Maple Township Pioneers

Maple Township Dickey County North Dakota - Pioneers

Biography of F.A. Pazandak, pioneer farmer of Fullerton.

Biography of Timothy J. Kelsh, pioneer of Fullerton.







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TIMOTHY J. KELSH.
The year 1901 saw the advent of a number of new settlers in Dickey County, men and women who were ready to try their fortunes as agriculturists and ready to establish primitive homes on the raw prairie. Many of these became disheartened by the rigors of the existence that they were called upon to face and the obstacles which they had to overcome. Others, more stout-hearted and courageous, remained to become prosperous and influential citizens, and in the latter class is found Timothy J. Kelsh, the owner of a section of land north of Fullerton, where he has won substantial success in general farming and in the raising of Poland-China swine.

Mr. Kelsh was born at Platteville, Wisconsin, December 21, 1873, and is a son of George and Abigail (Connell) Kelsh. His paternal grandparents were Thomas and Ann Kelsh, natives of Ireland, who were married in that country and came to the United States about 1850, first settling in Pennsylvania, later, in the late '60's or early '70's moving to to Dubuque County, Iowa, and then to Buchanan County, Iowa, where they rounded out their long and honorable lives in the pursuits of agriculture. George Kelsh, father of Timothy J., was born at Scranton, Pennsylvania, and was reared to farming, but was attracted to a career as a railroad man, and for many years prior to his demise was a locomotive engineer. He and his worthy wife were the parents of seven children.

Timothy J. Kelsh was but eight years of age at the time of the death of his mother, and at that time was taken into the family of his paternal grandparents, by whom he was reared. He received a public school education at Platteville, Wisconsin, and Lamont, Iowa, and was reared in the atmosphere of rural surroundings, so that it was but natural that he should adopt agricultural work for his life vocation when he entered upon his individual career. For five years he was engaged in farming in Buchanan County, Iowa, on his own account, but in 1901 pulled up his stakes in the Hawkeye State, disposed of his holdings, and made his way to a point north of Fullerton, in Dickey County, North Dakota, where he has since made his home. At the time of his arrival this was all raw prairie country, unfamiliar to the touch of the plow, but within a very short space of time Mr. Kelsh had the beginnings of a splendid farm. Working methodically, industriously and scientifically, he has built up one of the model properties of his part of the state, has increased his original 160 acres to a full section of land, and is now making a decided success as a general farmer and as a breeder of Poland-China hogs, also keeping high grade cattle. In addition to being known as an agriculturist of judgment and ability, Mr. Kelsh has taken an active and helpful part in public affairs, and at various times has been the incumbent of public positions, having been a member of the township board for twenty-four years and chairman thereof for the past twelve years, and a member of the local school board for sixteen years. From 1920 until 1924 he served as a member of the State Senate, in which body he established a splendid record for steadfast and able performance of duty. He is a member of the Catholic Church.

In 1896 Mr. Kelsh was united in marriage with Miss Katherine Zemanek, who was born at Lamont, Iowa, daughter of Leopold and Ann Zemanek, natives of Bohemia, who came to the United States as young people and were married in this country. To Mr. and Mrs. Kelsh there have been born the following children: George L., Frances A., May A., Thomas, Vincent, Josephine, Lawrence, Alice and Lucille, all living and still at home except George L., who is married and engaged in farming one and one-half miles north of his father.

-from History of North Dakota by Lewis F. Crawford, Issued in 3 volumes
The American Historical Society, Inc.
Chicago and New York
1931
(Part of the private collection of Kathleen Kelsh Fischer, Wausau, WI, USA)
Submitted by Chris Dick, 1 Oct 2005.


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