Sunday, March 8, 2015

Frost John Kelley

© Kathy Duncan, 2015

Frost John Kelley, son of John Kelly of Fairfield District, South Carolina, was born 1821 in Fairfield District, South Carolina and died 1874 in Mt. Pleasant, Titus County, Texas.  According to The Old Cemeteries of  Hinds County, Mississippi: From 1811 to the Present, by Mary Collins Landin, he is buried in Utica Town Cemetery, Utica, Hinds County, Mississippi, exact birth date and death dates unkown.  According to her work, tombstone inscription reads "John Frost Kelly" a “son of John and Charity.” However, I searched the Utica Cemetery and could not find his headstone. It should be noted that it is a large cemetery, and I was on short time. I have requested a photograph of this headstone through findagrave. An accurate reading of his headstone is necessary to document the name of his mother.

Frost Kelly's name appears alternately in the records as “John Frost” and “Frost John.”

At the estate sale of his father, John Kelly, Frost Kelly purchased his father's trunk which contained his father's old papers and pieces of his Revoutionary War uniform. Families had very few papers in that time. It can be guessed that the trunk might have contained papers associated with his father's military service, land records, notes, and perhaps a few family letters. Presumably Frost Kelly took this with him to Missississippi and perhaps to Texas. It is a possibility that one of his children took them back to Missisissippi, or they may have been divided up among his children.

Will of Susannah Fairchilds, page 184, dated 2 May 1842, probated 24 Feb 1846 in Hinds Co., MS. Daughter:  Serene Robertson.  Son:  Lazarus B. Ragan.  Children:  Jesse B. Ragan, John A. Ragan, Rebecca Jones.  Granddaughter: Susan E. Ragan.  Ex:  Lazarus B. Ragan and kinsman Robert Jones
Wit:  Robert Jones, Frost J. Kelley, Thomas J. Davis.

Frost’s wife Emily Lee Goza Kelley was buried in the James Lee/John Kelley Cemetery located on the Collins Farms, three miles from Utica, MS, 300 yards off of Tom Collines Rd. This cemetery was founded by the Lee and Kelley families on their property and was near the Utica Christian Church (now extinct).

Cemetery contains 40 marked graves, among them:

Emily Lee Goza Kelley, wf of John Frost Kelley, dau of James & Mary Lee, widow of Joshua Goza b. Marion Co. MS 1 Dec 1812 d. 18 Jun 1852
Joshua Goza, husband of Emily Lee b. ? d. 1840
Thaddeus B. Goza, son of Joshua and Emily b. 10 Aug 1940 d. 11 Feb 1860
Julia Kelley, dau of J.F. and E.L. (no dates)
Lydia Louisa Ann Kelley, dau of J.F. and E.L. b. 22 Jul 1843 d. 30 Sep 1849
Mary Emily Kelley, dau of J.F. and E.L. b. 4 Sep 1851 d. 26 sep 1851
Lee, James b. 29 Mar 1782 d. 11 Aug 1843
Lee, Mary, wf of James b. 7 Oct 1785 d. 1 Apr 1813
[Source: The Old Cemeteries of  Hinds County, Mississippi: From 1811 to the Present by Mary Collins Landin]

Children of Joshua and Emily (Lee) Goza:

1. Thaddeus B. Goza b. 10 Aug 1840 d. 11 Feb 1860

Children of Frost John Kelley and Emily Lee Goza:

2. Julia O. Kelley b. 1846 d. aft. 1850 
3. Lydia Louisa Ann Kelley b. 22 Jul 1843 d. 30 Sep 1849
4. Ellen Kelley b.c. 1851 in MS
5. Mary Emily Kelley b. 4 Sep 1851 d. 26 Sep 1851

Frost has named one of his daughters after his two sisters Lydia and Louisa.

23 Dec 1850 Hinds Co., MS p. 216: 

Frost J. Kelley 28 M Planter $4,000 b. SC
Emily 30 F b. MS
Julia O. 1 F b. MS
Lewis  24  M b. CA
Wallace Sistrunk 10 M b. SC
Toland Sistrunk  4 M  b. SC

Note that Lydia (Kelly) Seastrunk's children are enumerated 1850 in both the homes of her brother Frost Kelley and of her widower Samuel Seastrunk. 

Following Emily (Lee) Goza Kelly’s death in 1852, Frost J. Kelley married Elizabeth Olivia Curlee on 1 Feb 1854 in Hinds Co., MS.  Elizabeth was born 11 Nov 1834 and died 30 Jul 1895.  She is buried in the Utica Town Cemetery in Utica, MS. Children of Frost J. and Elizabeth O. (Curlee) Kelly:

6. Marian Lelia b. abt. 10 Jan 1856 d. 13 Jun 1856 near Utica, MS
7. Jessie Kelly b. c. 1857 in MS
8. Graves D. Kelley b. 7 Feb 1859 in TX, d. 27 Sept 1902 and buried in the Utica 
9. Frost J. Kelley Jr.
10. Carrie Belle Kelley m. Henry B. Christian and moved to New Orleans, LA
11. Lena S. Kelley m. Dr. A.L. Montgomery of Tyler, TX.

The Hinds County Gazette  of Raymond, Mississippi ran the following item on 2 July 1856:

“Died near Utica, in this county, on the 13th ult., Marian Lelia, daughter of F.J. and E.A. Kelly--aged 5 months and 3 days.”
[Source: Marriages and Deaths from Mississippi Newspapers vol. 4, 1850 - 1861 by Betty Couch Wiltshire] 

4 Sept 1860 Smith County, Texas, Tyler Beat., P.O.Tyler page 86b:

Kelly, F.J.  39 M  Farmer $10,000 - 20,000 b. SC
Kelly, Elizabeth  24 F b. MS
Kelly, Julia 14 F b. MS
Kelly, Ellen 11 F b. MS
Kelly, Jessie 3 F b. MS
Kelly, Graves 1 M b. TX

Gardner's Planters Directory of Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas
Kelly Col. Frost, Utica, Hinds, Miss.
[Source: 1861 New Orleans, LA City Directory]

On 3 July 1867, F. J. Kelley registered to vote in Smith County, precinct #1 and stated that he had been in state 12 years, in the county 12 years, and in the precinct for 30 days.
[Source: Texas State Voter Registration Lists]

Frost Kelley "turned out Jennie Fletcher and her children" and refused to pay her for seven months work. The Bureau ordered him to pay her $31.46 for past wages. Jennie Fletcher, freedwoman, vs. Frost Kelley, Tyler, Texas, November 16, 1867; vol. 164, p. 90, Register of Complaints, BREAL, RG 105, NA.
[Source: Freedom After Slavery: The Black Experience and the Freedman's Bureau in  by Lavonne Jackson Leslie]

9 June 1880, PCT 1, Dist. 107, Mt. Pleasant, Titus Co., TX, p. 311:

Kelley, Elizabeth O. W F 37 Head  Music teacher b. MS fb. SC mb. NC
---Carrie B. W F 18 Dau  b. TX fb. SC mb. MS
---Lelia S. W F 16 Dau b. TX fb. SC mb. MS
---Frost J. W M 9 Son b. TX fb. SC mb. MS
Tinnia, Mattie W F 17 Boarder b. TX fb. TX mb. IN
---Lucy W F 15 Boarder b. TX fb. TN mb. TN
Fitzgerald, Nellie W F 16 Boarder b. TX fb. TN mb. TN
Barnett, Ella W F 15 Boarder b. TX fb. NC mb. NC

A biography of Frost J. Kelley was published in 1900:

Frost J. Kelley and Family

“Frost J. Kelley was born in Fairfax [sic] District, South Carolina, in 1821.  He was from an old and prominent family of that State.  At the age of nineteen he was a school teacher; the following year he commenced farming, making through life a successful planter.
“His first marriage was with Mrs. Emily Gaza [sic], nee Emily Lee, who was a descendant of one of the most illustrous families of the South.  By this union there were four children, all daughters; only two now living--Mrs. Julia O. Ross, Utica, Mississippi; Mrs. Ellen E. Horsley, wife of Rev. R.G. Horsley, Greenville, TX.
“His second wife, who was Miss Elizabeth Olivia Curlee, was a woman of culture and Christian refinement.  They had eight chilren, four now living--G.D. Kelley, Frost J. Kelley, Jr., both living in Utica, Misissippi; Mrs. Carrie Belle Christian, residing in New Orleans, Louisana; Mrs. Lena S. Montgomery, wife of Dr. A.L. Montgomery, Tyler, Texas.
“Dr. Montgomery is a leader in his profession.  He graduated from the Normal Department of the University of Nashville, Tennessee, in 1883; from the Medical Department of Tulane University, of New Orleans, Louisana, in 1887. He has met with commendable success as a pysician and surgeon during his many years practice in Tyler.  He is an educated Christian gentleman; up-to-date in his profession; of large acquaintance and many friends, he has a useful life before him.
“Frost J. Kelley, Sr., moved to Texas in 1857, and settled in Tyler.  He had accumulated in land and slaves large property.  He was truly a Southern man, loyal to her institutions and her history.  He was a good citizen and an exemplary gentleman; a leading member of the Baptist church, and took great interest in Sunday school work, acting most of his life as superintendent of Sunday schools.  Both the wives of Mr. Kelley were buried in the family burial ground near Utica, Mississippi.  He was buried in the cemetery in Mt. Pleasant, Texas, where he died in 1874.
“Frost J. Kelley Sr., was a good man for any community; he was intelligent, religious, upright and moral, a leader in a healthy sentiment that works for good.”
[Source: Some Biographies of Old Settlers. Historical, Personal and Reminiscent by Sid S. Johnson, Tyler, Texas 1900]

A tombstone for Frost J. Kelley has not been found in Titus County, Texas. Is it possible that his body was returned to Utica for burial, but this seems like an unlikely mistake for his immediate survivors to make.

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