Former Home of Leonard Timothy and Mabel Charlotte (Kerrick) Kelly
313 Chestnut Street, St. Marys, PA
Edward M. Kelly Stands Before His Uncle's Home.
August 2008
Photo Courtesy of Rudy Baca

Leonard T. Kelly and Mabel (Kerrick) Kelly
Kelly in Elk County, PA

By Edward M. Kelly
and Rudolfo Lujan "Rudy" Baca
August 2008

Biographical Information of Leonard Timothy Kelly (1895-1953):

Professor Leonard T. Kelly is the son of William P. and Jane (Jennie) Collins Kelly. He was born October 5,1895 on Kelly Hill, Forks Township, Sullivan County, PA, attended the one room school at Campbellville, and graduated from Overton High School. After graduation from Lock Haven State Teachers College (now Pennsylvania State Univenity at Lock Haven), he taught for one year in Laporte, the county seat of Sullivan County, PA. He served oveneas in an infantry division of the United States Army during World War I. He received a master's degree from Pennsylvania State Univenity in 1920 and taught for one year in Weedville, PA, before moving to St. Marys, PA in 1921 to teach in its public high school. He was named the high school principal a short time later, then became the supervising principal, and was superintendent of schools for the borough of St. Marys at the time of his death on September 12, 1953.

The schools in St. Marys were closed in Professor Leonard T. Kelly's honor on the day of his funeral, and his pallbearers included a cast of prominent educators and local dignitaries from the surrounding 100 mile radius. The gymnasium at South St. Marys Elementary School, formerly the location of St. Marys High School, was renamed L. T. Kelly Gymnasium in his honor. Referred to today as Kelly Gymnasium, the gymnasium serves not only pupils of South St. Marys Elementary School but also pupils of St. Marys Area High School.

On June 7, 1927, Professor Leonard T. Kelly married Mabel Charlotte Kerrick at Sacred Heart Church in St. Marys. A daughter of Gratton L. and Dora Scott Kerrick, Mabel was born November 10, 1902 in Durell, Asylum Township, Bradford County, PA. She graduated from Towanda High School in 1921 and Drexel Institute of Technology in 1924.

Professor and Mrs. Leonard T. Kelly raised two children, Edward Leonard and Mary Margaret, in St. Marys. After Leonard's death, Mabel returned to teaching home economics for 14 years in the high schools of Ridgeway and Erie, PA. She returned to Bradford County, PA in 1978 and died at Fairview Manor, Fairview, PA on July 6,1991.

In August 2008, Ed Kelly and the late Rudy Baca ** made a three day visit to St. Marys to collect information, learn more about the community, and take photographs. Ed is the source of the content and information organized here, and Rudy was the photographer. Ed is the nephew of Professor and Mrs. Leonard T. Kelly. Ed's father, Edward L. Kelly (1893-1949), was Leonard's older brother. We are most grateful to Ed and Rudy for this inspired recreation of part of the Kelly family history in north central Pennsylvania.
** Editor's Note: Rudolfo Lujan "Rudy" Baca passed away on Friday, April 24, 2009 in Philadelphia, PA.

St. Marys: An Overview

Founded in 1842 by a group fo Bavarian German Catholics as a haven from religious persecution in Baltimore and Philadelphia, St. Marys is 250 miles north of Washington, DC and 120 miles south of Buffalo, NY. St. Joseph Monastery, the first and oldest foundation of Benedictine nuns in the United States, was established in St. Marys in 1852. You can learn more about this religious organization at The Benedictine Sisters of Elk County.

St. Marys is the second largest city by land area in Pennsylvania at 99.3 square miles, exceeded only by Philadelphia. Perhaps its most famous secular institution is the Straub Brewery founded in 1872 by Peter Straub, a German immigrant, and still owned and operated by his descendants today. Peter first worked in a brewery in Pittsburgh, then progressed to breweries in Brookville, Centerville [now Kersey], and ultimately in St. Marys. These small towns all lie north of Pittsburgh. On November 23, 1875, Peter married Sabrian Sorg , a union blessed with 10 children and over 300 descendants today. The brewery street address is at 303 Sorg Street in St. Marys. Their sons assumed ownership and operation of the brewery when Peter died on December 17, 1913.

Leonard and Mabel lived at 313 Chestnut Street in St. Marys and went to Mass at the stately Sacred Heart Church. This was the local parish church located at 325 Center Street. Alice Lynch, a representative of the Church, was the gracious source of access to the records on his uncle's family for Ed and Rudy during their 2008 visit.

Photo Gallery

The following photos were either created directy by Rudy Baca during his trip with Ed Kelly to St. Marys in August 2008, or are taken from the Alice Kelly Norton Collection. Alice, who died in 1961, was Ed Kelly's paternal aunt and also a sister of Leonard T. Kelly. She left a large collection of photographs that were collated and partially identified in 2006 by Ed and Ken Beirne, a "Kelly" second cousin. We have cited several of these photos below, where they depict Leonard, Mabel or their children. Each photo is appropriately identified. You can examine all of the photos from the Alice Kelly Norton Collection in the Alice Kelly Albums section of the Beirne Family History Site.

Let us begin with Rudy's photos from the 2008 trip to St. Marys:


Downtown St. Marys, PA
August 2008
Photo Courtesy of Rudy Baca

In the picture just above, Ed Kelly is standing at the corner of South St. Marys Street and Elementary Street, with a view of the downtown area in the background. One block to the right of the second traffic light is the former Kelly homestead.


Kelly Homestead
313 Chestnut Street
St. Marys, PA
August 2008
Photo Courtesy of Rudy Baca

Ed's parents, Edward L. and Frances (Burke) Kelly, visited Leonard and his family there in October 1940 while on their honeymoon. According to Ed's mother, Leonard walked to and from work daily at St. Marys High School on South St. Marys Street, and came home for lunch each day during their visit.


Sacred Heart Church
325 Center Street
St. Marys, PA
August 2008
Photo Courtesy of Rudy Baca

Center Street is to the left of South St. Marys Street in the picture shown just above. It is within walking distance of 313 Chestnut Street, where the Kelly family lived. Sacred Heart church has been staffed by the Benedictine monks from St. Vincent's Archabbey, Latrobe, PA since its establishment in 1906, and was the parish church for the Kelly family. Mabel was baptized and made her First Communion there on June 7, 1927, the same day she married Leonard. She was confirmed on May 17, 1929 at this church as well. Among other religious events for the Kelly family at this church were the baptisms and confirmations of their two children, Edward Leonard Kelly and Mary Margaret Kelly. Leonard's funeral was held there on September 15, 1953.


Sacred Heart Church
Founded 1906
Cornerstone
August 2008
Photo Courtesy of Rudy Baca


South St. Marys Street Elementary School
St. Marys, PA
Edward M. Kelly in Foreground
August 2008
Photo Courtesy of Rudy Baca

When the new St. Marys Area High School was built in 1969 south of the city off the Million Dollar Highway, the former St. Marys High School on South St. Marys Street was remodeled to serve as a middle school and was rebuilt in 1991 to serve as an elementary school.


L. T. Kelly Gymnasium
South St. Marys Street Elementary School
St. Marys, PA
August 2008
Photo Courtesy of Rudy Baca


Memorial Tablet for Leonard T. Kelly
Entrance to Kelly Gymnasium
South St. Marys Street Elementary School
St. Marys, PA
August 2008
Photo Courtesy of Rudy Baca

The plaque bears an image of Professor Kelly along with his dates of service [1921-1954]. Note that the latter date is one year after his death, perhaps due to an error or the formal expiration date of his term of office. The leader statement reads: "Dedicated to the Memory of Leonard T. Kelly". It goes on: "In sincere appreciation of his life efforts as a teacher, coach, principal and supervising principal of our public schools."


Grave Marker for Leonard Timothy Kelly
St. Marys Catholic Cemetery
St. Marys, PA
August 2008
Photo Courtesy of Rudy Baca

 

Let's now go back further in time and look at several lifetime photos of the Kellys as preserved by Leonard's sister, Alice Kelly Norton.


William P. Kelly (1858-1910)
Second Child of Daniel and Mary (Leahy) Kelly
Father of Leonard T., Alice E., Joseph and Edward L. Kelly
Source: Alice Kelly Norton Collection


Leonard T. (1895-1953) and Joseph (1887-1939) Kelly
Brothers
Source: Alice Kelly Norton Collection


Leonard T. Kelly
In Uniform About 1919
At Side of Kelly Home
Kelly Hill, Overton, PA
Source: Alice Kelly Norton Collection


Leonard T. and Mabel (Kerrick) Kelly
Believed to Be Couple at Right
Other Parties and Venue Unknown
Source: Alice Kelly Norton Collection


Mabel (Kerrick) Kelly and Edward Leonard Kelly
Mother and Son
St. Marys, PA 1927
Source: Alice Kelly Norton Collection


Edward Leonard Kelly
About Five Years Old
Early 1930s Venue Unknown
Source: Alice Kelly Norton Collection


Warburton Hill School
Class of 1913
Alice E. Kelly is Fourth from Right in Second Row
Other Parties Unknown
Source: Alice Kelly Norton Collection

 

Family Data of Leonard Timothy Kelly (October 5, 1895-September 12, 1953)

 

The information below was provided to Edward M. Kelly, nephew of Leonard T. Kelly and Mabel Kerrick Kelly, in July/August 2008 from the records of Sacred Heart Church, 325 Center Street, St. Marys, PA 15857-1199, telephone (814) 834-4017. The notations within brackets are by Edward M. Kelly who visited St. Marys, PA on August 14-17,2008.

1. Frances Mabel Charlotte, child of Gratton L. Kerrick and Dora E. Scott, born in Towanda, PA on the 10th day of November 1902, was baptized on the 7th day of June 1927 by P. Alphonse Farley, OSB. Sponsor was Madeline Schaut.

[The name Frances was given to Mabel Charlotte Kerrick at baptism, presumably in honor of my Uncle Leonard T. Kelly's sister, Frances Mary Kelly (1889-1954). My Aunt Mabel Kerrick Kelly never used the name Frances. The name Frances appears also on the marriage certificate of Leonard T. Kelly and Mabel C. Kerrick, whose marriage took place on the same date as Mabel C. Kerrick's baptism. The name Frances does not appear on other records of Sacred Heart Church.]

[There is no record of Mabel Charlotte Kerrick's First Communion. The staff at Sacred Heart Church assumes that her First Communion was on the same day as her baptism and someone forgot to record it.]

2. Leonard T. Kelly of Overton, PA, son of William P. and Jane (Collins) Kelly, and Frances Mabel Charlotte Kerrick (convert) of Towanda, PA, daughter of Gratton L. and Dora (Scott) Kerrick, were married on June 7,1927 by P. Alphonse Farley, OSB. Witnesses were Raymond F. Smith and Madeline Schaut.

3. Edward Leonard Kelley (sic), child of Leonard T. Kelley (sic) and Mabel C. Kerrick, born in St. Marys, Pennsylvania on the 11th day of Nov. 1928, was baptized on the 25th day of Nov. 1928 by the Rev. Fr. Herman Schorer, OSB, the sponsors being J.J. Lynch and Elis. Lynch.

4. Mabel Kerrick Kelly (Mrs. Leonard T.) was confirmed on May 17, 1929 by Bishop J.M. Gannon, D.D. Sponsor was Miss Helen M. Crain.

5. Mary Margaret Kelley (sic), child of Leonard Kelley (sic) and Mabel Kerrick, born in St. Marys, Pennsylvania on the 12th day of August 1933, was baptized on the 27th day of August 1933 by the Rev. Timothy Seus, OSB, the sponsors being Mr. D.W. Daly and Mrs. D.W. Daly.

[Note that there is a second "e" in the family surname on the baptismal certificates of both Edward Leonard Kelly and Mary Margaret Kelly. The staff at Sacred Heart Church noted that the spelling depends on the priest doing the recording and indicated that the spelling "back then" is not always accurate.]

6. Edward L. Kelly (baptized on November 25, 1928) birthday 11/11/28 Age 9. Received his First Communion on May 6, 1937. Rev. Fr. Henry, OSB.

7. Edward Leonard Kelly (Thomas) age 11, 313 Chestnut St. was confirmed on May 9,1940. Parents Leonard T. Kelly and Mabel C. Kerrick. Sponsor: Owen T. Finnegan.

8. Mary Kelly (baptized on August 27,1933) Birthday August 12, 1933 Age 8. First Communion May 14, 1942. Rev. Fr. Henry, OSB.

9. Mary M. Kelly (no birthday given) was confirmed on June 5, 1946 by Most Rev. William T. McCarty, CSSR. Sponsor: Mrs. Karl Klausman.

10. Death Record
Leonard T. Kelly
Chestnut St.
Age: 58
Husband of Mabel nee Kerrick
Date of Death: 9/12/53
Received Sacraments? Yes
Priest: Fr. Giles
Date of Burial: 9/15/53
Meisel Funeral Home

[My Uncle Leonard T. Kelly is buried in Section D, Row 8, Plot 5 at St. Marys Catholic Cemetery, 604 East Joseph Road, St. Marys, PA 15857, telephone (814) 781-7275.]

[Driving directions from downtown St. Marys to my Uncle Leonard T. Kelly's grave in St. Marys Catholic Cemetery:

oBegin at North St. Marys Street and continue on North St. Marys Street until you reach the intersection of North St. Marys and North Michael Streets.
oTurn left on to North Michael Street and continue on North Michael Street until you reach the cemetery's entrance on the left.
o Enter the cemetery and stop immediately in the circle.
o Turn on to the first road on the left in the circle.
o Section D is on the road's right side.
o Drive until you reach the first intersection.
o Stop your vehicle at the intersection.
o Get out of your vehicle.
o Walk back eight rows from the intersection.
oMy Uncle Leonard T. Kelly's grave is Plot 5 in Row 8 of Section D.]

Revised February 22, 2009
by Edward M. Kelly

Copyright 2009 Robert E. Sweeney and individual contributors. All Rights Reserved. This is a FREE genealogy site sponsored through PAGenWeb and can be reached directly at the Sullivan County Genealogy Project.