m. 18 DEC 1859
Facts and Events
William Brown Kelsay was born in Cumberland Co., NJ and died between the years 1894 to 1897 in Polk County, Arkansas. William was eighteen years old when he made the trip from New Jersey to Vernon County, Missouri with his parents and other siblings. William married Clara Adell Leonard, probably in Missouri. William and Clara sold 40 acres of land in Vernon County, MO to Henry S. Kelsay. Their address was given as "Indian Territory", which of course later became Oklahoma. Polk County, Arkansas is right on the border with Oklahoma, and William B. Kelsay and his family were always listed in their address as: Mountain Fork, Polk County, Arkansas from then on.
William was a very religious man, and on, January 9, 1894, he had his Pastor, W.R. Cecil write from Mountain Fork, Polk Co., Arkansas to his father, David P. Kelsay back in Vernon County, MO and urged him to repent and be baptized if he had not already done so. On, January 11, 1894, he wrote his mother, Sarah back in Vernon Co., MO. He mentioned in the letter that he had received a letter from her a few days before, and was answering as soon as he could get Brother Cecil to write. William could not write, and he had his Pastor, W.R. Cecil do all of his writing for him. In the letter to his mother, William said they were all well and they had a mild winter so far and no snow, but they expected some winter before long. He closed his letter by hoping to hear from her soon.
Sometime between, January 1894 and March 1897 (probably in the year 1895 or 6) Willliam B. Kelsay was accidently shot in the woods while hunting wild turkeys. He was found shot to death in the woods with a turkey caller in his hand. It was theorized that William was calling for wild turkeys when somebody mistakenly shot him. The guilty party never came forward, however, and nobody ever knew for sure who killed William. He was either 44 or 45 years old at his death, and was buried in Polk Co., Arkansas. William's widow, Clara wrote a letter to Henry S. Kelsay on, April 11, 1898 back in Vernon County, MO. She was writing from Mountain Fork, Arkansas, and said she was surprised and sorry to hear about the death of Sarah B. (Ivins) Kelsay, who she called "Mother" in the letter. She stated she had been looking forward to her visit that coming summer, and they only lived 15 miles from the depot. She gave the children's age, and said they would rather he would take care of the settlement of their father's estate, as he was his one brother and would be honest like him. She said she had married again about a year before, but had given the children what was left of their father's estate, except for what she had spent trying to find out who the guilty person was that had killed him. Clara Adelle Kelsay married J.W. Parker as her second husband on, March 12, 1897 in Mountain Fork, Arkansas. They were both 44 years of age at that time, and Justice of the Peace, W.N. Martin performed the ceremony. Book "D", page 2, Polk County, Arkansas Court House. This marriage must have been rather short and probably ended in divorce, because on, February 5, 1903, Clara A. Kelsay signed a statement that gave her 16 year old daughter, Mary, permission to marry. She must have had her married name of "Kelsay" restored to her, for she used it in 1903 and was still using it in 1935 when she and the children signed a "quit claim deed." This deed was dated, January 30, 1935, and the land was located in the Northwest quarter of Section thirty, Township 1, South range thirty two West. Clara A. Kelsay signed the deed, and the two daughters signed with their married names. Burton R. Kelsay and his wife, Emmer, made their mark. Clara would have been 82 years of age at this time.
Yvonne Russell was a grand-daughter of Mary Kelsay and wrote me a letter on, Aug 3, 1990 to my home in Mableton, Georgia. She was trying to help me out with the family lineage. The letter was handwritten, but I will quote it in type just as Yvonne wrote it to me. We exchanged several letters and she even sent me a very delicious fruit cake one time for Christmas. She mentioned that I spell my name differently, so apparently the descendants of William Brown Kelsay have been spelling their surname incorrectly with an "e" instead of an "a", as Rev. Robert Kelsay spelled it when he moved from Ireland in 1734. The following is Yvonne's version of some of the descendants of William Brown Kelsay:
"Dear Mr. Kelsay,