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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

KELSEY, LORENZO A. - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

KELSEY, LORENZO A. (22 Feb. 1803-13 Feb. 1890), steamboat captain and mayor of Cleveland from 1848-49, was born in Port Leyden, N.Y., the son of shipowner, Eber Kelsey and Lucy Ann Leete Kelsey. He was educated in his local district and moved to Youngstown to work in lumber. Kelsey moved to Cleveland in 1837 with his wife and became manager of the Cleveland House Hotel for 1 year. He then became captain of the steamship Chesapeake, and later captain of the General Harrison. He also served as proprietor (1818-19) of the New England Hotel. With no political experience, Kelsey ran as a dark-horse mayoral candidate for the Democratic party in 1848, defeating 2 other opponents, Chas. Bradburn and Milo Hickox. As mayor, Kelsey supported civic improvements and worked frequently with top members of the Democratic party. Throughout his career, he served as a delegate to Democratic conventions. In 1849 he returned to the hotel business until his retirement in the late 1850s. Kelsey married Sophia Smith (1806-1893) of Windsor, Conn., in 1825. They had 7 children: Edgar A (b. 1832 and died in infancy), Eugene, Antoinette, Theodore, Ada Helen, Josephine H., and Edgar A. (b. 1840). Kelsey died in Cleveland and was buried in the ERIE ST. CEMETERY; in 1903 his remains were moved to LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.

Last Modified: 17 Jul 1997 03:32:00 PM

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