Kirk Etna Kelley

Kirk Etna Kelley

Birth
Warren County, Illinois, USA
Death 28 Jul 1897 (aged 49)
Glenn County, California, USA
Burial Willows, Glenn County, California, USA
Plot Masonic, Block 77, Grave B
Memorial ID 88621956 · View Source
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HON. K. E. KELLEY.

Kirk Etna Kelley is a native of Warren County," Illinois, born June 3, 1848. His father was one of the pioneers of Cali­fornia, coming to this State in 1848, shortly after the birth of Kirk E., and dying there some two years later. When but a child, his widowed mother, his brother and an adopted sister moved to Iowa, and here young Kirk was brought up on a farm. He attended school only three months and never entered the door of a high school or college except in the capacity of a teacher. What he acquired in an educational way was the result of his own self-teaching, of long hours in the evening, spent in reading, after a hard day's work. He was always an omnivorous reader of books, and his retentive memory gleaned and stored away the pith and substance of what he found therein, for effective use in after life. When he had reached his seven­teenth year, young Kelley passed his examination and received his certificate of teacher. He then began teaching in the pub­lic schools and followed it for several years in Missouri and Kansas. In 1871 he came to California, and for two years taught school in Solano County. Being naturally ambitious to rise, Mr. Kelley began the study of the law. He had formed a partnership in the real-estate business at Dixon, and this afforded him an opportunity to devote his leisure time to his "black-letter books." He borrowed his books, and, by dint of hard study, was admitted to practice in the county court of Solano at the end of a year. At the close of the following year he was admitted to practice his profession before the Dis­trict Courts of the Sixth and Seventh Judicial Districts. He was afterwards entitled to practice by admission before the Supreme Court of the State and Circuit Court of the United States. His large business was extensive and his fees were fat, and he was enabled to retire frorri active practice in the courts in 1884. In 1882 he was elected State Senator from Yolo and Solano Counties, and served in the twenty-fifth Legislative Assembly during the regular and extra sessions. This was the notable period in which efforts were made to oust the Railroad Commissioners by joint resolution of the two Houses of the Legislature. Mr. Kelley opposed the movement, and by reason thereof he was, with other members, read out by the Demo­cratic party at the famous Stockton convention.

Mr. Kelley came to Willows in 1885, and purchased the Willows Journal, which he edited and conducted in connection with W. H. Kelley for two years. A close logician and a master of vigorous English, Mr. Kelley soon lifted this newspaper from obscurity into the most flattering prosperity. Since his coining to Willows he has always identified himself with the business and social advancement of that town. His energy, shrewdness, persistence and knowledge of men and motives, have always brought him to the front, a cheerful leader, particularly of any forlorn hope in which his town requires prudent generalship. In the struggles for the division of the county and for the formation of Glenn County, Mr. Kelley was acknowledged by the opponents of that measure to be their most skillful and most formidable adversary. In 1888 he was sent as a delegate to the Democratic State Convention at Los Angeles. Mr. Kelley was married, in 1876, to Miss Louisa, daughter of Daniel Zumwalt, a pioneer of California and an old resident of the county.


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  • Created by: Michael Zumalt
  • Added: 16 Apr 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 88621956
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Kirk Etna Kelley (3 Jun 1848–28 Jul 1897), Find A Grave Memorial no. 88621956, citing Willows Cemetery, Willows, Glenn County, California, USA ; Maintained by Michael Zumalt (contributor 47008514) .