Leo D. Kelly, assistant cashier of the National Bank of Commerce in St. Louis, came to Missouri from the neighboring state of Illinois, his birth having occurred at Russell, Lake county, March 12, 1886. His father, the late Timothy Kelly, was a native of Michigan and of Irish descent. He became a successful farmer and a stock raiser, following agricultural pursuits until he passed away at Russell, Illinois, in 1908, at the age of sixty-eight years. His wife, who in her maidenhood was Margaret Hoye, was born in Salem, Wisconsin, and was also of Irish lineage. She died at Russell, Illinois, in 1906, when sixty-six years of age. By her marriage she had become the mother of eight sons and six daughters, of whom thirteen are living.
Leo D. Kelly, who was the youngest of the family, passed through consecutive grades in the public schools until he had completed a high school course and later attended the College of Commerce at Kenosha, Wisconsin, from which he was graduated in 1904. He started out in the business world as a stenographer in Chicago and afterward entered the railroad service with the Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad Company in Chicago, becoming private secretary to H. T. Miller, the vice president of that road, and later filling the position of secretary under W. E. Hodger, vice president of the Santa Fe Railroad Company.
In 1907 Mr. Kelly came to St. Louis and accepted the position of secretary to Thomas Randolph, then president of the Commonwealth Trust Company, with whom he continued until November, 1908. He then entered the service of the Bank of Commerce as private secretary. In the year 1908 the Bank of Commerce absorbed the Commonwealth Trust Company. In 1916 Mr. Kelly became an assistant in the new business department of the Bank of Commerce, which office he filled until January 14, 1920, when he became assistant cashier and has since acted in this capacity. His advancement has been along the lines of an orderly progression, indicating the steady expansion of his powers and the thorough mastery of every task assigned him. During the World war he was a captain of one of the bankers teams in connection with the Liberty loan and took an active part in advancing every loan campaign, also in promoting the Red Cross and other drives whereby the war interests were financed.
On the 21st of June, 1918, Mr. Kelly was married in St. Louis to Miss Ruth M. Kranke, a native of St. Louis, and a daughter of William Kranke. The religious faith of Mr. and Mrs. Kelly is that of the Roman Catholic church and he belongs to the Knights of Columbus. In politics he maintains an independent course. Step by step he has advanced as the years have passed and his enterprise, determination and laudable ambition have constituted the ladder on which he has climbed to success.