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Henry Holcombe Kelley and his wife, Alice Cloud Elliott
Kelleytown (known in the early 20th century as Kelleystown) is an unincorporated center whose inhabitants made many worthwhile contributions to Henry County history. The people of Kelleytown are known for their hospitable Southern charm. Southern history is, more than any other region, the history of its families. The names Chafin, Crumbley, Elliott, Owen, Hightower, Phillips, and Thompson figure prominently in the community. It is from the Kelley family, one of Henry County’s founding families, that Kelleytown Community and Kelley Presbyterian Church derived their names. The 1850 Henry County Census notes ten people with the Kelley surname.
White House Community became established around the homestead of a first settler Silas Moseley, and Kelleytown Community around that of his brother Benjamin Moseley (1787–1851). Reuben Kelley (1800–1875), another first settler of Henry County, married Mary Moseley (1807–1895), a daughter of Benjamin, and settled nearby. According to land ownership records and census data, Reuben Kelley was originally from Greene County. Today their old homeplace remains in a dilapidated state off of Kelleytown Road, and the original Kelley family graveyard is in the back of the property. There are ten graves, including three that are unmarked. All the monuments have fallen from their bases and are weatherworn.
Several of the Kelleys served in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. Thomas Hughey Kelley (1832–1865), son of Reuben and Mary, enlisted March 6, 1862 and served in Company I of the 44th Regiment, Georgia Volunteer Infantry, Doles-Cook Brigade, Army of Northern Virginia, of the Confederate States Army. At the time of the War he was in his mid-30s and had a wife and three young children at home. He was captured at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House on May 10, 1864, and held prisoner by the Yankees at Fort Delaware where he died of disease contracted in the prison. He is buried in Finns Point National Cemetery in New Jersey.
Captain Henry Holcombe Kelley (1834–1910) married Alice Cloud Elliott and they lived and reared their family at the crossroads at Kelleytown. The couple had four children: son, Thomas Cloud (1869–1963) and daughters Kate, Maude, and Elon. Kate married Edgar Owen, Maude married Henry Owen, and Elon married Manse Crumbley. All continued to live in Kelleytown. Henry was one of Henry County’s prominent and most widely-known citizens. A June 1885 issue of The Henry County Weekly proclaims that "H.H. Kelley has the best patch of cotton in his district." He was a confederate veteran, and during the Civil War commanded a company in the Nineteenth Georgia Regiment. Another article in The Henry County Weekly states, "Beneath the giant oaks that form the beautiful grove near Mr. Henry Kelley's home on the 8th day of August 1900, was held the reunion of Company B, 2nd Georgia Battalion, Georgia Reserves. This was the first time these comrades had met since they parted more than 30 years ago."
Following in the footsteps of his father, Thomas Cloud Kelley (known as “T.C.”) was a successful entrepreneur and owned over 1,000 acres (4 km2) of land that featured a working farm, cotton plantation, cotton gin, sawmill, and dairy in Kelleytown. As such, he was respected as a progressive businessman in Henry County. He took an active interest in the welfare and further building of the County in all areas for most of his life. He was a public-spirited man, having formerly served as commissioner from 1917-1920. He was a Freemason, and a charter member of the old White House Masonic Lodge.
John Thompson (1803–1881) and wife Jane Elliott (1807–1879) lived at Benjamin Moseley’s old home. W.F. Chafin (1840–1908) a member of a large Henry County family lived nearby, and members of his family became allies with the Kelleys. L.P. Owen (1848–1921) and wife Elizabeth Crumbley lived there and were the parents of the Kelleytown Owens.
Source: Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Other Wikipedia statistics and resources for Kelleytown, Georgia.
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Below: Pleasant Grove School
Below: The original Kelleytown General Store and Theater
Below: Dr. J.G. Smith's power plant
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Buddy Kelley at the original Kelleytown Coca-Cola sign circa 1960's
Descendents of the original Kelleytown families have long been involved in shaping Henry County. E. Quillian Owen, son of LP and Elizabeth Owen, was elected Sheriff of Henry County in 1944. He served in that capacity until his death in 1959. For many of those years, Sheriff Owen was the ONLY county law enforcement officer. In the county election of 1956, the voters of Loves District, as it was then called, gave Quillian 100% of the votes cast. Bud Kelley served as a Henry County Commissioner from 1969 to 1976. Under his capacity as a commissioner, Bud helped influence the idea of building Henry Medical Center (at the time, many in the community thought the notion of building a hospital in Henry County as unnecessary and too expensive). Bud Kelley is credited with improving race relations in Henry County and, in 1972, appointed the first African American to serve on the County Planning and Zoning Board. Alex Crumbley, a successful McDonough attorney, was a Superior Court Judge in the Flint Circuit from 1978–83, and Georgia State Senator from 1986-1988.
Today this continues with James Troy Chafin III, a lawyer and retired United States Air Force pilot, who won the Democratic Primary and ran against Republican Mac Collins for United States Congress in 1996. He is now a Judge of the State Court of Henry County. Rudy Kelley is the longtime Mayor of the City of Stockbridge, Georgia. Wade Crumbley, younger brother of Alex, was the county attorney for Henry County and served as special master in the State Bar of Georgia disciplinary proceedings from 1995-1999. He was appointed Superior Court Judge of the Flint Circuit by Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue in 2005. Alex and Wade Crumbley are the only brothers to have served as Superior Court judges in recent Georgia history and perhaps ever. Many of the Kelley, Crumbley, Moseley, Chafin, Thompson, Elliott and other early families still live and work in Henry County.
Kelleytown is also currently the home to Johnny B Basler, previous District 5 Commissioner of the Henry County Board of Commissioners who served 1 term from 2006-2010. Commissioner Basler and his wife own Biscuits and Brunch restaurant in Stockbridge. Commissioner Basler has been credited with the purchase of over 100 acres of county park land for passive use in the Kelleytown area. Additionally, Commissioner Basler secured SPLOST funding for a Fairview Police Precinct, Library, and recreation center.
Another political Kelleytown Family is that of the Davis’. Representative Steve Davis (R-Kelleytown), served four terms (2004–2012) as an elected member of the Georgia House of Representatives. Representative Davis lives in Crown River subdivision just north of Big Cotton Indian Creek in Kelleytown with his wife and three children. Representative Davis is best known for his support and fight for personal property rights and sponsoring Georgia's historical eminent domain bill and his fight against the expansion of mass transit into the Atlanta suburbs. Representative Davis served on six committees in the Georgia House: State Institutions & Property, Transportation, Insurance, Appropriations, the Secretary of State Planning & Community Affairs, and as Chairman of the Information and Audits Committee. He has been credited with leading the charge in securing funds for the first technical college in Henry County, the Southern Crescent Technical College campus in McDonough as well as funding for the much needed widening of I-75 to be completed in 2015.
Ryan Davis, son of Representative Davis, was elected to the Henry County School Board District 5 post on November 2nd, 2010. Ryan is a 2007 honor graduate of Union Grove High School, a 2010 graduate of Georgia Southern University with a BBA in Finance, and he graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2012 with his Masters of Science in Management with an emphasis in Healthcare Management. Ryan is said to be the youngest school board member in the history of Henry County taking office at the age of 21 and he was the youngest elected official in Georgia for two years. Ryan’s plan of action for improving education in Henry County included ending teacher furloughs (accomplished in his first two years), open access for District 5 students to the Advance Studies Academy in McDonough (accomplished in his first two years), a common sense approach to discipline, better cooperation and relationships with the state, and maintaining funds for band, chorus, art, PE, and high school athletics.