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Darlene E. Kelley
donkeyskid@webtv.net                              
May 9, 1999
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Historical Collections of Ohio
The Kelley Family Book compiled by Hermon Alfred Kelley   1897   
And Then They Went West
by Darlene E. Kelley    1998   
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    Irad was not so prominent in the affairs of the Island as his
brother Datus because unlike the latter, he did not live there.  Yet, it
was largely due to his business enterprise, that the Island investment
bcame a profitable one. He was a man of restless and adventurous nature.
He made many trips which for those days before the time of railroads
were long and tedious.  Beginning with 1812, he traveled back and forth
between Cleveland and New York and Montreal on business.  He journeyed
by horse-back and by stage coach through the Carolina, Georgia,
Kentucky,and Tennessee and made a trip to New Orleans via stage to
Cincinnati and boat via the Ohio and Mississippi rivers in the forties.
He went to California and returned via the Isthmus of Panama in the
early fifties.  He visited the Island frequently and established his
sons, George, Charles, Franklin, and Norman in business there.  At
Cleveland he conducted a prosperous business for many years.  His home
on Euclid Ave. was one of the " show " places of his day.  He was
postmaster of Cleveland for twelve years from 1817 to 1829.  He died
suddenly in New York City, in 1875. at the age of eighty four on the eve
of his departure for a trip to South America. Normon Kelley writes in
the family book, the following account;   Irad Kelley, third son of
Daniel and Jemima (Stow) Kelley, was born at Middlefield, Connecticut,
October 24,1791.  In 1798 his father removed to Lowville, New York.  In
May, 1812, when twenty years old, Irad volunteered as a Private in the
Army, then being raised, and shouldered a gun to defend Ogdensburg
agaist the British, whose forces were stationed in sight on the opposite
shore of the St. Lawrence River.  In October,1812, he visited Ohio and
purchased a farm in Graughton, Huron County, near Green Springs.  While
planting corn there in the spring of 1813, a neighboring family, by the
name of Snow, was captured by the Indians, who killed Mrs. Snow and her
infant child and carried the remainder of them, eleven in all, into
captivity.  In 1813 he was again in the army, for he says in his notes:"
I was with Gen'l Harrison at Fort Meigs in 1813," and in the same year
he served as a pilot to the fleet from Toledo, arriving at Put-in-Bay
shortly after Perry's Victory.  Later in life, he received a pension for
his military services in the war of 1812, which continued until his
death.  In April, 1813, he came to Cleveland to settle, starting in
business soon afterward, an in January,1815, had completed the first
brick building in tha place. In this building he and his brother
Reynolds lived for a time, and in it Irad opened a general merchandise
store and conducted a prosperous business until he retired in 1851.  He
was one of the twelve voters at the first election of the village in
1814, at which his brother Alfred was elected its first president.  On
December31,1817, he was commissioned post-master of Cleveland,
succeeding his father, Daniel Kelley, to that office,which he held until
1829.  The post office wa kept in his store and undoubtedly aided much
in bringing custom.  The annual receipts at the time amounted to barely
$500.00, one-fourth of which he received as post-master, from which he
had to pay all expenses of the office.  One August 5, 1819, he married
Harriet (Pease), a young lady of such rare beauty that she was known as
the "Lily of Ohio." Nothing illustrates his impetuous and ardent
disposition better than the story of their courtship.  Miss Pease had
refused to marry him on several occasions, but during her absence on a
visit to her uncle at Hudson, Ohio, Mr. Kelley obtained the consent of
her mother to marry her, and without loss of time mounted his horse and
rode to Hudson, leading another for his intended wife's return journey.
Upon his arrival he announced his purpose, and told Miss Pease that her
mother had consented to their marriage.  Without delay they rode to
Cleveland, where they were soon after wedded.  In 1833, Irad joined with
his brother Datus in the purchase of Kelley's Island, and although not
so closely identified with the development thereof as Datus, because of
his residence at a distance, yet many of the foreward steps of the
insular community in prosperity were due to his business capacity.  It
may be interesting to future generations of Islanders to know that the
names " The Tiber", "Little Mountain" and other localities were given by
Irad, of which sense of humor they furnish striking evidence. In
Cleveland he purchased and owned, at one time, a large amount of real
estate, part of which, at this writing, was still owned by his heirs.
He built his home about 1833, on a magnificent piece of property on
Euclid Avenue, extending to Superior Street on the north.  The site of
the homestead was later the residence of George Worthington, Charles F.
Bush, J.H.Wade and Sylvester T. Everett.  The homestead was taken down
in 1865 to make way for expansion.  This old homestead in its palmy days
was a favorite resort of Mr. Kelley's many friends and relatives, for he
kept open house to all. Many of his relatives, would spend months at his
house on invitation, while a number of his neices and nephews owe him
much for their education.  He was a generous heart.  His high spirits
prompted him to cut many a " caper".  Even to his latest days he was
proud to show his agility by leading in a cotillion or cutting a "pigeon
wing"; while his exceeding well stored mind and natural brighteness made
him a most intertaining host.  Perhaps no man ever lived in Cleveland of
whose sayings and doings more amusing anecdotes are told. Some of these
stories, notably that of eleven men, whom,as foreman of a jury, which
could not agree with him,he reported to the court as " the eleven
contrariest men'" he ever saw in his life, have obtained national
currency. It is interesting to know that as this jury was unable to
agree, it was shut up in a room for the night and locked in.  The men
got to" sky larking" and after a time became very hungry.  Irad ( who
was responsible for the affair ) volunteered to go out on a foraging
expedition. They accordingly let him down from the window by means of a
rope made of bed sheets, etc.  Upon his return he was hauled up with an
ample supply of provisions and they had a fine spread at his expense.
It is to be feared that their deliberations that night were not of the
most serious nature. He was very fond of joke, and was an inveterate
story teller, but singularly was slow to catch "the point" himself, and
it happened not infrequently that he would burst into uncontrollable
laughter after hearing a funny story, when everyone else had recovered
from merriment. He appreciated a joke on himself as much as on anyone
else, and his temper was as quick to subdue as it was to arise.  The
following anacdote is told illustrating this trait.  His son Henry,
having provoked him by some saucy reply, Irad started after him to
administer corporal punishment.  Henry ran into the carriage house and
by clever dodging arond the carriages, managed to elude his father, who.
in the meantime, was waxing furious.  In a paroxysm of rage Irad grasped
a large straw which lay on the floor and, with that in hand, continued
the chase, much to the amusement of Henry, who commenced to laugh.
Irad, suddenly realizing the ridiculousness of the situation, was unable
to proceed furthur for laughter, and gave up the pursuit.  In stature he
was a man of medium height,stated in a passport, which was preserved, as
five feet eight inches.  His figure was spare, eyes blue, complection
florid, and his features,of unusual strength. The Roman nose, prominent
chin and firm mouth are those of no commonplace person. He was an
advocate of many reforms, which,with certain eccentricities of manner,
marked him as " peculiar".  It is to be remarked, however, that many of
his favorite ideas, formally much ridiculed, are today receiving the
serious thought of the world. Among these are phonetic spelling, and
" women's rights," and " arbitration". Lke Mr. Wegg in " Our Mutual
Friend", he occasionally dropped into poetry and expressd himself and
ideas in verse. This  little weakness probably deprived him of many
converts.  He wrote many articles and political songs, which appeared in
the daily papers at the time, and in 1854 published a treatise on
Railroad Routes to the Pacific, pointing out several practicable routes,
which has since been substantially used in construction of our present
trans-continental roads.  He was very active in advocating the extention
of Superior and Ontario Streets through the Public Square.  His articles
in the papers on the subject probably had considerable to do with the
final accomplishment of this improvement.  He would never go around the
Square, as customary, but would always climb the fence and " cut  across
lots," probably hoping by force of example to influence others.  In
1856, he visited California, going by the way of the Isthmus of Panama,
and purchased 100 acres of land at San Diego. This land was inherited by
this writer.  Even at he age of 84 his vigor seemed unimpaired.  In 1875
he started for Brazil, but while awaiting the arrival of his daughter,
Martha, who was to accompany him, he was suddenly taken ill with
pleurisy, and died at the St.Charles Hotel, New York City, January 21,
1875.  He was buried in Lake View Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio.  

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