Oliver Kelley (sometimes spelled Kelly) was born 28 September 1853, Dennis Port, Massachusetts, the second child of Valentine Kelley and Rosana Eldredge.
|I believe this may be Oliver Kelley (right) with brother Valentine|
He married, first, Polly Howes 19 June 1876 at Harwich. Polly was the daughter of Loring Howes and Sophia Humphrey. She died 26 May 1888 in Dennis of consumption. They did not have children together.
|Tintype of Polly Howes and Oliver Kelley, probably their wedding day 1876|
|Oliver Kelley, likely same day as above photo|
In the 1880 census Oliver Kelley, age 26, sailor, is living in Dennis with wife Polly, 24. They are next door to Polly’s parents, “Loron” and Sophia, and her sisters Nelly, 14, and Salome, 9.
Oliver married second, Emily Arnold, 9 September 1890, and they had one daughter, Lottie, born 6 September 1891 in Providence, Rhode Island (vital records have her first name as Lotta).
|Emily Arnold Kelley|
Emily was born 18 January 1865 in Providence, Rhode Island, daughter of Caleb and Phebe L. Arnold.
In the 1900 census, Oliver Kelly b. May 1854, age 46, janitor, is living on Ruggles St., Providence, RI, with wife Emily, born January 1865, age 35, and daughter Lottie, age 8. Emily’s parents are just two households away on the census. It indicates that her mother, Phebe, had seven children but just one was living.
Emily died 19 August 1900 in Providence, RI. She was 35 years of age. She is buried at the Locust Grove Cemetery in Providence, sharing a stone with her parents. What a lot of sadness for Oliver, losing two wives at such young ages. He also lost his father in 1882, his only brother Valentine in 1883 and his sister Ella in 1886.
|Emily's stone, Locust Grove Cemetery, Providence RI (source: findagrave.com)|
Natalie Chase of Dennis Port, Oliver’s great-granddaughter, said he went to sea at age six, later worked as a janitor in Providence RI and returned to live in Dennis Port and captained the boats at The Belmont Hotel in W. Harwich out of Herring River.
|Old postcard of The Belmont Hotel|
When Oliver returned to Dennis Port, he lived in the home he must have inherited from his parents, at what is now 280 Main Street. His daughter Lottie lived there also, until her death at age 100 in 1991.
|Oliver's home, Dennis Port, Mass.|
In the 1920 census, Oliver Kelly is living alone at the Main Street, Dennis Port house. He is age 66, a widower, and working as a laborer.
|Oliver Kelley, first in the front row (From his great-granddaughter Natalie Chase)|
Oliver died in Dennis Port 19 January 1945, at age 91. He lived as a widower for 44 years. He is buried Swan Lake Cemetery in Dennis Port.
|Oliver's stone at Swan Lake Cemetery, Dennis Port|
My great-grandmother, Ethel Kelley Booth, was first cousins with Lottie and they were very close as children, less than a year apart in age and living in the same town once Oliver returned home. Since Lottie lost her mother when she was just eight years old, I would guess that Ethel’s mother Mary Ann was helpful in raising Lottie. My grandmother also said that in the cold months that Ethel would sometimes live at Lottie’s Dennis Port house because it was closer to school than her own West Dennis home.
I found multiple photographs of Lottie in Ethel’s belongings and was thrilled to find and meet Lottie’s granddaughter, Natalie Chase. Natalie lives across the street from what was her grandmother’s house. She has a lot of family items, including a doll that is identical to one that belonged to my great-grandmother. A family member must have given them each a doll, perhaps it was their grandmother Rosana.