Looking Back: Kelley was Mitchellsburg's blacksmith

February 15, 2004|BRENDA S. EDWARDS

MITCHELLSBURG - William "Bill" Kelley ran a blacksmith shop on what is now First Street in Mitchellsburg.

A large barn-type building housed the shop in the early 1900s. Kelley also had a blacksmith shop in Stanford with his family and later worked as a blacksmith in Northern Kentucky.

The shop at Mitchellsburg serviced not only the local community, but the surrounding area. It was located near where the Clyde Sinkhorn house currently sits.

Kelley married the former Ada Montgomery in 1885 at the Smith Montgomery residence in Gravel Switch. They had seven children: Logan, Ben, Tom, twins Lucille and Lucian, William Steele and George, all born in Shelby City (now Junction City).


Kelley was the grandfather of Margaret "Maggie" Kelley Crain. She and two sisters, Alma Kelley Mullikin and Lenora Frances Kelley Raleigh, were born in Covington, and daughters of William Steele Kelley and Mary Frances Jump Kelley.

Her father was about 13 years old when the Kelleys moved to Dry Ridge in Northern Kentucky. Her grandfather continued to work as a blacksmith but none of his children followed his occupation. Logan was a mechanic in Dayton and George was a mechanic in Covington. Lucille and Lucien, both married, with Lucille living in Zenia, Ohio, and Lucien living in Covington. Crain lost track of the other two brothers, Ben and Tom.

"I'm not sure how I got back to Mitchellsburg," said Crain. "I was born in Covington and we moved to Junction City when I was about 15 years old. That's where I met my husband, David."

Crain and her husband owned and operated Maggie's Market and General Store in Mitchellsburg for 25 years before they retired a few years ago. He also served as postmaster at the Mitchellsburg post office for 29 years. They have two children, Elizabeth Susan Crain Alvey and William Lee Crain.

Maggie Crain also is kin to Tom and Matt Montgomery and the Browning families, who lived in Mitchellsburg. However, she is not sure what the connection is.

Maggie Crain, the youngest child in her family, is the last one of William and Ada Kelley's children still living. Her parents are buried in Jonesville, near Williamstown, and she has little recollection of her grandparents.

"I can only remember going to their funerals. I was about 6 years old when my grandfather died, but I don't remember them."

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