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

Transcribed biography of Daniel E. Kelly

DANIEL E. KELLY - His attainments in the criminal branch of the practice of law have been notable, but equally noteworthy are his achievements in all the general elements of his profession which he has followed in Porter County for many years. Daniel E. Kelly occupies a respected position in the community not only due to his success as a lawyer but through the years of his practice his adherence to the ethics of his profession has gained the respect of the bar and the public. He was born on a farm near Chickasaw, Iowa, on October 26, 1863, one of a large family of children born to Thomas B. and Celia (Conley) Kelly, both of whom were natives of Ireland and who were married in Jennings County, Indiana, in 1843, and later removed to Iowa. A brother of our subject, Dr. L. H. Kelly, practiced medicine in Hammond for a number of years, and the family as a whole were men and women of unusual attainment. Daniel E. Kelly attended the schools near Chickasaw and later Decorah Institute for three years, one of the instructors there being the later noted John Breckenridge of Kentucky. In 1884 Mr. Kelly located in Valparaiso and here attended the university, being one of a large number of persons who have worked through that splendid seat of learning. He later studied law with Senator Agnew of Winamac, Indiana, for two years, and in 1891 entered into a partnership with Mr. Agnew at Valparaiso. This association continued until 1901, when Mr. Kelly engaged in an individual practice. Mr. Kelly has through the years found favor with the clientele of this community as a lawyer who devotes his sole attention to his practice and has had very few side issues in life. He has participated in some of the famous criminal trials of his period and successfully defended Jacob Walter of Kouts, Indiana. Another achievement of distinction was the securing for the aged widow, Mrs. Drusilla Carr, the title to very valuable land on the south shore of Lake Michigan which she and her husband had lived on for many years. Another noted case in which he was retained was the Baldwin case. "Lucky" Baldwin known for years as a gambler for high stakes and usually a winner, especially on horse races, left a large estate. His self styled widow claimed the widow's rights, and D. E. Kelley was retained to contend her claims. She asserted that she had married Elijah J. Baldwin who she asserted became the noted "Lucky" Baldwin. The ceremony she asserted took place in Indiana, and that Elijah was one of the California '49 gold seekers. Kelly systematically unravelled the case and won against the supposed widow of "Lucky." He discovered that Elijah Baldwin had purchased a bakery from Peter Donnelly at New Buffalo Michigan in 1848, the same Donnelly being the grandfather of Kelly's wife. He also found that Elijah Baldwin had operated a saloon in Valparaiso in 1848 and 1849, that he was a delegate to the democratic convention of Valparaiso in 1850 and paid taxes in Porter County in the same years. Another striking piece of evidence was the testimony of Elizabeth Smith, who though eighty-six years of age was strikingly beautiful, and remembered that in 1850 she attended a dance at Valparaiso escorted by the same Elijah Baldwin. All of this disproved the claim that Elijah was a Forty-Niner. Through Kelley's investigation it was proved that the real "Lucky" was named Washington Baldwin and did go to California in 1849 and was later killed in a gun fight in Sacramento. It was also proven that the "widow" had married one Mandeville a photographer - and had not even a remote claim to the estate of the renowned ''Lucky." On October 7, 1896, Mr. Kelly was married to Miss Angela Marie Donnelly, the daughter of Thomas Donnelly, of Michigan City. To this union were born six children: Angela, who passed away at the age of eighteen; Cecelia; Kathleen; Eileen, who passed away in infancy; Thomas; and Daniel Everistus, Jr. Mr. Kelly and his family are devout communicants of the Catholic Church. He is a director of the Valparaiso National Bank, First Trust Company of Valparaiso, and is a member of the Elks, and past grand knight of the K. of C.

Source: Cannon, Thomas H., H. H. Loring, and Charles J. Robb. 1927. History of the Lake and Calumet Region of Indiana Embracing the Counties of Lake, Porter and Laporte. Volume II. Indianapolis, Indiana: Historians' Association. 827 p.
Page(s) in Source: 784-785

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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