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KELLEY, DATUS

KELLEY, DATUS (24 April 1788-24 Jan. 1866) and his family were the first permanent settlers in the part of Rockport Township that became ROCKY RIVER. The first of the early settler Kelley family to move to the Western Reserve, Datus, together with his brother, IRAD, purchased and developed Cunningham (Kelleys) Island.

Born in Middlefield, CN., to Jemima (Stow) and DANIEL KELLEY, Datus attended elementary schools in Middlefield and Lowville, NY. In 1810 Datus visited his uncle, JOSHUA STOW, in Cleveland. Impressed with the settlement, Kelley purchased land one mile west of Rocky River in 1811. A surveyor by trade, Kelley was active in the social and political life of the community. He introduced the first industry in Rockport by erecting a sawmill next to the creek on Detroit Road at Elmwood in Rocky River and supervised the construction of a log schoolhouse near the mouth of the Rocky River.

In 1813 Cuyahoga County Commissioners appointed Kelley to head a committee to cut a road between the Cuyahoga and Rocky Rivers. In 1815 the commissioners appointed him to open the road to Black River in Lorain. In 1816 Kelley became a member of the Cleveland Pier Company and a trustee of Dover Village.

In 1833 Datus and Irad Kelley began buying parcels of land on Cunningham Island in Lake Erie which was renamed Kelleys Island. In 1836 Kelley moved to the island and spent the rest of his life developing the island.

Kelley married Sara Dean on 21 Aug. 1811. They had nine children. Datus is buried in Kelleys Island municipal cemetery.