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Clinton Kelly family papers

 Collection — Multiple Collection Box: [A 066] 1
Identifier: A 066

Scope and Contents

The papers include ten letters and eleven documents. The letters are family exchanges; the earlier ones describe Oregon in the early 1850s. There is one letter from William Roberts of Salem, Oregon Territory, to James H. Wilbur, for Clinton Kelly, detailing the procedures whereby Kelly might be recognized as a Methodist clergyman.


  • 1857-1881


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Conditions Governing Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Clinton Kelly was born in Pulaski County, Kentucky on June 15, 1808. In January, 1827, he became a minister in the Methodist-Episcopal church. In that same year, he married Mary Baston, by whom he had five children. Mary died in 1837. A year later, in 1838, he married Jane Burns. Jane died soon after the birth of the couple's only child, Mary Jane. On the 11th of March, 1840, he wed Moriah Maldon Crain, daughter of John and Sarah Crain, also of Pulaski county.

In 1847 the Kelly clan left for Oregon, settling first in Oregon City in the fall of 1848. The following spring the family moved to a cabin on the bank of the Willamette River opposite Portland. Kelly was the definition of a traveling preacher, filling appointments at Portland, Milwaukie, Oregon City, Fosters, and Mount Tabor. It is believed he preached the first sermon ever delivered in Portland in 1849, and assisted in building its first church. For much of his life Reverend Kelly was active in the cause of temperance, though he suffered, especially in later years, from heartburn and rheumatism. He passed away on June 19, 1875, preceded in death by his third wife Moriah in 1864.

[sources: History of the Pacific Northwest: Oregon and Washington. Portland, Oregon. North Pacific History Company, 1889.]


0.1 linear feet (1 container) : 1 folder

Language of Materials



Clinton Kelly (1808-1875) was a Methodist preacher who came to Oregon from Kentucky in 1847. The Kelly Family papers include ten letters and eleven documents.

Physical Description

1 folder, including 10 letters, 11 documents

Processing Information

This collection received a basic level of processing including minimal organization and rehousing.

Description information is drawn in part from information supplied with the collection and initial surveys of the contents.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Guide to the Clinton Kelly Family Papers
Preliminary Description
University of Oregon Libraries, Archivists' Toolkit Project Team, Amanda Steele, and Chasmodai Cassidy
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA