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Mrs. Adell I. McKelvey
Born 1856


Mrs. Adell I. McKelvey, well known in Jones county, where she has many warm friends, is a native of Iowa, her birth having occurred in Jackson county in 1856. She was one of a family of four children born unto Dr. Z. G. and Irene S. (McDowell) Isbell, two of whom still survive. The parents were natives of New York and came to Iowa at an early date, both passing away in Jones county, the father in 1897 and the mother in 1900. Dr. Isbell arrived in Center Junction in 1870 when it was little more than a corn field, and here opened a drug store which he conducted in connection with his practice, though he had retired from his profession to some extent. He filled the office of county coroner and also served as postmaster of Center junction for eighteen years. He was a thirty-second degree Mason, of which rank he was very proud, and was minister of the Methodist Episcopal church.
In 1877 Miss Adell Isbell gave her hand in marriage to Thomas McKelvey, who was born in Marion county, Pennsylvania, on the 20th of November, 1844, a son of James and Eliza McKelvey, who were also natives of that state where they continued to make their home throughout life, passing away when their son was only ten years of age. He received a good common-school education in his native county and in Illinois, where he made his home for a time. He was only seventeen years of age when, actuated by a spirit of patriotism, he entered the Union army during the Civil war, becoming a member of Company B, Eleventh Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. He enlisted for three years and during half of that time was in the infantry and was in the signal corps for a year and a half. Owing to illness he was later in the hospital as a patient. After the close of hostilities he went to Illinois, where he was engaged in teaching school for some time, and later he pursued a course of study in telegraphy. He then came to Center Junction and for ten years was employed as a telegrapher, at the expiration of which time he became identified with mercantile interests in the same place and was thus connected until the time of his death, which occurred on the 13th of January, 1886. Fraternally he was a Master Mason and was also a member of the United Workmen.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. McKelvey were born two children: George A., now residing in Texas; and Helena A., the wife of G. W. Dunham, of Iowa. Prior to her marriage Mrs. McKelvey had been a school and music teacher, accepting her first position as a school teacher when seventeen years of age, while at the age of sixteen years she became a teacher of music. After her husband's death she again took up her music and has been a teacher of that art ever since. She is a prominent and active member of the Methodist Episcopal church and has just returned home from Florida, where for the past two years she has been engaged in missionary work. She is a lady of good business ability, who has capably managed her affairs since the death of her husband. Generous and kindly in disposition and charitable in her estimation of every one, she has gained a circle of friends which is almost coextensive with the circle of her acquaintances, and she now enjoys the respect and esteem of those with whom she has come in contact, while her many good deeds have endeared her to many.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 457.

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