John Barnard Kelty

John Barnard Kelty

Birth
Indiana, USA
Death 1930 (aged 62–63)
Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana, USA
Burial Plymouth, Marshall County, Indiana, USA
Memorial ID 142042905 · View Source
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John was the son of Irish immigrants Patrick Kelty and Mary E. White. On the 1900 Census, Patrick gave 1850 as his arrival year, and Mary gave 1853, suggesting they were victims of the Irish Potato Famine. The couple married circa 1866. They had four children together—John Barnard (1867-1930), Edward Michael (1874-1922), Thomas William (1876-1978), and an unidentified child that was born and died before 1900, likely in that gap between John and Edward.

John first appeared with his family on the 1870 Census. They were living in West Township (today part of Plymouth), Marshall County, Indiana. Their surname on the record was transcribed at “Ketty”. Patrick, aged 30 by his account, but actually closer to 40, was working for the railroad. Mary, aged 20, was home with 2-year-old John. Also living in the home were Harmon (fem.) Sullivan, aged 9 and Patrick Sullivan, aged 12, both born in Indiana, and Bridget White, aged 47. Bridget was Mary’s mother. I have no knowledge regarding the circumstances that brought Harmon and Patrick Sullivan to the Kelty’s doorstep.

When the 1880 Census came around, the family was living in Donaldson, Marshall County. Patrick, aged 49, was working as a section foreman for the railroad. Mary, aged 31, was busy at home with their three sons—John, aged 10, Eddie, aged 5, and Thomas, aged 4. Mary’s mother Bridget White, aged 56, was still with them. Also there was 23-year-old lodger Benjamin Welch, who was working as a section hand for the railroad.

With no 1890 Census available due to the fire that consumed it and the treasures it contained for family researchers like me, the only news I can report during that interim is the marriage of John Kelty to Mary Alma Kleckner on 27 Oct 1891 in Marshall County. Alma was the daughter of Milton Kleckner and Elizabeth Jane Roller. (Note: To get the record to pop up, use John B. Ketty and Almy M. Kleckner in the search boxes.)

John and Alma had at least three children together—daughter Mamie E., born on 2 Apr 1892, son William Glenn, born in November of 1894 (possibly 1895), and daughter Elizabeth Virginia, born on 26 Mar 1912 in Fort Wayne, Allen Co., Indiana, placing the family there in 1912.

Luckily the 1900 Census is available to us. It is my favorite census because it lists the month and year of everyone’s birth, the marriage year of the couple, and women reported how many children they had had and how many had survived to that census. That census year, the Kelty family was living in Center Township, Porter Co., Indiana. John still had his job with the railroad. Alma (noted as Elma on the record), aged 31 reported that she had had a dozen children, and that eleven had survived to that census. Clearly she misunderstood the question. The count she gave appears to be that for her and her ten siblings plus one that apparently died in infancy. The enumerator must have looked around for signs of eleven children and marveled at how quiet the home was, as only Mamie, aged 8, and William, aged 5, would have been visible or audible. Of interest on that record was John reporting that his parents had both been born in Ohio, clearly not the case. On the next two census records, he would report their Irish heritage.

By the year 1910, the family had again relocated, this time to Fort Wayne, Allen Co., Indiana. John, aged 43, had found work as the foreman of a paper factory. Alma, aged 42, reported that she had had two children, both of whom were home with her—Mamie, aged 18, and Glenn (aka William), aged 15.

Two years after that census, wedding bells rang when John and Alma’s daughter Mamie married John A. Roebel on 24 Apr 1912 in Allen County. John was the son of William F. Roebel and Catherine Schlagel.

Almost exactly to the day, one month before Mamie’s marriage, John and Alma had welcomed daughter Elizabeth to the family on 26 Mar 1912.

When the 1920 Census was enumerated, the family was living and paying on a mortgage at 2726 John St. in Fort Wayne. John, aged 51, was back working for the railroad as a clerk. Alma, aged 50, still had Glenn, aged 24, and Elizabeth, aged 7, at home under her care. Glenn had a salesman’s job.

The 1930 Census brought sad news. Enumerated on 14 Apr 1930, Alma, widowed, aged 62, appeared as head of household. Eighteen days before the census enumerator knocked on her door, John had died on March 28th at age 62. She indicated that their home on John St. in Fort Wayne was hers free and clear. Home with her was daughter Elizabeth, aged 18. Son Glen was apparently out on his own by then.

Sadly, Alma would be dealt another blow the year following that census when son Glenn died at age 36.

Just before the next census in 1940, there was reason to celebrate. John and Alma’s daughter Elizabeth married William Morrison Young on 17 Jun 1939 in Allen County.

The newlyweds appeared together on the 1940 Census, living with Alma in the home at 2726 John St. in Fort Wayne. Alma, aged 70, was listed as head of household. Next on the record was William Young, aged 31, followed by Elizabeth Young, aged 28. William was employed at the time as a truck inspector for the International Harvester Company.

The International Harvester Company (abbreviated first IHC and later IH) (now known as Navistar International Corporation) was a U.S. manufacturer of agricultural machinery, construction equipment, trucks, and household and commercial products. IH enjoyed a sales lead in tractors and related equipment that continued through much of the 1940s and 1950s, despite stiff competition from Ford, John Deere and other tractor manufacturers and IH ranked 33rd among United States corporations in the value of World War II production contracts. (This info courtesy of Wikipedia).

I couldn’t discover what happened to Alma after that census. There is no record of her on Find-A-Grave in Indiana yet, but perhaps she was laid to rest next to John here in Oak Hill and has not yet been “discovered”.


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  • Created by: Kim White
  • Added: 31 Jan 2015
  • Find A Grave Memorial 142042905
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for John Barnard Kelty (Jul 1867–1930), Find A Grave Memorial no. 142042905, citing Oak Hill Cemetery, Plymouth, Marshall County, Indiana, USA ; Maintained by Kim White (contributor 47499959) .