Henry Michael Kelly

Vital Date(s):
May 22, 1865 (Ottawa IL) - May 17, 1946 (Detroit, MI)
2012 Article on Henry's house: "Eastwood"
Henry's Obituary #1 (1946)
Henry's Obituary #2 (1946)
Henry and Molly at Harry's 1944 re-election as Governor of Michigan
Map of Ottawa of Pearl Street home location
Ottawa directory of Kellys
Mollie and Henry's marriage notes by priest
Mollie and Henry's 1894 marriage license
1900 Census on Henry's family in Ottawa
Ottawa Bar 1900 listing
Henry Bio - early years
Ottawa 1898 Bio of Henry and family
Ottawa Old and New Bio of Henry
Henry's 1900 Ottawa Biography
Martin and Ellen (Meagher) Kelly
Margaret Isabel "Maggie" Halligan, George J. Kelly, Catherine Hackett, Mary "Mae" Joseph Golden, Flora Agnes Finnigan
Mary E. "Mollie" Morrissey
Marriage Date:
May 29, 1894
Harry, Marie, Emmett, Melville, Kathryn, Laura, Larry, Walter, Jerry
Ottawa High School (1883), Passed Illinois Bar (1891)
Henry's Tree / Henry's Father, Martin Kelly / Martin's Tree / New Henry's Tree

Henry, the son of Martin and Ellen Kelly, was born in Ottawa Illinois in 1865, the year his father returned from the Civil War (See Civil War records to the right.)

After working on the railroad, Henry studied law and passed the Illinois state bar in March, 1891.

He married Mary E. Morrissey ( "Mollie") and had nine children: Henry "Harry" and Ellen Marie (twins), Emmett, Melville, Kathryn, Laura, Lawrence, Walter, and Jerome.

The entire family moved to Detroit in 1923 after Henry had successfully defended the Shatterproof glass company and General Motors from a lawsuit. General Motors had been so impressed by Henry that they asked him to represent them in Michigan. So Henry, along with his attorney sons Harry and Emmett became the Kelly, Kelly and Kelly law firm. Eldest son Harry at the time a rising prosecutor for LaSalle County but returned to private practice with his father.

Henry's career was distinguished. His youngest son Jerry recalled that during the late hours after his father's death in 1946, Jery had the "midnight shift" of attending his father's body as it lay in state in their Chicago Blvd. home. "That was the shift they gave the youngest," he laughed. But that was when the home was visited by dozens of mourners who were very poor, people that "H.M." passed on his walks to work and would make quiet donations to their families. "He touched a lot of lives."

The first Ottawa house at 834 Congress Street that Henry and Molly owned before building the larger home "Eastwood" on Pearl Street, which is no longer standing (below). Thanks to the current resident of this house, Randy Brewer, who found us online and sent along this photo - 9/1/09.

"Eastwood," Henry's home in Ottawa.

Close-up of Henry in 1919 on his Eastwood steps. The photo below was taken after Harry returned from World War I with his son Emmett in uniform, his father Martin and Harry.

Emmett, Henry, Martin and Harry Kelly (1919).

St. Columba's Church in Ottawa (today) where 7 of Henry's children were baptised. Harry and Marie were baptised in St. Patrick's parish in nearby LaSalle.

Henry in 1932 at a picnic with Harry and Emmett's families.

In 1923, Henry and his family moved to 2465 Chicago Blvd., Detroit (2005 Photo). Harry's family also resided there after Henry and Mollie.

Henry on Mackinac Island during his son Harry's term as Governor (circa 1944).

Henry and Mollie's graves at Holy Sepulchre Cemetary in Southfield, Michigan. To the right of Mollie's grave lie Harry and Anne. To Henry's left lies Olga Kelly, Larry's first wife. Also buried in the family plot are Harry's son Roger, Laura and Leon Walsh and their son James.

Holy Sepulchre Cemetary, Southfield, Michigan

Henry purchased a family plot in Ottawa, Illinois but Melville is the only Kelly buried there. After the family moved to Detroit in 1923, he donated the plot to the church and it was set aside for nuns from an area convent.

Last updated: 2/10/06 4:44 PM