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Crosby County Biographies

In Remembrance of

Harry Kelsey
Harry Kelsey

Rose Spray


Biography

Taken from West Texas Pioneer Old Setter's Reunion Program, 1984

Harry Kelsey is the descendant of Robert B. Linn, a Kentuckian, who married Arcola A. Walker in the late 1870's after he had made an excursion from Kentucky to the west seeking new land and adventure. He brought his new wife and a nephew, Charlie Mackrum, to the small Quaker colony of Estacado. In 1882 the Linn family moved overland by covered wagon to Buffalo Gap, Texas where they spent the winter. Their third child was born there in May, 1883. When they reached the Estacado settlement they believed they had come to Utopia because the grass was knee high, the lakes were full of water and buffalo and antelope were numerous. His first purchase of land was 320 acres of grassland bought from Sill Barkton, a Quaker settler at the cost of 75¢ per acre. This acreage became the homestead of the Linn family which eventually was made up of eleven children. Robert Linn realized that water was essential to the survival of the area, so he became a well driller, with mules and horses used to power his drilling rig. He also purchased a grist mill to grind cornmeal for the settlers. Payment for the grinding was one half of the corn brought to be ground.

Several generations later, the family of Robert and Arcola Linn still live in Estacado and on the South Plains of Texas. Harry Kelsey is one of these descendants. His remembrance appreciation fo those who endured the terrible hardships of pioneering this area set him apart.

Harry has earned his M.A. degree in social sciences and has lived a varied life. He taught school 12 years, worked in the Texas Education Agency 21 years. Is a public accountant was an employee of the Texas Department of Public Safety six years. While working in this agency, he wrote the state of Texas's first drivers license test and traveled about the state, adjusting it to fit the requirements. He still works four months each year as an accountant. The tug of Harry's roots is strong. At present he lives in the home where he was born in 1909 in the Estacado Community. His father was Elmer Kelsey and his mother was Ella Linn, the sixth child of the Robert and Arcola Linn family. The Kelsey family had three boy: Harry, Cecil of Lubbock and Richard of Lorenzo. They had one sister, Lorraine Blaylock of Abernathy. Harry has one son, Sam of Lorenzo and a grandson, Kelly, and a granddaughter, Kezia.

Harry's unique contriubtion to his community is his dedication to the care and preservation of the Estacado Cemetery. He has cared for it several years. In 1982 he received help with his work when a Texas Historical Marker was erected at the cemetery and paid for by the donations from many South Plains people. These donations also provided for an endowment fund to be used for the future care of the site. A gate was built and access to the cemetery was improved.

The selection for Harry Kelsey as the WTPOS [West Texas Pioneer Old Settler] honoree this year recognized the Linn Family as well as Harry's work on behalf of the pioneers of this area. Words of appreciation are easy to say, but to see that the grass is mowed several times a year, to spray for bagworms and to work with the U.S. government to arrange the proper structure for the endowment fund is Harry's contribution to the preservation of a part of historic Estacado. The WTPOS say, "Thank you, Harry, for your hard work and dedication to preserving this beautiful, peaceful spot -- the Estacado Cemetery."

Written by Marcia Lockwood
Submitted by Connie Mounsey

Others Researching This Family


Burial Site

Site Map Location

Headstone Photo, Inscription & Sentiments

tombstone photo

Additional Photos & Documentation

Father: Elmer KELSEY
Mother: Ella Eva LINN

Photos

Obituary

Graveside services for Harry Kelsey, 80, of Estacado were held at 3 p.m. Saturday in Estacado Cemetery with the Reverend James Hamilton, Methodist Minister of Hereford, officiating. Burial followed under direction of Carter-Adams Funeral Home.

He died at 9:30 a.m. Thursday at his home. He was under a doctor's care. Earl Yarborough, J.P., ruled natural causes.

He was born in Estacado. He married Helen Louise Tarlton, June 8, 1951, in Clovis; N.M. He lived in the Estacado area most of his life. He was a member of Estacado First Baptist Church. He taught school for 30 years and was a former school teacher and principal of Estacado Schools.

©Lorenzo Examiner, December 12, 1989
Record provided by Crosby County Pioneer Memorial Museum




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