Lillian Myrtle, b: 7/21/1888, d: 4/30/1986
Delia P. b: 8/11/1992, d: 1/10/1969
Nancy E. Kelly, b: 7/30/1895, d: 11/3/1965
Docia Dallay, b: 7/18/1890, d: 3/7/1983, spouse: Welda Paul Heidel, b: 3/19/1887, d: 3/7/2983
Douglas, b: 8-9-1884, d: 1/2/1964, spouse: Hilda Smith b: 10/13/1895, d: 10/17/1971
Hampton Kelly, b: 4/20/1877, d: 7/19/1901
John H. Kelly, b: 8/24/1886, d: 11/10/1958, WW I
An article from the Morgan County News dated, July 27, 1967
Lillie Kelly, who was 79 last Friday and her sister Delia, who will be 85 on August 11, have the distinction of living in what is believed to be the oldest house in Morgan County.
The sisters, neither of whom ever married, live at the old Kelly farm house on Beech Fork Creek in the 2nd district of Morgan County.
They were born and reared and have lived all of their lives in the old house which has been in the Kelly Family for four generations. According to Miss Lilly, the old house was erected in 1814 by Ezra Stonecipher who sold it to their great grandfather James Kelly, who passed to down to their granparents, Mr. & Mrs. D.M. Kelly, who left it to their parents, Samuel & Julia Ann Stonecipher Kelly.
Until a few years ago there were four spinster sisters and a bachelor brother living at the old homeplace and operating the 180 acre farm but, in 1957 the oldest sister, Mary passed away and in 1958, John, the brother who served in World War I died at the Veterans Hospital in Johnson City and in 1965, Nancy, the youngest of the sisters, passed on leaving only Delia and Lilly.
Mrs. Welda (Dochia) Heidel who lives on a nearby farm is a sister.
Douglas Kelly, a brother, died a few y ears ago and another brother, Hampton, the oldest in a famly of eight children died at an early age.
The main part of the old house, built of logs, is still sturdy and strong. The rafters, of 4 x 4 hand hewn oad and joined with wooden pins, are as sound as a dollar. The huge fireplaces, both on the first and second floors, have been sealed and the home is now heated by stoves, but the large stone chimney looks as safe as it it had been built yesterday.
The logs, many many years ago were covered with weather boarding and in later years with asbestos siding and a kitchen and dining room were added at the rear of the log structure.
A few years after the death of ther brother, the sisters, no longer able to carry on the extensive farm operations, sold most of the farm land to J. H. McCartt of Wartburg and members of his family. Mrs. McCartt, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Welda Heidel, is a niece of the sisters.
For a number of years the four sisters sold vegetables and milk and butter and eggs at their home and established routes in Petros and other nearby towns.
Many of the furnishings in the old home are of the last century. There are huge high backed beds with rope springs and the old spinning wheel on the second floor and in the attic which could pass for a third floor is an old loom.
An interesting room on the second floor is a space behind the large chimney which the sisters said was used during the Civil War to hide things and people too from the soldiers.
The Kelly Farm is one of the few farms in Morgan County where slaves were used. Records at the old home tell of the buying and selling of slaves(part of article missing).
One of the interesting keepsakes is a letter to Squire Kelly from Colafield which reads as follows:
"I want you to com to P. M. Butlers tomorrow morning against 10 o'clock and to Joe Davises to marry me. Don't fail to come."
And what about this statement written, July 15, 1865 and carefully preserved among other records at the old home;
"State of Tennessee
County of Morgan
This is to certify that in January 1862 the rebel soldiers taken a nag from em; that I went to try to get it back; that D.M. Kelly met me and told me that he had heard through some of his family that one of the soldiers ( more missing here)
send my wife and he would assist her all he could to try to recover the property which I done. My wife went and the property was returned.
Given under my hand."
It is an experience you will never forget to visit Lilly and Delia Kelly.
|Return to The Kelly House|