While we do not have definitive information on the
birth of Charles Kelly or Kelley, we may assume that he was born within
twenty years of 1800. Much earlier and he would have been too old to participate
in Zions Camp. Much later and he would have been too young.
Charles Kelly was one of the early converts to the
Church, joining in or before 1834 for in that year he joined with the Saints
in Zion's Camp, an expedition from Kirtland, Ohio to provide relief to
the suffering Saints in Missouri. Since most of the members of Zion's camp
were in their twenties or thirties, it is likely that he was born between
1795 and 1815. Most of the early converts to the Church were from the north-eastern
In 1835, Kelly was ordained a.Seventy and called
to the First Quorum of Seventy. Like other members of that quorum, he was
a veteran of Zion's camp.
At some point later, he removed his family (of whom
we have no information) from the Kirtland area and settled in Caldwell
County, Missouri, the move costing him one hundred dollars. He acquired
seven acres of land which he improved with a log cabin before being driven
from the area. He then settled in Davies County, and again acquired land,
ten acres this time. He again improved the land with a log cabin. And again
he was driven out.
In his redress petition he pled for redress in the
total amount of five hundred and sixty-five dollars. Like the other saints
he was never compensated and his petition stands as a memorial against
the State of Missouri and the United States of America.We quote here his petition with spelling, capitalization, and puncuation as in the original:
The State of Mo Dr to C Kelley
Moving Family from Kirtland Ohio to Caldwell County
Improvement of 7 Acres of Land & Log Cabin in Davies
County Mo 100.00
10 Acres of Land & Log Cabin 65.00
Moving from Missouri expences & Loss of Time 200.00
For loss of Corn potatoes &c 100.00
I do herby Certy the above to Be a true and Just account acording to the Best of my Knowledeg
On May 23, 1836, Elder Kelly was tried by the High
Council for abandoning his family in poverty, for partaking of alcohol
and for unchristianlike behavior. He failed to answer the summons and the
case being proven, he was excommunicated from the Church.
We find no record of his return to the Church or
details of his later life. We do not know whether he was related to the
Charles Kelley who became Stake President of the Box Elder Stake in Utah
around the beginning of the Twentieth Century and who died in 1905.