KELLY, J. E. - C.S.A.June 13, 1904
Judge Kelly Called To His Reward Last Monday Morning
Had Been Sick Several Months
--- a Prominent Lawyer And Old Confederate Soldier
THE RECORD with unfeigned sorrow, records, the death of Judge J. E. Kelley, which occurred at the home of his daughter, Mrs. G. W. Boyd in Wallonia, on Monday last. It will be remembered that in February last, after the arduous foil incident to his professional duties in the Circuit Court, he was stricken with paralysis and for a time was very low at his home in this city. After a time he was removed to Wallonia, and by careful nursing he improved in a slight degree, and his friends had some hope that he would recover, but a few days before his death he was again stricken and medical skill and attention were in vain.
Judge Kelly, was born in Pittsylvania county, Virginia, August 12, 1839. His father being a Baptist minister, moved to Kentucky and settled near Wallonia, where he lived a -----and died, leaving a widow and several children. The deceased being an only son and a daughter, the widow of the late Mark Jones, of this county; and the mother of Mr. J. T. Wall, a prominent citizen of Hopkinsville, issue of a former marriage to Joseph Wall, who died many years ago, also another sister, Mrs. Courtney, who lives at Metropolis, Ill.
The deceased grew up to manhood at Wallonia, assisting his widowed mother on the farm, enjoying only the limited opportunities of the common schools of the county, until the outbreak of the Civil War. When the Southland was called to arms he was one of the many of that vicinity who responded, and he enlisted in company B, 8th Kentucky regiment, organized in that neighborhood under the late Major Jabez Bingham, then captain, and followed the fortunes of that gallant regiment from Fort Donaldson, the first battle, to the end. He was a noble veteran and ever ready when the came . No one of the many living and dead of the grand heroes of that struggle had a better record of more worthy of the honors won than he.
After the war, he returned to his old home, and for a few years followed agricultural pursuits, and at the same time prosecuting the study of the law. In the meantime he was married to Miss Bettie Baker, a most estimable lady of that vicinity, and in 1867 was admitted to the bar as a practitioner of the law. He, by his native tact and ability, fine address, and splendid social qualities, had a host of friends, and became a prominent figure in the public eye, and always had a strong following in the county.
He was elected County Attorney in August 1878, and served with credit and ability one term. Upon the death of Judge A. B. Dyer in December, 1882, he was elected by the board of Magistrates as County Judge, and served until the next election following. In 1886 he was again elected County Judge and served a full term. Was a prominent candidate for Circuit Judge after the death of Judge Grace, having frequently been selected as special Judge of that court. He was also a prominent candidate in 1890 for Lieutenant Governor.
As a lawyer he was a foeman worthy of any antagonist. He loved and adored his profession. He was particularly kind to young attorneys and the very soul of courtesy and kindness and respect to the court. In orational force he had but few equals. He was by nature a positive character, and his social qualities were the delight of his friends. He had in a marked degree that old time bliss of gentility, so rare now-a-days and detested alarm and openly denounced everything akin to it, and believed in law and order and the upholding of public morals in a way that left no one in doubts as to his position. His kindness and generosity was only bounded by his ability to relieve the distressed. To see one in need was to arouse his greatest qualities.
In 1876 his wife died and hw was left with six children, who have all reached the age of manhood and womanhood, and are honored and worthy members of the community in which they live. The eldest, Mrs. George W. Boyd, of Wallonia; Dr. Ben B. Kelly, a prominent physician of Viola, Mo; Mrs. Letitia Brewster, of Missouri Mrs. George Boyd, of Martin, Tenn; John W. Kelly a most promising young lawyer of this city, and Miss Alice Kelly, the youngest, of Wallonia, are the survivors of his family.
Judge Kelly at the time of his death was the Commander of Lloyd Tilghman Camp Confederate Veterans of this county. His remains were interred at the family burying ground near Wallonia Tuesday a large concourse of his old comrades, neighbors and friends being present.