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KELLEY, ALFRED

KELLEY, ALFRED (7 Nov. 1789-2 Dec. 1859), "Father of the Ohio-Erie Canal," was born in Middlefield, Conn., son of DANIEL KELLEY and Jemima (Stow) Kelley. He came to Ohio in 1810 where he was admitted to the bar and appointed prosecuting attorney for Cuyahoga County after education at Fairfield Academy and in the law offices of Judge Jonas Platt (Supreme Court of New York). Kelley was the first president of the village of Cleveland (1815), member of the Ohio house of representatives, state senator, president of the COMMERCIAL BANK OF LAKE ERIE (1816), and president of several railroad companies. As a member of the State Canal Commission, once he took up canal campaigning in 1823, the OHIO & ERIE CANAL dominated his life for several years. His leadership resulted in the canal's having the lowest cost per mile of any canal of comparable length in Europe or America. Kelley first fought to get the canal bill passed. Studying voting records on previous bills, Kelley realized the legislators voting for Nathaniel Guilford's education bill voted against canal bills, and vice versa. Kelley eventually convinced Guilford to piggyback the two issues so that both bills passed. Canal construction began in 1825, with Kelley personally supervising the work. In 1844, Kelley was elected to the state senate, originating the bill organizing the State Bank of Ohio and other banking companies. This bill eventually became the basis of the Natl. Bank Act of 1863. Kelley married Mary Seymour Welles in 1817 and had 11 children: Maria, Jane, Anna, Alfred, Helen, and Katherine survived into adulthood, five others died in infancy. Kelley died and was buried in Columbus, Ohio.