Frank L. Kelley
Morris Co. Up


Biographical and Genealogical History of Morris County New Jersey. Illustrated. Vol. II., Lewis Publishing Company, New York and Chicago, 1899.

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Progress ever indicates effort; inertia—the lack of effort—is always followed by retrogression. One may drift down stream, but if he would reach the headwaters of the river he must pull against the current; so in life the upward road is one which demands persistent and wisely directed effort if the goal be reached. Among the most progressive citizens of Chatham is the gentleman whose name begins this review, a man whose accomplishment has resulted from determination and energy. He is now connected with the mercantile interests of his city and has become a leader in commercial circles there.

Born in Chatham, on the 5th of May, 1858, he is a son of Nelson and Lydia J. (WONDERLY) KELLEY. His elementary education, afforded him by the common schools, was supplemented by a course in Bryant & Stratton's Business College, of Newark, in which he was graduated in 1878.

The same year Mr. KELLEY entered upon his business career in the bakery business as the junior member of the firm of N. KELLEY & Son. In 1882 he not only opened a grocery, but also enlarged his store by adding a stock of men's furnishing goods, boots and shoes, and his trade in these departments is the most extensive in the town. He keeps thoroughly abreast with the times, carrying the latest styles, and his business methods, so reliable and commendable, have gained him the confidence, good will and patronage of a large number of the residents of this community.

In October, 1884, Mr. KELLEY married Miss Lucy V. LEAR, of Madison, a daughter of William and M. J. (DAY) LEAR, who were also natives of the same place. Her father was a mason by trade and spent the greater part of his life in Madison. Five children were born of this union, and with the exception of

  • Bessie J., who died at the age of six years and two months,

all are yet living, namely:

  • Rowland W.,
  • Frank S.,
  • Marjory and
  • Nelson.

The home life is very pleasant and the parents are widely and favorably known in social circles. They hold membership in the Methodist Episcopal church, of which Mr. KELLEY is serving as trustee and also as secretary of the board of trustees.

Mr. KELLEY has always taken a deep interest in the welfare of the city and has done much for its improvement and upbuilding. He has here erected a number of residences which have added to the attractive appearance of the town, and he withholds his support from no measure for the public good. His political support is given the Republican party, and under the old city government he served as trustee and village treasurer, while under the present form of government he was a member of the first city council. He is a member of Madison Lodge, NO. 93, A.F. & A.M. and Chatham Lodge, I.O.O.F. He also belongs to the Chatham Fish & Game Association and to the Chatham Bicycle Club. His is a well rounded character, for the various social, church, political and business interests all receive their due proportion of attention, and thus in these various connections he is well known.

This biography was scanned and contributed by Catherine Smith DeMayo.


This page was last modified on:  01 January, 2014

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