 26th of January, 1888, Mr. Kelly was married to Elizabeth
Crelly, who was born in Iowa township of Benton county January 9, 1864,
a daughter of Thomas and Mary (Burke) Crelly, who were born in Ireland.
Leaving their native land for the United States in the fall of 1865
they landed at New Orleans, and coming up the river to St, Louis and
thence to Muscatine, Iowa, they drove across to Benton county, where
they both entered and bought land in Iowa township. They were among the
very first to seek a home in Benton county, their advent antedating the
railroads here, and markets were then long distances away. Seven of the
nine children born to Mr. and Mrs. Crelly are living, namely: Mrs.
Ellen Harty, of Platte, South Dakota; Margaret, the wife of James
Kelly, of Van Horne; N. J., a resident of Kennebec, South Dakota; Mrs.
Katie Gibbon, whose home is in Kingsley, Iowa; Elizabeth, the wife of
John Kelly; John, of Luzerne, this state; and Patrick, who is living at
Larchwood, Iowa. Eight children have blessed the marriage union of John
and Elizabeth Kelly, — Frank, Ray, Tresa, Leo, Helen, Blanche, Orin and
Harlan. The family are members of the Van Horne Catholic church.