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Plumas County









        Edward C. Kelsey, who for a number of years has served in an able and acceptable manner as treasurer of Plumas County, is one of the best known citizens and is regarded as one of the best officials the county has ever had.  He was born in Coloma, El Dorado County, California, on the 20th of June, 1866, a son of Jonathan and Sarah (Burney) Kelsey.  The father, who was a native of Connecticut, was a carpenter by trade.  In 1852 he came to California and settled at Coloma, where he engaged in mining, being at one time a partner in a mine with James W. Marshall, the discoverer of gold in this state.  Later he turned his attention to the carpenter trade again and followed that line with Beckwith, Plumas County, to which place he had moved in 1868.  He also farmed to some extent.  In 1865, at Glendale, Nevada, he married Miss Sarah Burney, who was born in Arkansas and later moved with her parents, Carson P. and Elizabeth (Farris) Burney, to Louisiana.  Subsequently they crossed the plains with ox teams and covered wagon to California.  Here the mother died, at the age of sixty-five years and the father at the age of eighty-nine years, nine months, and nine days.  Grandfather Burney lived to be eighty-six years old and his wife passed away at the age of seventy years.  There were six Kelsey cousins who came to California in early days, and, as far as known, all of the Kelsey’s in this state are descended from one or other of these immigrants.  Mr. Kelsey, who was killed by the Indians at Clear Lake, Lake County, this state, was a relative and the town of Kelseyville, that county, was named for him.  To Jonathan and Sarah (Burney) Kelsey were born five children, as follows:  Edward Carson, of this review; Ida, who died in childhood; Isabel, the wife of W. M. Smith, of Oakland, an employee of the Caterpillar Tractor Company, the shops of which are in San Leandro; Cora, the wife of J. H. Campbell, of Watsonville, California; and Marion, who was drowned in the Feather River at the age of twelve years.

        Edward C. Kelsey attended the public schools, completing the grammar grades at Beckwith.  During the subsequent years he has been a close and constant reader and keen observer, which, with his experience, has made him a man of wide general information.  On leaving school he went to work as a farm laborer, being employed by the month on farms near Beckwith.  He next turned his attention to mining, working three years in the Genesee mine, in which he became an amalgamator, after which he accepted a similar position at the Jameson mine, where he remained for fifteen years.  On quitting that position Mr. Kelsey engaged in mercantile businesses at Beckwith, under the firm name of Campbell & Kelsey, and was so engaged when he first became a candidate for election to the office of county treasurer.  He received the nomination, was subsequently elected, and has been reelected every four years since. He has shown excellent judgment, sterling integrity, and devotion to duty, and the county finances have been carefully handled under his direction.  The new courthouse of Plumas County was completed in 1920, at a total cost of three hundred and fifty thousand dollars, and at that time there was sufficient cash in the county treasury to pay all bills relative to its erection.  Plumas County is in excellent financial condition, having a bonded indebtedness of only thirty-five thousand dollars.

        On November 2, 1895, at Beckwith, Plumas County, Mr. Kelsey was united in marriage to Miss Marguerite Donnenwirth, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Donnenwirth, of Taylorsville, this county.  Mr. and Mrs. Kelsey have three children:  Marion E., who graduated from the Quincy high school; Marguerite, who is a student at the University of California; and Leo J., who is attending the Quincy high school.

            Mr. Kelsey gives his political support to the Republican Party and has shown a great interest, in every movement for the progress of Plumas County.  He is a member of Nevada City Lodge, No. 518, B. P. O. E., at Nevada City, this state, and Quincy Parlor, No. 131, N. S. G. W., at Quincy.  He is greatly interested in the history of Plumas County, realizing the importance of preserving the records of early events before they fade from the memory of those who have personal knowledge of them, for much of the inside history of pioneer days it yet to be recorded in permanent form.  Mr. Kelsey have been successful in his business, now owning a comfortable and attractive home in Quincy and also a well as an improved dairy farm of one hundred and twenty acres adjoining Quincy.  On this farm he has twenty-seven choice Guernsey milch cows, from which he supplies milk for his Golden Guernsey Dairy, which he operates as a growing and successful enterprise.  His trucks cover regular milk routes and the high quality of his milk has enabled him to build up a large and profitable business.  He is a congenial friend, is one of Plumas county’s best known citizens and has proved well worthy of the high place which he holds in public regard.



Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: Wooldridge, J.W.Major History of Sacramento Valley California, Vol. 3 Pages 126-128. Pioneer Historical Publishing Co. Chicago 1931.

© 2010  Gerald Iaquinta.



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