Darlene E. Kelley
April 19, 1999
Historical Collections of Ohio                    
The Kelley Family Book
compiled by Hermon Alfred Kelley  1897    
And Then They Went West by D. Kelley  1998     (Part 1)
A race of strong men (of ancestors) inheriting marked individuality of
character.  From the Stow side they seem to have received intellectual
force, tenacity of purpose and a strong will; from the Kelley side,
coolness, a disposition to thorough investigation, and a well balanced
judgement.  These characteristics, possessed in a greater or less degree
by all these sons, together with a training, which breathed into them the
sturdy traits of New England character, made them landmarks in the
communities in which they severally lived.
Datus Kelley, eldest son of Daniel and Jemima (Stow) Kelley, was born at
Middlefield, Conn., April 24,1788 and came to Lowville, N.Y. in the
year1798, when his father removed the family thither. At Lowville the
father made some advantageous investments and by industry and economy
accumulated a moderate property.  Datus attended school at Middlefield
and Lowville in his boyhood, but by being the eldest son, his services
were much required upon the farm and in the mill.  He early became
proficient in surveying, and throughout his life was a student, not only
of books, but of men and things.  While, therefore, his early
opportunities in school were limited, he neverless became a thoroughly
educated man, and in his later years few college graduates could surpass
him in breadth of reading and general information.  In the spring of 1810
he took his pack upon his back and started on foot for the West,
prospecting.  His Uncle, Joshua Stow, one of the original purchasers of
the Connecticut Western Reserve, owned large tracts of land in what was
then frequently called "New Connecticut", and, partly through his
influence and partly because he was dissatisfied with the rigorous
climate of Lowville, Datus determined to find a new home in the far West.
 He arrived in Cleveland, Ohio, on the first day of July, but his search
for a location does not appear to have been sucessful, for he returned to
Lowville that summer.  His western fever does not seem, however,to have
been cured.    

In 1811 he again came out to Cleveland, whither his brother Alfred had
preceded him.  This time he went to Oswego on foot, thence to Lewiston by
vessel, from there to Black Rock on foot again, and then once more by
vessel to Cleveland, where he arrived in May or early June. In a letter
to Alfred dated July 7th, 1811, his father says "We feel at present
somewhat solicitious about Datus. Two points he ought particularly to
guard against- one, to settle in a place which is likely to be unhealthy;
the other, respecting a place where there is not a prospect of forming
some society; many serious may attend each of these."    Datus returned
to Lowville in midsummer, and on August 21,1811, married Sara Dean,
daughter of Samual and Mary (Weller) Dean  of Martinsburg, New York.
Soon afterward they removed to Ohio, having for traveling companions his
brother Reynolds, brother-in-law, Chester Dean, and sister-in-law,
Cynthia Dean. Like many modern bridal couples, they visited Nigara Falls
on their wedding journey, which was made by team to Sackett's Harbor,
boat to Fort Erie, team to Chippewa and the "Scooner Zephyr, 45 tons
burthen" from Black Rock to Cleveland, where they arrived about the
middle of October.     

Datus and his bride kept house in a new warehouse at the mouth of the
Cuyahoga River during the first week or two after their arrival and
pending the selection of their farm.They had the choice of lands situated
in the heart of the now city of Cleveland and lands ten miles west on the
lake shore, and took the latter. The old farm, for which Datus Kelley
paid $3.18 per acre, lies about a mile west of Rocky River and originally
extended from the shores of Lake Erie to the "North Ridge" road, so
called. The southernly portion of this farm Datus sold in 1832 to his
brothers-in-law, Chester and Joseph Dean, in whose decendants the title
to most of it still remains. The northerly part, consisting about 200
acres on the lake, is now (1897) the property of Hon. Clifton B. Beach.
On this farm a log house was first built, which was afterward superseded
by a more commodious homestead, on the lake shore, just east of the
present residence of Mr. Beach. In the old log house and in the new
homestead were born all the children of Datus and Sara Kelley.    Until
the declaration of War in 1812, Datus had for neighbors a number of
friendly Indians, who used to come down to the lake to hunt in summer,
occupying some half dozen rude huts, half a mile west of his house. The
roads were so bad that most of the traveling to and from Cleveland was
done in canoes and small  boats. The mails were carried on horseback from
Cleveland to Detroit twice a week.       

When the news of Hull's surrender at Detroit came, there was great
excitement. It was reported that the Indians were coming to destroy
everything and kill everybody, and the settlers, even many of those
living in Cleveland and Newburg, hastily sought places of safety. The
Kelleys refused to move and in vain they counselled their neighbors to
remain in their homes. He owns that he pulled in his latch string and a
put a nail over the latch one night, but this was the only fastening he
ever had for an outside door; and that solitary night was the only one,
when friend or foe could not walk into his house unbidden, during the 35
years of his residence in Rockport.     

In 1813 Datus was drafted into the army, but his brother-in-law, Chester
Dean, went in his stead.  The next twenty years were busily occupied in
clearing up lands, setting out fruit trees, supintending schools, in
laying out roads and making surveys in various parts of the Western
Reserve, and in all those various forms of activity which fall to the lot
of pioneers.