JOHN E. KELLY, one of the useful citizens and a prosperous merchant of the progressive town of Black Lick,
is a son of John and Anna (Evans) Kelly, and was born in Brush Valley township, Indiana county, Pennsylvania, April
11, 1841. His paternal grandfather, James Kelly, was a native of Ireland ,and settled in Centre township at an
early day in the history of Indiana county. His maternal grandfather, Hugh Evans, was born in Wales, and, after
attaining his majority, came to Pennsylvania, where he settled in Indiana county. John Kelly (father) was born
and reared in Centre township, in which he resided until his death, in 1847. He was a steady and industrious farmer,
as was his father before him, and married Anna Evans, who was a native of the county.
John E. Kelly was reared on a farm and received three months' schooling. He has made up largely for his lack of
educational privileges by reading and self study. He learned the trade of shoemaker at Mechanicsburg, where he
established a shop at the expiration of his apprenticeship, and was engaged in the shoemaking business until 1873.
In that year he came to Black Lick, where he operated a shoe shop until 1886. In 1880 he embarked in the general
mercantile business, which he has successfully pursued ever since. He has continually increased his mercantile
investment until he now carries a well selected stock of goods which is worth over three thousand dollars. His
trade has rapidly increased since 1880, and he now does a business of twelve thousand dollars per year. He is a
democrat in politics and served, for several years, as constable of Mechanicsburg. He was commissioned as postmaster
at Black Lick by President Cleveland, and held that position for some time. He is a member of the Baptist church,
has always been interested in religious affairs and contributes to the support of his own and other churches. In
addition to his store, he owns a valuable house and lot. By untiring industry, fair dealing and good management
he has been able to secure a competency.
In 1860 Mr. Kelly married Britania Hileman, of Mechanicsburg. To their union have been born four children, three
sons and one daughter: Thomas B., Alonzo B. (born June 1, 1869, and now engaged in the mercantile business with
his father), John E., Jr., and Frances.
Biographical and Historical Cyclopedia
of Indiana and Armstrong Counties, Pennsylvania
Samuel T. Wiley, Historian & Editor
John M. Greshan & Co.
Indiana County Pennsylvania Biographies
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