During the 1830s a flood of immigrants came from
Wilmington, North Carolina to Florida. Among these was the future state governor, William Dunn Moseley. Migrating to Pensacola were Hanson and
Hannah Clark Kelly.
Shortly after arriving in Pensacola, Hanson became the
Pensacola port master. He was a man of
modest means and shortly became a leading citizen of the city, serving as mayor
in 1837. In the 1840 census, Hanson and
Hannah had four sons, three daughters, and eight slaves. The Kelly included William, Frederick (who
was insane), and Blakely. The names of
the daughters are not known.
The Kelly’s oldest son, William, would go on to fame
and fortune as a lawyer, judge, soldier, and statesman. William was admitted to the Bar in Escambia
County in 832. In 1841 he was nominated
as justice of the peace, serving much of his term across the bay in Santa Rosa
County. He would serve as a territorial
senator (1844), state representative (1845), Pensacola alderman (1846), state
senator (1846), Florida’s first lieutenant governor (1865-68), circuit court
judge for the first circuit of Florida (1872-73), and again a state
representative from Escambia County (1873-74).
Kelly’s military career began when he was appointed
captain of a Mexican War volunteer company by Governor Moseley. The company spent five months at Pensacola
and then seven months in Mexico. After
the war, William entered the Navy’s purser corps as a Major, serving time
aboard many ships during his thirteen years of service. In 1861, Kelly became a Confederate
paymaster, serving in Savannah and Mobile.
William had six children:
Pauline (with 1st wife Pauline Mitchell) and Mary, Annie, William
Jr., Aaron, and Eliza with his 2nd wife Mary Smith
. William W. J. Kelly died in Pensacola on 3