December 7, 2013

Letters to the Editor: Dec. 7, 2013

Researching soldier

TO THE EDITOR: I have been researching Civil War veteran Timothy Kelley (often spelled Kelly), from the Plattsburgh area.

I became interested in him about two years ago when I found his abandoned headstone at the bottom of a ravine here in Portland.

I believe there are descendants of Timothy’s siblings still living in the area who might be able to add to my research.

Timothy was born about 1840 in County Sligo, Ireland, the same year, his parents, John and Mary (Ryan) Kelley, immigrated to Plattsburgh.

They left Timothy with his grandmother until he was 12, then sent for him. He made the journey alone and arrived to discover he had several siblings: James, Catherine, Charles, Sarah Ann, Mary Jane and John.

In 1861, Timothy enlisted in the 62nd NY Infantry. He was wounded May 3, 1863, at the Battle of Marye’s Heights. He completed his three-year enlistment, returned home and married his childhood sweetheart, Mary Etheridge.

In 1869, Timothy, Mary and two of their eventual six children emigrated West. They were some of the first families to ride the newly completed Transcontinental Railroad.

The family first lived in San Jose, CA. Timothy then got a job at the new Knappton Mill in the Washington Territories, across the Columbia river from Astoria, OR. The family also had a farm in Little Falls, WA, from about 1885 to 1900.

Timothy spent his retirement years in Portland, (1905-1925), where he passed.

Timothy’s parents and several siblings are buried in St. James Minor Cemetery in Cadyville. In addition to searching for details about Timothy and family, I am curious as to how Kelly Road in Plattsburgh was named.

My address is 2743 NE 24th Ave., Portland, OR 97212-3418, call me at (503) 282-3703 or email


Portland, Ore.

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