I found this article in the Washington, Kansas library. If anyone can connect to any of this branch of
the McKelvy tree, please let me know. I descend from Moses McKelvy. This has been the hardest
family in my search to find information on.
MATHEW MCKELVY, senior member of the firm of McKelvy Bros., the leading drygoods
merchants of Barnes, is widely and favorably known throughout the southeastern part of Washington
County as one of its most enterprising and reliable citizens. The firm transacts the bulk of the
mercantile business in this section and occupy the finest building in the place, a substantial stone
structure, built in the fall of 1889, well lighted and commodious, and ornament to the town and which
will stand for years to come as a monument to the enterprise of the proprietors. McKelvy Bros., carry
a large and well-assorted stock of general merchandise and enjoy the patronage of the best people of
A native of County Antrim, Ireland, Mathew McKelvy was born May 21, 1846, and is the son of
James and Nancy (Erwin) McKelvy, the former of whom was born in Scotland in 1817. The father of
our subject emigrated to America in 1853 and settled in Wyandot County, Ohio, where he lived until
1870. Then, determining to seek the farther West, he emigrated with his family across the Mississippi,
and coming to Washington County, Kan., settled on a tract of land on section 34, in what is now
Logan Township. He developed his land, built up a comfortable homestead and died there Oct. 12,
1880. He was reared in the doctrines of the Presbyterian Church, but later in life connected himself
with the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he was an active and highly esteemed member until his
death. In politics, he was a sound Republican, and he held a high position in the Masonic fraternity.
Mrs. Nancy (Erwin) McKelvy, the mother of our subject, was born in Ireland in 1823, and is still
living, making her home with her son Mathew, in Barnes. The parental family consisted of nine
children, viz., Elizabeth, Mathew, James, Sarah, Robert, Moses, William S., Margaret and John G.
Mathew was the second child, and until the year 1869 spent his early life on the farm in Wyandot
County, Ohio. He attended the district school and assisted his parents around the homestead until after
the outbreak of the Civil War. Then, in 1864, when a youth of seventeen years, he enlisted as a private
in Company II, 144th Ohio National Guards, which was attached to the 6th Army Corps, and under
the command of Gen. Phil Sheridan, in the Shenandoah Valley. He participated in the battles of
Frederick City and Winchester, and met the enemy in many minor engagements. At the expiration of
his three months' term of enlistment he received his honorable discharge.
Mr. McKelvy in 1869 came to this State and homesteaded 160 acres of land on section 29 , Barnes
Towwnship, where he followed farming until 1884. Then selling out he invested a part of his capital in
general merchandise, and in partnership with his brother William S., established himself in business at
Barnes. In starting out for himself he had no capital, but he was possessed of those business qualities
and the habits of industry and perseverance necessary to success. He has been since a young man of
twenty-one years, an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and is also ccnnected with
Post No. 363 GAR, at Barnes. In 1884 he was elected a Trustee of Barnes Township, but feeling that
he could not do justice to the duties of the office, resigned when engaging in business. Politically, he is
a strong supporter of the Republican party.
When a resident of Washington, Mr. McKelvy was married Oct. 4, 1871 to Miss Kate Catrter, of
Livingston County, N.Y. Mrs. McKelvy was born in that county, Nov. 13, 1850, and is the daughter
of Roswell and Harriet (Porter) Carter, natives of the Empire State. The household thus established
has been brightened by the birth of five children, viz., William P., Myrtle E., Esther A., Ira M. and
Ernest F. The McKelvy residence is a tasteful and comfortable structure, located in the northern part
of town, handsomely furnished and having the air of comfort indicative of ample means and refined
tastes. The town of Barnes justly feels proud of the McKelvy brothers, both as business men and as
citizens, and they have become identified with its most important interests.
Pages 961-962 "Portrait and Biographical Album of Washington, Clay and Riley Counties, Kansas"
Chapman Bros. 1890
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