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Tuolumne County









            The well known resident of Stent, Tuolumne County, California, whose name appears above, is not only a mining man but is also the son of a mining man.  His father, Dennis Kelly, and his mother, Ellen Harrington, were born in Ireland, were married there and there five children were born to them.  In 1847, Mr. Kelly came to the United States and found employment in the mines in Wisconsin, and in 1848 he sent for his wife and children, who joined him at New Diggings, in La Fayette County, that state, where Michael D. Kelly was born September 30, 1850.  Four other children were added to Mr. and Mrs. Kelly’s family after they came to Wisconsin and four of their offspring are living at this time, including the subject of this sketch, two of his sisters in Colorado and one on the family homestead in Wisconsin, where the father died at the ripe old age of eighty-eight years, his wife at the age of eighty-three.

            Mr. Kelly was educated in the public schools near his home in Wisconsin, and in October, 1868, went to Colorado where he was for six years engaged in mining, part of the time as the foreman of the Dolly Varden mine.  In the fall of 1874 he returned to Wisconsin and early in the following year he went to Virginia City, Nevada, where he arrived on the 5th of February.  After mining there for a short time he went to Silver City, Idaho, but soon returned to Nevada, where he mined with more or less success until 1877, when he went to Bodie, Mono County, California, where he was the underground foreman of the Standard mine until 1880.  Then going to Tombstone, Arizona, he was employed there for some time in the same capacity.  In 1883 he became an underground foreman of the Bonanza King mine in San Bernardino County, California.  He attained some success also in working mines of his own at Calico.  In 1887 he assumed charge of the Dublin Bay mine in Nevada County, California, and from there he came to Tuolumne County, where for a year he was the foreman of the Buchanan mine.  After that he devoted five years to pocket mining at Sonora.  In 1896 he came to the Jumper mine at Stent and after two years’ service as foreman was given his present position of superintendent.  He is held in high esteem as a mining man and his career as such has been active, successful and productive.

            He was made a Master Mason at Bodie, California.  In political affiliation he is a Democrat, but while influential in the councils of his party he is not an active politician and sought the office of sheriff of Mono County in 1878.

            October 24, 1894, Mr. Kelly married Miss Mary Ryan, of Sonora, Tuolumne County, a daughter of Dennis Ryan, a respected pioneer.  Their union was blessed with the advent of a daughter, whom they named May.  Mrs. Kelly died January 11, 1900, deeply regretted by all who had known her.



Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: “A Volume of Memoirs and Genealogy of Representative Citizens of Northern California”, Pages 467-468. Chicago Standard Genealogical  Publishing Co. 1901.

© 2010  Gerald Iaquinta.




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