Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
JOHN NEWTON KELSO, a native of
West Virginia, was born on September 18, 1863, the son of Joseph A. and
Elizabeth (Milslagle) Kelso, natives of West Virginia. The father
served in the war of the Rebellion and has since died. The mother
is still living in West Virginia. They were the parents of nine children,
Sallie, Roberta, Ida, Laura, John N., Albertus, deceased, Gilbert, Edward,
John N. spent his early days in West Virginia
where he received his education. When nineteen years of age, he went
from there to Woodford county, Illinois and farmed. One year later,
he went to Collins county, Texas, where he was engaged in farming and riding
the range. For two years, he worked there then made a visit back
to West Virginia and remained one year. It was 1889, when Mr. Kelso came
to Tacoma and worked at the carpenter trade for three years. During
this time, he spent six months in the Methodist University and completed
his education. We next see him in North Yakima farming, after which
he settled about a mile southeast from Reardan and has since been occupied
in raising grain.
On February 16, 1893, Mr. Kelso married Miss
Maggie Stevenson, a native of Wisconsin. She has one uncle, T. G.
Stevenson, living in Reardan and her parents are dwelling five miles south
from Tacoma. Mr. and Mrs. Kelso are parents of four children, Blanche,
Gilbert, Garner, and Floyd C. Mr. Kelso is a member of the Odd Fellows
and his wife belongs to the Rebekahs. They are both very favorably
impressed with the Big Bend country and although Mr. Kelso has traveled
very much, having crossed the continent five times, he says the Big Bend
is the best country he has ever been in. He owns a quarter section, which
is well improved, and also rents four hundred and eighty acres besides.
What he possesses now is the result of his labors as he started in life
without any capital whatever. He is a man of good standing and of