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Darlene E. Kelley
donkeyskid@webtv.net
June 3, 1999
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Historical Collections of Ohio
The Kelley Family Collections
Newspaper article, Plains Dealer
compiled by S.J. Kelley-- 1925
And Then They Went West
by Darlene E. Kelley  1998
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     Few localities have had so many designations or have been a part of
so many political divisions as Kelley's Island.  In common with all
surrounding territory, it passed from the French to the English in the
early colonial days.  It was made a part of the Province of Quebec by
act of Parliament, 1774.  It was part of the land granted in 1662 by
King Charles ll, to the Colony of Connecticut, and by virtue of this act
it was part of a section of 500,000 acres granted by Connecticut to
those citizens who had suffered losses by the burning of their homes
when the British fleet raided the coast of Connecticut in 1779.
However, this land had previously been granted or given away by a treaty
held at Fort McIntosh, January 1st,1785, to Wyandotte, Delaware,
Chippewa and Ottawa Indians and confirmed by the Treaty of Greenville in
1794 to the Miami Indians and their allies.  The Treaty made the
Cuyahoga River the Western boundry of the United States. To make matters
more complicated, it was also claimed by the British, who until Jay's
Treaty was signed in 1794, claimed soveignty over all the southern shore
of Lake Erie, which naturally included the Islands.      Until September
1799, the Ohio country was but a part of the Northwest Territory under
the government of William H. Harrison, its Secretary. On September
24th,1799, the country was organized into a State by Governor St. Clair,
and 29th of November, 1802, a constitution was adopted and signed by
convention; and by this act Ohio became one of the States of the Federal
Union and the Island became a part of Ohio.      In 1805 the Treaty at
Fort Industry 
( now Toledo, Ohio ), the Indians relinquished their claims to the west
of the Cuyahoga River. In 1809, Huron County was formed, and organized
in 1815.  It was originally constituted the whole of the " Firelands."
The Historian Howe says: "Huron was the French name for the Wyandot
Indians," who occupied much of that territory.  After the Treaty at Fort
Industry, the Firelands and that part of the " Reserve " lying west of
the Cuyahoga River were surveyed.  The first survey was made in 1807.
It was assumed that the Islands were surveyed at that time and a chart
made of their location.  At any rate, the Island was designated as
Island number six in the survey. A controversy arose between the Land
Company and the Firelands people, which resulted in all the lands
reverting to the Connecticut Land Company about 1817.  From 1815 to
1837. the Island was a part of Danbury Township, Huron County, Ohio.
>From 1837 to 1840 it was part of Erie County, Danbury Township.  From
March 6th,1840, to December 31st, 1845, it was part of Ottawa County as
Kelley's Island Township.  On January 1st, 1846 the Township of Kelley's
Island was transferred to Erie County.  On July 27th,1887, the villiage
of Kelley's Island was incorporated, including the township in its
corporate limits, which extends north to the International Boundary
Line.        When the State of Connecticut ceded its western lands to
the Federal Government it retained the area since known as the Western
Reserve.  Part of this, consisting of five hundred thousand acres in the
western part of the reserve, was called the Firelands, as been said. The
remainder was sold to the Connecticut Land Company in 1794. In the year
1796 the Company sent out its first surveying party, and one of this was
Joshua Stow, of Middletown, Conn., a shareholder in the Company.  He was
brother of Jemima, the wife of Judge Daniel Kelley, also of Middletown.
but moved his family to Lowville,N.Y., where he and his brother-in-law,
Silas Stow, settled.  Daniel Kelley had five sons, and when they were
approaching manhood, their Uncle Joshua persuaded them to try their
fortunes in the Western Reserve.      The first to emigrate were Datus
and his wife and her brother, Chester Dean, and Joseph Reynolds Kelley.a
younger brother.  They were soon followed by Alfred, Irad and Thomas, in
the order named, and then their father and mother.  All settled in
Cleveland except Datus, and Chester Dean.  Datus bought a farm just west
of Rocky River on the shore of Lake Erie, about twelve miles west of
Cleveland.  Alfred settled in Cleveland and started to practice law, but
soon was sent to Columbus General Assembly to represent his district,and
eventually moved to Columbus to reside.  He was State Senator for many
years.  Irad bought a farm near Green Springs, Ohio, in 1812, which he
left at the time the Indians raided Cold Creek, or Castalia, Ohio, just
after Hull's surrender of Detroit.      Fugitives filled with panic
brought the news as they passed and Irad unhitched his horse with which
he was plowing and rode to Cleveland. He then returned to Lowville and
enlisted in General Brown's Army.  He served three months.  His Company
was stationed at Ogdensburg.  He became restless at the inaction, hired
a substitute and returned to Cleveland, where he commenced the erection
of a brick store building, the first of its kind in Cleveland.  It was
completed in 1814.  He went to New York and purchased a stock of
merchandise, which he brought to Cleveland from Buffalo in a small
sailboat in April,1814.  He made the voyage alone, and letters written
by his father to his brother Alfred, indicated much anxiety for his
safety.  Irad continued to sail his little ship, called the Merchant,
for many years, and carried freight, mostly salt and pork, from
Cleveland to Detroit.  He also carried passengers back and forth.  In
making those trips he probably took shelter occasionally in the bays of
the Islands and became familiar with its forests of Cedar.  At first,
the islands were so lightly esteemed that little attntion was paid to
them, but after the stockholders of the land company had drawn lots for
their lands, it was found some of them were entitled to more land than
was available.  The island were looked upon with an appreciative eye,and
after considerable controversy it was decided that they should be a part
of the Connecticut Land Company's holdings, and that the shore line of
Lake Erie was the Northern limit of the Firelands.  Island No. 6, or
Cunninghams Island, therefore, was divided into thirteen lots of unequal
size and given to those who were short on the original drawing or
allotment.      In the year 1817, Judge Jabes Wright resurveyed the
island, ran the lines, drove down the stakes, and set up the markers to
indicate the exact location of each owners property.

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