Scott Kelsey, the eldest son of Dandridge and Mercy (Laycock) Kelsey, was born in Dearborn County, Indiana, July 1, 1847. He was reared to manhood there and attended the district schools. In August, 1864, he enlisted in the United States navy for service in the Civil war and was assigned to duty in the Mississippi Squadron. At various times previously he had sought to enlist, but owing to his youth had been refused. During his term of service he was. engaged mainly in patrol work on the Mississippi, Tennessee and Cumberland rivers and participated in both the battles at Nashville and at Johnsonville. After his honorable discharge in August, 1865, he returned to Indiana and there engaged in farming until 1879, when he came to Kansas and had since made his home in Topeka Township, Shawnee County.
In 1866 Mr. Kelsey was united in marriage with Mahala Allen, who died in 1874, the mother of four children, two of whom died in infancy, Grant E. and Melvin T. surviving. Mr. Kelsey was married (second) to Martha Connell, and they have two daughters: Prodence M., who is the wife of Dr. Charles B. Buck, of Mercedes, Texas; and Jessie M., who is the wife of Reese Van Sant.
In political affiliation Mr. Kelsey had always been a republican and at times had served in public office with the greatest efficiency. For a number of years he was township treasurer, and in 1895 he was elected a member of the Board of County Commissioners of Shawnee County, serving in that connestion for six years and during a part of that time was chairman of the board. During his term of office the Melan Bridge at Topeks was built, which was the only structure on the river that withstood the flood. To the credit of the board of commissioners then in control, no time was lost in controversy and these public necessities were immediately rebuilt and without grievous taxation. Other wise measures were put through by Mr. Kelsey and his associates, all of which proved of the greatest utility and demonstrated the ability and honesty of the county commissioners. Mr. Kelsey belongs to the Grand Army of the Republic and for many years had been identified with the Masonic fraternity. While he is not a member of any church body he is a liberal contributor to church organizations and, in fact, to all worthy causes affecting the general welfare of the county.
In politics he is a republican. His farm is located one mile from the city limits, and there he had lived for thirty-seven years and every building on the place had been put there through his efforts.