James H. Kelly, one of Pleasant Township’s progressive farmers, was born in Franklin Township, September 12, 1838, and was the son of Madison and Eliza (Patterson) Kelly; the former of whom was born in Washington County, Va., in 1809, and was the son of Anthony and Betsey (Henderson) Kelly, who were respectively natives of Virginia and Pennsylvania. Madison Kelly accompanied his parents to Clark County, this state, where, in about the year 1831, he was married to Eliza Patterson. He removed with his family to Johnson County about 1837, and spent the rest of his life in Franklin Township. His first wife died in September, 1850. He was afterward married to Mrs. Bathsheba Taylor. He died in March, 1857. He was a farmer by occupation, and he was also a consistent member of the Presbyterian Church. Politically, he was a republican. The mother of our subject was born in Fayette County, Ky., and was the daughter of Robert Patterson. She was also a member of the Presbyterian Church. The early life of our subject was spent in his native township. He worked on a farm in summer, and attended the district school in winter. His early education was such as to fit him for the practical affairs of life. At the age of twenty-three, or in August, 1862, he became a Union soldier in Company I, Seventieth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, with which he served until the close of the war. He entered the service as a private, but was afterward promoted to the ranks of corporal, sergeant and orderly sergeant. He participated in the battles of Resaca, Kenesaw Mountain, Peach Tree Creek, the siege of Atlanta, the march to the sea, the siege of Savannah, and the battle of Bentonville, N. C. Besides these he participated in a number of smaller engagements, in all of which he discharged his duties in a manner becoming a loyal soldier. He was honorably discharged June 8, 1865. He then resumed farming in Franklin Township. On the 27th day of March, 1877, he removed to Pleasant Township, and he has ever since occupied his present home. The whole attention of Mr. Kelly is given to farming. He owns a fine farm of 155 acres, which is well improved, and about 125 acres of which are under cultivation. He was married November 23, 1865, to Mary A. Henderson. She was born in Franklin Township, this county, April 3, 1842, and was the daughter of John P. and Zerilda (Banta) Henderson, who were respectively natives of Fayette County, Ky., and Johnson County, Ind. Mrs. Mary A. Kelly died October 28, 1884. On the 4th day of May, 1887, Mr. Kelly was married to Miss Nancy C. Beatty. She was born in Bourbon County, Ky., August 5, 1847, and was the daughter of John and Sarah (Patterson) Beatty, both of whom were natives of Kentucky, the former of Bourbon County, and the latter of Fayette County. Her father was born September 30, 1804, and was the son of John and Jane (Sanderson) Beatty, the former of whom was born in England, and the latter in Maryland. The mother of Mrs. Kelly was born August 1, 1805. Her parents were married in April, 1828. Her father died on the 27th day of February, 1863, and her mother departed this life on the 23rd of July, 1882. By his first wife, Mr. Kelly became the father of seven children: Alice, born September 16, 1866; Luella, August 25, 1869; Walter S., February 3, 1872; Nellie, July 17, 1874, deceased; Sarah Grace, December 14, 1875; the next was a daughter, born November 28, 1877, died unnamed, December 1, 1877; and Laura M., born November 24, 1879. Mr. and Mrs. Kelly are members of the Presbyterian Church. Four of the children are members of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Kelly is a member of the G. A. R.

Transcribed by Cheryl Zufall Parker

Banta, D. D. History of Johnson County, Indiana. Chicago, IL: Brant & Fuller, 1888, page 797.