John Edward Kelley

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John Edward Kelley
John Edward Kelley (South Dakota).jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Dakota's at-large district
In office
March 4, 1897 – March 3, 1899
Preceded byJohn Pickler
Succeeded byCharles H. Burke
Personal details
Born(1853-03-27)March 27, 1853
near Portage, Wisconsin, U.S.
DiedAugust 5, 1941(1941-08-05) (aged 88)
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
Political partyPopulist
Professionpublisher, businessman

John Edward Kelley (March 27, 1853 – August 5, 1941) was a newspaperman and a politician from South Dakota who served one term in the United States House of Representatives.


John E. Kelley was born near Portage, Wisconsin on March 27, 1853. He attended the public schools, and as a young man he worked at lumber camps in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Kelley moved to Colman in the Dakota Territory in 1878. He operated a successful farm and timber business, and from 1894 to 1897 was owner and publisher of the Flandreau Herald newspaper.

Originally a Democrat, Kelley was elected to the South Dakota House of Representatives in 1890 and 1891.

He later joined the Populist Party, and ran unsuccessfully for the United States House of Representatives in 1892 and 1894. In 1896 he was elected to Seat A, one of South Dakota's two at-large U.S. House seats, and he served in the 55th United States Congress, March 4, 1897 to March 3, 1899. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1898, and returned to his farming and business interests.

Kelley later returned to the Democratic Party, and served as a Delegate to the 1912 Democratic National Convention. From 1915 to 1918 he served as Register of the United States Land Office in Pierre, South Dakota.

He later moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, and become editor of the Co-operators Herald. He died in Minneapolis on August 5, 1941, and was buried at Saint Mary's Cemetery in Minneapolis.


  • United States Congress. "John Edward Kelley (id: K000060)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • John Edward Kelley at Find a Grave
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
John Pickler
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Dakota's at-large congressional district

Succeeded by
Charles H. Burke