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 • Custer County
 • Nebraska
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James "Niger Jim" Kelly
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Birth: 1839
Death: Feb. 7, 1912

Jim Kelly was born in Texas and the son of black parents who worked for James Olive, the father of Print Olive. James Olive was the namesake for James Kelly.

Print Olive and James Kelly became childhood friends. When Print Olive returned home from the Civil War, he hired Jim Kelly who had a way with horse as horsebreaker and horse trainer. The Olive horses were the envy of many Texas drovers and brought top dollar whenever they were sold.

As Print Olive's trail boss, Kelly was dependable, loyal, good with a gun, displayed quick reflexes, was a hard worker, and a good hand to have around when trouble arose on the trail.

Print Olive was playing cards in a saloon in Ellsworth, Kansas while Jim and another drover sat on the bench outside. James Kennedy entered the saloon with gun in hand. Print Olive previously had questioned Kennedy's dealing in another poker game and basically had accused him of cheating. Kennedy walked up to Print Olive and began firing. The first bullet entered Print's hand, the second bullet hit his groin, and the third went into his thigh. As Kennedy was about to fire a fourth bullet, Jim Kelly had turned around and saw Print was in trouble, drew his gun and fired a shot through the window that threw Kennedy off balance. Another drover's fist to Kennedy's head stopped the ambush of Print Olive.

In a time when racism was strong, "Nigger Jim" Kelly looked at every man as his equal and never let his race bring him down. He never backed down from any man, was a top drover, had pride in himself, his race, and was fearless.

Inscription: "Legendary figure of Custer County" 
Ansley Cemetery
Custer County
Nebraska, USA
Created by: KRW
Record added: Jan 04, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 12877749
James Niger Jim Kelly
Added by: Anonymous
James Niger Jim Kelly
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Walking the Past
Photos may be scaled.
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 Added: Jun. 22, 2011
your legacy lives
- Jim Myrick
 Added: Jan. 10, 2011
You were a faithful friend. Your memory lives on. May you rest in peace.
 Added: Jan. 17, 2006

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