Biographical Sketch of John Kelsay

Signature of John Kelsay

John Kelsay 

Born 1819 
Died 1897 
Benton County delegate

John Kelsay was born on Oct. 23, 1819, in Wayne County, Kentucky. He moved to Missouri when he was ten years old. He began the study of law in 1842 and was admitted to the bar in 1845. In 1844 Kelsay also served in the Missouri legislature.

He and his wife came to Oregon in 1853 and Kelsay opened up a law practice in Corvallis. He helped to organize volunteers during the Rogue River Indian wars, and during this war service he earned the rank of colonel.

Kelsay was a Benton County delegate to the constitutional convention and served as chairman on the Military Affairs Committee and as a member of the Executive Department Committee.

From 1868 to 1869 he served on the state supreme court.