The following is a document that Eunie G gave to me. It was written by Bernice Kelly. Based on what I know about her, and the way she titled the document, I am guessing that this was written in 1956. The document goes over some of the people that I have been posting about in my family tree. Below, in italics, is her document that she typed up on her family history.
I always understood that “Patrick” or “Michael” Kelly (am not sure of the name) migrated from Ireland to U.S.A. to the state of Wisconsin. There were 7 children, I think – John, Tom, Henry and James/our father, who was the baby of the family; Delia, Annie and Maria. “James Willis Kelly”, the youngest child, was born in 1852 (March 4th) in Wisconsin – in Portage or Baraboo. When he was a youth, he left his home and went to live with an elder brother (John) in Iowa, near the North Central part. He met, loved and married Larbia Ann Kelly; her name was meant to be “Larrabee” – named from a General of that name. She and her family were no kin – no relation to James Willis Kelly, her father’s name was James William Kelly. He was born in Kentucky near the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln. After Lincoln migrated to Illinois seeking a new home, the Kellys followed their trail to Illinois where they settled at Mattoon, Illinois.
Larbia Ann Kelly’s mother was from Virginia. They migrated to Illinois where James William Kelly met and married her. They had 8 children, namely, Cordelia, Noah, Larbia, Lucinda, Will, James, Josephine (Dode) and an infant, who died shortly after it’s mother. I know not it’s name.
James William Kelly decided to emigrate by ox team to California. He was about 19 year of age at that time. The wagon train formed and met together at St. Joe, Missouri, westward ho! Traveling through the Indian country, they had many hardships. Some met death and disaster. Some turned back and were killed by Indians following the emigrants. This was in 1849. Grandfather reached California with others. He did not stay there; but some of his kin did. Their descendants are still there near Pasadena; many were looking for gold.
James William Kelly remembered the broad rich fields of Iowa; longed to return there and did so and made his home near Plainfield, Iowa where he emigration. He amassed considerable money.
James Willis Kelly and Larbia Ann Kelly gave up Iowa and went pioneering to the West and North by wagon train. Clyde Meade Kelly was born in Iowa before they left seeking a new home out west, where 4 other children were born; Gertrude, Tom, Ray and Bernice, the narrator of this family history. They lived in Kakota Territory for a time at Fargo on Red River of the North. In 1889, Dakota Territory became 2 states – North Dakota and South Dakota. In the early 1880′s, they decided to move again – westward ho! Larimore, Stump Lake, Midway, Bartlett, Odessa and finally Crary, North Dakota were on their route. The used their “right” to take a homestead at Stump Lake; that site was given up. Odessa was picked next as a boom town, only it failed to boom. Devils Lake developed next. It became the end of the new R. R.
James Willis Kelly and family settled 7 miles from Crary, 2 miles from R. R. At this time, he had become a stage coach driver; in fact, before then. His trips were by four-horse teams from Red River & West. He filed a pre-emption claim on 160 acres of land. Living there for a time, they endured many hardships, Indian wars, etc. In the 1890′s they moved to Plainfield, Iowa. The spirit of the “Pioneers” struck again, westward ho! to Crary, North Dakota where they made their home until, in turn, each died, she in 1907, he in 1935.
At the end of this document someone hand-wrote the following:”James Willis become a stage coach driver from Larimore to Stump Lake – Dak.”
Also, I am still trying to make sense of all this old information. All the information I have, with the exception of this document, lists Larbia’s father as James Wellington rather than James William. My guess is that his name was really Wellington rather than William but I will post see if I can find out.
Caleb ( the great, great, great grandson of James Wellington Kelly)