82 Facts About Alfred Kelley


Alfred Kelley was a banker, canal builder, lawyer, railroad executive, and state legislator in the state of Ohio in the United States.

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Alfred Kelley is considered by historians to be one of the most prominent commercial, financial, and political Ohioans of the first half of the 19th century.

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Alfred Kelley was one of the canal's first two "acting commissioners", and oversaw its construction and completion.

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Alfred Kelley was the president of Columbus and Xenia Railroad and the Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati Railroad, and pushed for a state charter for the Cleveland, Painesville and Ashtabula Railroad.

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Alfred Kelley was notably the first lawyer and prosecuting attorney in Cleveland.

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Alfred Kelley became the youngest member of the Ohio General Assembly at the age of 25, and returned to the legislature numerous times, until he became the oldest serving in the assembly.

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Daniel Alfred Kelley was appointed a judge of the New York Court of Common Pleas in 1805, and held various other public offices in Lowville and Oneida County.

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In 1807, Alfred Kelley began the study of law under Jonas Pratt, a judge of the New York Supreme Court.

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Daniel Alfred Kelley was increasingly unhappy with the Stow family's liberal religious views, which were beginning to influence his sons.

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Alfred Kelley made the journey on horseback, accompanied by Joshua Stow and a medical student, Jared Potter Kirtland.

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Largely through the efforts of Alfred Kelley, Cleveland was incorporated as a village by the state of Ohio on December 23,1814.

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The village's first elections were held on June 5,1815, and Alfred Kelley was elected the first president of the village unanimously.

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Alfred Kelley held the position only a few months, resigning on March 19,1816.

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Alfred Kelley purchased a peninsula on the west bank of the Cuyahoga River, where he established a farm.

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Alfred Kelley was a major investor in and helped organize the Commercial Bank of Lake Erie in August 1816.

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Alfred Kelley was named one of 11 members of the reorganized bank's board of directors, and elected the bank's president in 1823.

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On March 2,1817, Alfred Kelley met with eight others in Brooklyn Township to form an Episcopal congregation named Trinity Parish.

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Alfred Kelley was the youngest member of the state legislature, barely old enough to meet the Ohio constitution's age requirement for holding public office.

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Alfred Kelley did not seek office in 1817 or 1818, but was elected again to the House in 1819.

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Alfred Kelley served a single term, and did not run for reelection.

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Alfred Kelley successfully proposed that the Ohio House create a finance committee, and the members elected him its first chair.

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Alfred Kelley introduced the first bill barring imprisonment for debt, but it did not pass.

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Alfred Kelley supported a bill to allow free African Americans to testify in court against white citizens, but this did not win enactment.

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Alfred Kelley wrote a report endorsing the project, but the Ohio General Assembly did not act on New York's request.

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Alfred Kelley was elected to the Ohio Senate in 1821 and again in 1822.

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Alfred Kelley grasped the need for a statewide transportation network, and realized that only the state government could be the catalyst for making this improvement.

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Alfred Kelley traveled to New York to see the kind of construction technology used there, consulted with Erie Canal construction supervisors and state officials, and procured as much information as he could on how the canal was financed.

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Alfred Kelley purchased engineering and surveying instruments from firms on the East Coast, identified engineers available to work on the canal, and obtained a $1,400 appropriation for the State Library of Ohio so it could purchase books on canal engineering and construction.

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Alfred Kelley himself donated about a third of his remaining Scranton Flats land for the project.

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Alfred Kelley fought against constant pressure from politicians and the press to spread finances and workforce thin and work on all segments of the canal at the same time.

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Alfred Kelley tried to have the map published by a printer in the state of Delaware, but was embarrassed to discover that the Ohio General Assembly claimed copyright of his document.

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Alfred Kelley contracted malaria in his first years of work on the canal, and in 1832 his health was so poor that canal commission meetings had to be held at his home.

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In October 1830, Alfred Kelley relocated from Cleveland to Columbus after his wife, Mary, pleaded with him to move the family so they could spend more time together.

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Alfred Kelley made large real estate purchases in Franklin County and in Cleveland after leaving the Canal Commission.

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Alfred Kelley was elected chairman of the Whig State Central Committee of Ohio in 1840.

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Alfred Kelley sought and won election to the Ohio House again in 1836.

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Alfred Kelley sought and won re-election to the Ohio House in 1837.

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Alfred Kelley was successful on another front, when his 17-year legislative effort to abolish imprisonment for debt finally won the approval of the legislature.

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Alfred Kelley built extensive business and personal relationships with bankers in Ohio and New York City while a Canal Commissioner.

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Alfred Kelley became a major investor in the Franklin Bank of Columbus.

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Alfred Kelley decided to risk further work on the canal system and advocated saving the bank by placing the bonds on the market.

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Alfred Kelley returned to state employment when he was appointed a Canal Fund Commissioner on March 30,1841.

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Alfred Kelley became a commissioner as the Canal Fund and Ohio state finances were in crisis.

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Alfred Kelley discovered that New York City banks were unwilling to loan the Canal Fund Commission any money except on a short-term basis, and bonds could be sold only at a steep 25 percent discount of the par value and at high guaranteed interest rate.

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The Bank of Franklin, on whose board of directors Alfred Kelley still sat, agreed to loan the Canal Fund $500,000 at 6 percent interest.

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Bonds still needed to be sold to raise revenue for the rest of 1842 and early 1843, and in April 1842 Alfred Kelley went to New York City to sell the bonds authorized by the legislature.

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Alfred Kelley then offered to insure the interest payments on the bonds, with his personal real estate as collateral for the insurance.

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Alfred Kelley was forced to conceal how he had personally guaranteed the bonds and bond interest payments.

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Alfred Kelley secured a $250,000 loan from New York City banks, but once more only after personally guaranteeing the payment of interest.

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Alfred Kelley traveled to the United Kingdom in the spring of 1842 to sell canal bonds to cover the July 1842 and January 1843 interest payments on existing bonds.

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Alfred Kelley sold Baring Brothers $400,000 of canal bonds at a 40 percent discount, netting $240,000.

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Alfred Kelley was widely known as "savior of the state honor" for successfully helping the state to avoid default.

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Alfred Kelley ran for and won office to the state senate in 1844 and 1845.

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Alfred Kelley authored a comprehensive report on the tax system which the finance committee submitted to the Ohio Senate on February 17,1845.

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Alfred Kelley first became involved with a railroad in 1836 when the Muskingum and Columbus Railroad was chartered by the Ohio General Assembly.

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Alfred Kelley agreed to become president of the railroad in 1847 at a salary of $500 a year.

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Alfred Kelley accompanied engineer Sylvester Medbery as he traveled the line's likely routes, the two men essentially surveying them together.

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Alfred Kelley immediately began speaking with his colleagues in the banking and finance fields, and by early September 1847 indicated to the board that a favorable response had been found among investors in New York City.

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Alfred Kelley ordered construction of 10 miles of track near Cleveland to test new construction methods and railroad technology.

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Alfred Kelley hired an old man to work five days a week, continuously digging this trench, in order to prove to the state that construction was "ongoing".

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Alfred Kelley began his tenure as president by urging the board of directors to show faith in the business by purchasing company bonds.

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Alfred Kelley heavily promoted the railroad in Cleveland and by April 15,1848, investors there had purchased $100,000 in company bonds with pledges to purchase another $100,000 when the company asked.

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Alfred Kelley traveled to Cleveland in early August 1848, delivering a rousing one-hour speech which led listeners to purchase $73,000 more in stock.

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Alfred Kelley ordered the railroad's route resurveyed, a process which began in October 1847 and concluded about the end of January 1848.

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Amasa Stone had worked with Harbach and another railroad engineer, Stillman Witt, while building railroad bridges in New England, and Alfred Kelley knew Stone well from his visits selling bonds back east.

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Alfred Kelley reached out to Stone, Harbach, and Witt, and asked them to build the railroad.

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Alfred Kelley sold another $100,000 in bonds to Ohio investors the same month.

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Alfred Kelley was reelected president of the Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati Railroad in January 1850.

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Alfred Kelley then made a second trip to Britain to purchase more rail.

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Alfred Kelley was elected president, but due to other pressing business had to temporarily step aside.

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Alfred Kelley personally visited landowners along the route, making friends with them and buying the land he needed.

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Alfred Kelley won passage of local ordinances permitting his lateral railroad to cross public roads.

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Alfred Kelley then had the line graded and constructed, and conveyed the lateral railroad to the FCC.

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Alfred Kelley threatened to raise a private militia to protect FCC property if the state could or would not do so.

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Alfred Kelley resigned his position at the railroad about May 24,1853, and was replaced by Henry Payne.

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Alfred Kelley declined all opportunities, feeling that these railroads were parochial efforts that would not benefit the state was a whole.

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Alfred Kelley led an investigation into whether Ohio could impose due process requirements on the federal Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, but this led to no legislation being introduced.

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Alfred Kelley sponsored two successful bills which placed tighter controls on the state treasurer, but had few other legislative accomplishments that term.

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Alfred Kelley married Mary Seymour Welles of Lowville, New York, on either August 25 or August 27,1816.

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Alfred Kelley purchased a one-horse chaise in Lowville, and drove to Buffalo in it.

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Alfred Kelley was interred at Green Lawn Cemetery in Columbus, Ohio.

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Alfred Kelley is widely considered the "architect" of Ohio's canal and railroad systems.

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