Daniel E. Kelly, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Daniel E. Kelly

DANIEL. E. KELLY. One of the eminent educators of our time has declared that the legal profession engages the brightest of our intellects. It is certain that no other calling so ruthlessly tries out those who aspire to it, and so quickly sifts the fit from the unfit. This process is somewhat hard upon the ones who are not fitted for the work they have chosen, but those who are able to stand profit by the process so that the lawyer who has once established himself is almost sure of success.

One of Valparaiso's leading attorneys is Daniel E. Kelly, son of Thomas B. and Celia Conley Kelly, both natives of Ireland. They had come to America with their families in the early part of the last century, and were married in Jennings county, Indiana, in 1843. Eleven years later they moved to Chickasaw county, Iowa, where they settled on a farm. It was here that Daniel E. Kelly was born on October 26, 1863. There were thirteen children in the household, and Daniel had five elder brothers and two elder sisters. Eleven of the children are still living in 1912, among them Dr. L. H. Kelly, of Hammond, Indiana.

Both Thomas Kelly and his wife ended their days on the Chickasaw farm, and it was there that Daniel grew up and attended the district school. His training was supplemented by a three years' course in Decorah Institute, a well known school of Iowa, taught at that time by John Breckenridge of Kentucky. In 1884 Mr. Kelly came to Valparaiso and entered the University here, matriculating and graduating in the classical department, having worked his way through the University. In addition to this he studied law with Senator Agnew at Winemac, Indiana, for two years, and in 1891 became the partner of this distinguished attorney, locating at Valparaiso. For a decade they were associated together in the practice, but for the period since 1901 Mr. Kelly has been alone.

On October 7, 1896, Mr. Kelly was married to Miss Angela Marie Donnelly, third daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Donnelly, of Michigan City, Indiana. There have been six children born of their union, and five of them are now living. These are Angela, Cecilia, Kathleen, Thomas and Daniel Everistus, Jr. A daughter, Eileen, died in infancy.

Unlike many successful lawyers, and especially those of Irish ancestry, Mr. Kelly is not active in politics. This is not because he is lacking in the talent for statecraft which has always marked the people of that race, but because he does not feel that he can spare the time from his profession. He was selected as elector of the tenth congressional district in 1896, but resigned even that office.

In religion Mr. Kelly and his family are communicants of the Catholic church. Mr. Kelly is a member of Valparaiso Council, No. 738, Knights of Columbus, of which he was Grand Knight in 1908, and he is at the present time advocate of the council. He is also a member of Valparaiso Lodge, No. 500, B. P. O. E.

He has extensive business interests in Valparaiso, aside from his legal practice, being a director of the Valparaiso National Bank and of the First Trust Company of that city. Professionally he stands in the front rank of the able body of men who make up the Valparaiso Bar.

Mr. Kelly purchased the law library of former Judge William Johnston, to which he added other works, and is now possessed of a library of two thousand volumes, besides a large private library of miscellaneous works, particularly works of history, biography and philosophy. He is also a member of several historical societies.

In recent years Mr. Kelly has devoted considerable time to the practice of criminal law, and has been retained in many capital cases, among them the famous Walter's case, in which Mr. Kelly defended Jacob Walter, a hotel-keeper of Kouts, Indiana, who had shot and killed Alvin Johnson, his wife's paramour. Mr. Kelly vindicated Mr. Walter upon the great "Unwritten Law," and his able defense in the case won him many compliments. Mr. Kelly was also attorney for Mrs. Drusilla Carr, an aged widow, and secured for her a clear and undisputed title to over one hundred acres of land fronting upon Lake Michigan, of the value of a million dollars. He has a large and extensive practice, and practices in all courts.

Source: Lewis Publishing Company. 1912. History of Porter County, Indiana: A Narrative Account of its Historical Progress, its People and its Principal Interests. Chicago, Illinois: Lewis Publishing Company. 881 p.
Page(s) in Source: 659-663

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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