General Kelsey is a native of Rush County, Indiana, and was reared there on a farm. His education was received in the district schools and academies of Indiana and matriculated for the State University in the summer of 1862 and was arranging to enter same when the fever of war overcame him. He enlisted in the Eighty-Fourth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, serving with honor and distinction until the close of the war in 1865, in what was called the Army of the Cumberland under Rosenerans and Thomas in all their campaigns in Tennessee and Georgia.
In 1870 he immigrated to Kansas and located at Atchison on the Missouri River. He engaged in the furniture and carpet business and for 23 years successfully carried on this business in retail and wholesale, but closed out in 1893.
At the opening of the Cherokee Strip in Oklahoma he and his family located in Kay County in that new country, engaging in the furniture and hardware business, which he continued for two years, and then returned to Atchinson.
While there he was selected by the territorial legislation as the expert accountant to audit the books and accounts of the Agriculture College and Experiment Station and his printed report to the legislature shows one of the most exhaustive and comprehensive reports ever made in the territory. On the merits of this work, the then democratic governor, Renfroe, recognizing Mr. Kelsey’s integrity and ability as an accountant and business man, appointed him as president of the Board of Regents of the Agricultural College, which position Mr. Kelsey held until he returned to his old home in Atchinson in 1895.
General Kelsey has served his city of 18,000 population on the board of education, city council and two terms as mayor, the later during the boom times from 1885 to 1889; he then inaugurated the first street paving and a great many other improvements, which have been continued until Atchinson is now one of the best improved cities of Kansas.
He is a member in good standing of the following orders: I. O. O. F., in which he is a Past Grand Patriarch, and for twelve years represented Kansas in the grand lodges; a Past Chancellor in the order of Knights of Pythias, a Past Brigadier General in the Uniform Rank, Knights of Pythias, A Royal Arch Mason and a Past ???? in the order of United Commercial Travelers of America. He retired April last as Adjutant General of Kansas and from the reports of the press of his state, made the best Adjutant General the state ever had.
The General has cast himself in Crystal River and we heartily welcome all such enterprising and useful citizens like himself to our town. He is going to engage in the manufacturing business and is now busily engaged erecting a large mill to saw hard woods, curly pine, etc. Later on he will begin the manufacturing of furniture. Crystal River News: 8-18-1905
Crystal River News: 1905
Crystal River News: 1905