Crosby Kelly

Biography courteously provided by Joyce Riedinger, Delaware County Coordinator.


CROSBY KELLY, a contractor and builder of Middletown, residing at Griffin's Corners, is well and favorably known for his good business abilities, and takes a high stand in his chosen occupation. He is the son of John B. and Mary A. (Crosby) Kelly, and was born September 16, 1862, in Granville, Bradford County, Pa. His paternal grandfather, Thomas Kelly, was the son of Edward, a native of Connecticut, and one of the first settlers in Greene County. Edward Kelly cleared some land on the mountain in the town of Halcott, built a log house, and lived there to an advanced age. His son Thomas married Jane Molyneaux, and continued on the old homestead until he died, at seventy years of age, in 1869, his wife living to be seventy-five years old. Both were members, in good standing, of the Baptist church. A family of fourteen children was born to this worthy couple, the following being a brief mention: Justice K.; Hannah, who married P. Fellows; Clara, who became the wife of B. Ballard; Betsey, who married A. Chase; Chauncey, who chose for his wife Calisa Winchel; John B.; Amy, who became the first wife of W. Scudder, after her death her sister Theresa being his second wife; Edwin and Philip, who died young; and Phebe, who married M. Kelly. The others died in infancy.

John B. Kelly received a common-school education, and commenced farming when he was twenty-one years old. He married Mary A. Crosby, daughter of Benjamin L. and Hulda (Hull) Crosby, and grand-daughter of Thomas and Rebecca Crosby. Her father, Benjamin L., born in 1797 was a hale and hearty old farmer of Greene County, who almost cheated time by living to the remarkable age of ninety-five years. His wife, less sturdy, died when forty-two; and he then entered a second time into the bonds of matrimony. His second wife, Elizabeth Dickson, was more of a match for him, for she attained the age of ninety-one. After his marriage John B. Kelly moved to Bradford County, Pennsylvania, where he bought a farm, but died there in a short time, leaving two children: Crosby, born September 16, 1862; and John B., born July 18, 1864. The latter married Sarah Van Acken, and lives in Kingston, being a mechanic by trade. Their mother, Mrs. Mary A. Crosby Kelly, lives at Griffin's Corners, and is highly esteemed by all who know her.

Crosby Kelly was educated at Delaware Academy, and at twenty-one learned the carpenter's trade. His first work on his own account was building the Elemdorph store at Arkville. Since then he has built many fine houses, among them many of the beautiful buildings at Fleischmanns and Griffin's Corners. In 1884 he married Miss Ettie Hitt, daughter of Albert Hitt, a prosperous farmer of Union Grove, residing now at Griffin's Corners. One child, Mary, was born to Mr. and Mrs. Kelly, April 5, 1887. Mr. Kelly has had a large business experience, and occupies a high position in this community. He is an authority on all matters pertaining to building interests. Socially, he is a pleasant man to meet, and is interested in the leading questions of the day. He is a Democrat politically, and in all things is bright and enterprising, a useful citizen, and well appreciated by his fellow-townsmen.


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