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Andrew Jackson Kelley, Postmaster of Dimond Hill, Hopkinton, a successful agriculturist of this town, and one of the brave men who fought in the late war, was born January 22, 1835, in Webster, Merrimack County, son of Timothy and Jane (Burbank) Kelley. Timothy Kelley was born December 25, 1778, in Kilcoloman, County Waterford, Ireland. He New York. Making his way from that city to Massachusetts, he lived for a time in Newbury, Mass., where he wooed and won his wife. Subsequently, removing to Webster, N.H., he was engaged in agricultural pursuits until his death, July 15, 1854, aged seventy-five years and six months. His wife survived him many years, dying in May, 1873, at the venerable age of eighty-six years.
Andrew J. Kelley spent the days of his boyhood and early manhood in Webster. Soon after the commencement of the late war he enlisted in Company E, Burdan’s sharpshooters, under Captain Amos B. Jones, being mustered into service September 9, 1861. He spent the ensuing winter in Washington on guard duty. In the spring he went to Fort Smith, Virginia, and afterward took an active party in thirty of the more important engagements, including those of Falls Church, Yorktown, the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Petersburg, Manassas, and Mine Run.
He remained with his company to the end of the contest, serving forty-seven months, and, though he was continually on the skirmish line, was neither wounded nor captured. After the capitulation of the Confederates he saw Lee’s men stack their guns, and he was present at the Grand Review in Washington with his comrades. At Kelly’s Ford the sharpshooters captured the Tenth South Carolina Regiment, losing but few of their men in the engagement. For gallant and meritorious conduct Mr. Kelley was successively promoted to the ranks of Corporal and Orderly Sergeant. He was recommended for a Lieutenancy, which was given to another, owing, he believes, to a favoritism shown Republicans. On returning to Webster, he worked there for a short time, and then in the sawmills at Concord or Goshen for some years. In 1878 he moved to his present farm of thirty acres on Dimond Hill, which is in the vicinity of the original Dimond settlement made in 1754. In August, 1893, the present post-office was established; and, on the recommendation of those who were instrumental in having it located here, Mr. Kelley was appointed the Postmaster. In politics he has always been a straightforward Democrat, fearless in the expression of his opinions. At his dining-table, with his old companions-in-arms, he often lives over his army experiences in thought and story. He is an active worker in his party, and generally attends its conventions.
In 1858, at Webster, Mr. Kelley married Miss Almira F. Ripley, of Hopkinton. She died in May, 1872, leaving three sons and a daughter. These are: Willie, who is in a laundry in Concord, N.H.; George, who is a trainman on the Old Colony Railway; James, a slate roofer, who died at the age of twenty-three years; and Clara, the wife of James C. Colburn, of Nashua, N.H. Mr. Kelley contracted a second marriage on May 21, 1874, with Miss Roxanna W. Jones, of this town, daughter of Peter and Ann Eliza (Locke) Jones, both of Cambridge, Mass. Mrs. Kelley was born and reared in Charlestown, Mass., near Bunker Hill. Of this union two children have been born, namely: Arthur J., of Concord, N.H.; and a daughter who died in early childhood.