Kit Carson County, Colorado
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Kit Carson County Pioneers:

Willis D. Kelso , 8 South 49 West


In 1875 Howard County, Kansas, W.D. Kelso is 11, born in Indiana, with parents C.A. 40 and M.M. 39. J.N. is 18, T.E, o16, M.E. 14, M.gf. 6, M.B. 3, and C.L. seven months.
In 1880 Elk County, Kansas, Charles is 45, Mary 44, with Lewis D. 15, Mary B. 9, Grand W. 11, and Chas L. 5.

C.A. KELSO, merchant, was born in Morgan county, Indiana, 1834. Learned the carpenter trade and remained there until 1856, going from there to Illinois, where he followed his trade and bridge buildling, in 1860, returned to his old home in Morgan County, and engaged in building there until 1861, when he raised Company G, of the Twenty-seventh Indiana Volunteer Infantry, but would not accept a commission, but served as Orderly Sergeant. Was on detailed duty the most of the time, and made out all the rolls, and was in command of the company during several battles. Was taken prison once, and received two wounds, and after serving three years, returned to Indiana, and in the fall of 1865, emigrated to Boone County, Iowa.

Was elected Justice of the Peace in Hendricks Township, the fall of 1866, and served until he came to Kansas, and first located in Labette County, where he followed his business of building in 1867 and 1868. Built the dam and mill at Oswego, 32 x 40, put in the machinery, and had charge of it four months, in 1869, located in Howard County, in what is now known as Belleville Township, Chautauqua county, on the Big Caney River. Was the pioneer of that part of the county, was twenty-five miles from any other settlers, and about eighty miles from a railroad point. There were several hundred Indians camping on the river near him when he settled there. His place was in Sections 7 and 8, although at the time of settling there, the survey had not been made. The place was well adapted for stock-raising, there being nearly 100 acres of timber on the creek. He put up a log cabin, and for over a year Sunday school was held there every Sunday, it being the only house which was large enough to accommodate the people.
Mr. Kelso cleared twenty-five acres of timber and farmed the place, had 100 acres under cultivation, put out a fine orchard of peach and apple trees, put up stables, cribs and granary, good frame house, 22 x 30, and for ten years lived on the place, and was engaged in stock raising to a large extent.
Also did a large business in contracting and building, and his first work being Hart's mill, on the Caney River, in Chautauqua County, 24 x 50, forty feet high--a large mill for the county at that time, put up the greater portion of the buildings in Oswego, the courthouse and several b uildings in Sedalia, and in 1879, when the L.L. & G. Railroad was built through Elk County, came to Grenola, where he commenced contracting and building, putting up several of the first business houses and dwellings in November of 1879. Engaged in the hardware and implement trade, which he has followed since.
Was Chairman of the Convention in 1870, to organize Howard County, served two terms as Trustee and Assessor of his township, was Chairman of the Caney Claim Club, which was orgainized before there were any officers in the county, and when the city of Grenola was organized, was elected the first Police Judge, serving from 1880, until May 1882.
Was married in 1852, to Miss Mary M. Thurston, of Shelby County, Indiana. They have seven living children--James N., Thomas E., Martha C., Willis D., Ulysses G., Mabelle and Charles L. Is a member of the G. A. R., of Adams Lodge, No 36, A. F. & A. M., Oswego Lodge No 63, I. O.O.F., Grenola Lodge, No 80, A.O.U. W. and of the Missionary Baptist Church and was licensed in 1873 to preach and had two charges in the County.

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Charles A. Kelso died 1905, buried in Morgan County, Indiana 100497902 with Mary A. 1850-1932 # 101230999.


Willis Dean Kelso married Nea Mata Francisca Howland in Elk County October 12, 1884.
Per one tree, she was the daughter of Benjamin Franklin Howland and Rebecca Lutz - so she was the sister of Charles Howland of Seibert.
In 1885 Elk County, Kansas, W.D. Kelso is 21, Matie 19.
In 1888 Elk County, Chas. Kelso is a carpenter, John Kelso a farmer.
1897 Iola Kansas "Drew Stewart spent last week in Leanna with Mrs. Mattie Kelso."
In 1900 Lincoln County, Oklahoma, Willis D. Kelso is farming, Marilyn Jan 1887 Missouri, Lee Aug 1889 Kansas, Guy B. April 1893 Iowa, Robert D. Aug 1895 Iowa, Mabel C. Feb 1897 Iowa, and Willis D April 1899 Oklahoma. born April 1863 in Indiana, married sixteen years to Matta March 1865 Wisconsin, have
In 1906 Oklahoma City, Willis is a carpenter, with Mattie F. living at 615 E. 6th. At the same address is Miss Marion Kelso, a teacher, and Miss Matalee Kelso, a stenographer for the Oklahoma Furniture Mfg. Co..
Willis cash-claimed a quarter in 24, 8S 49W in 1910.


In 1910 Denver, Willis is a carpenter, and they have Guy B. 17, Robert C. 14, Mabelle 13, Willis D. 11, and have added son Jean E. 5. born in Oklahoma.
In 1920 Spokane, Washington, Matie (wid Willis D.) is living at 914 E. Indiana. So does Robert E. , a clerk, Willis D. Jr., aa blacksmith, and Mabel, a clerk for the Federal Reserve Bank.
Willis D. Kelso, age 76, died October 3, 1937 in Seattle, father was Charles kelso, mother Madeleine Thurston.
He's buried in King County, Washington # 852621603. with Meamata F. "Mattie" Kelso 1865-1948, Francis R. and Marian C. Rose 1887-1986.

This page is maintained by M.D. Monk.