C. 0. Kelly, M. D., druggist, was born in 1845 in Ohio County, Ky., the seventh of twelve children (two deceased) of Rev. C. J. and Plina H. (Haynes) Kelley, the former of Irish stock and born in 1818 in Ohio County, Ky., and the latter of English lineage, born in the same county in 1823. They were married and lived there until our subject was eight years old, when they went to Wayne County, Ill. He preached there and in White County as a Missionary Baptist minister until 1873,
when he established the Baptist Banner at Ewing with Rev. Allen, and remained editing and publishing the paper and preaching until the death of his wife in 1876, when he returned to Wayne County, and died in 1878. Our subject was educated in public schools, and when sixteen enlisted in Company E, Seventh Illinois Cavalry, and was in service three years, receiving honorable discharge at Nashville, in January, 1865. He was at New Madrid, Corinth, Iuka, Nashville, etc., and while on guard at Collierville, Tenn., in October, 1863, he was captured, and for five months, held a prisoner at Belle Isle, Va. He returned to White County, began carpentering, and four years later studied medicine under Dr. Ronalds, of Grayville. In 1869 he married Matilda Cross, who died in 1872. Their only child is Bertha. In 1869-70 our subject attended the Medical College at Louisville, and then began practice at Rochester Mills, twelve miles north of Grayville. In 1871 he moved to Allendale, but a year later returned to Grayville, where his wife died. In 1874 he moved to Ewing, began practice, and soon started his drug business also. In June, 1876, he married Lottie T., daughter of G. W. and Sarah T. (Duncan) Guthrie, of Ewing. Their children are Ralph (deceased), Ovid, Fred C., Sadie and Delia (deceased). In 1879-80 he obtained his diploma from the Missouri Medical College, St. Louis. Since 1881 when he succeeded in getting the Ewing College postoffice established, he has been postmaster until 1886. He has been so successful in practice that he now owns a fine brick residence, a business block, several town houses and lots and a well stocked farm. He is a Republican, and first voted for Lincoln. By special law he, as a soldier, was enabled to vote before he obtained his majority. He is a Mason.