Kelley, William Dollarhide and Sarah

     Born on January 13, 1815, William Dollarhide Kelley was the son of Joseph and Kitty Dollarhide Kelley. He was, also, the grandson of Luke Kelley. When he was five years old, Joseph moved the family to the Etna Furnace area, which at that time was a wilderness. Joseph raised cattle on the land. The family lived there until Joseph sold the land to James Rodgers and others, who built the Etna Furnace in 1832.
     In 1835, William bought 160 acres where the Kelley Cemetery is currently located. William built a cabin, raised live stock, made maple sugar, and sold cardwood to the steamboats.
     On September 18, 1839, William married Sarah Austin. After his marriage, William and his new bride moved on to land owned by Sarah. A two-story frame house was built to house the young couple.
     Shortly after his marriage, William began amassing wealth from farming. He bought land from Peter Lionbarger and Judge John Davidson. Most of this land purchase eventually became the city of Ironton.
     He, also, purchased land from Isaac Davidson. On his new land, he built his new home in 1850.
     In 1857, William received an award for the best improved farm from the Ohio State Board of Agriculture. Farming was one of his passions. He loved farming so much he continued to farm even after making his fortune from the furnaces. His greenhouse was famous in the area.
     He kept farming until 1870 when he sold his farm to the Kelley Building Association. The association surveyed the land and divided it into lots. Those lots became Ironton.
     1844 saw Kelley entering another career as an iron man. In that year, he joined the firm of Dempsey, Rodgers and Company, which owned Etna Furnace. He stayed with the firm for three years.
     In 1849, he became a member of the Iron Railroad and Ohio Iron and Coal Company.
     In the beginning Kelley did not own the furnaces, he leased them. In 1851, William leased the La Grange Furnace. He managed the furnace for three years. In 1862, Kelley leased and eventually bought Center Furnace, which he ran for five years. In 1865, he leased Hecla Furnace with A. McCullough and Isaac Dovel. He remained with Hecla Furnace for four years.
     In 1855, William Dollarhide organized the Exchange Bank.
     William built his own furnace in 1869. Grant Furnace was located in Ironton. Kelley operated this furnace and Center Furnace with his sons Lindsey and Ironton. The two furnaces would be recorded as being owned by the firm, W. D. Kelley & Sons.
     William and his sons decided to expand this business in 1880. The three conceived the idea of building Kelley Nail and Iron Works.
     During the Winter of 1890, William was diagnosed with grippe (influenza) which ran into pneumonia. This illness left Kelley with lung problems which cause periods of suffocation. These problems resulted in his becoming weak.
     On October 1, 1891, William decided he wished to go riding. He became weak and his son, Ironton, persuaded him to lie down. William died that same day at his home in Ironton at 1:00 p.m. He was laid to rest in Kelley Cemetery.
      In his obituary, his business associates said he was, “honest in business.” They claimed he “attended to his own business in his own way, but who has left upon the community the impress of a useful, honorable life.”