James K. Kelly

James Kerr Kelly

10th Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court

In office

Preceded by
Paine Page Prim

Succeeded by
William Paine Lord

26th Associate Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court

In office

Appointed by
Stephen F. Chadwick

Preceded by
James F. Watson

Succeeded by
John B. Waldo

United States Senator
from Oregon

In office
March 4, 1871 – March 4, 1877

Preceded by
George Henry Williams

Succeeded by
La Fayette Grover

Member of the Oregon Senate

In office

Personal details

(1819-02-16)February 16, 1819
Center County, Pennsylvania

September 15, 1903(1903-09-15) (aged 84)
Washington, D.C.

Political party

James Kerr Kelly (February 16, 1819 – September 15, 1903) was an American politician born in Pennsylvania. He was a United States Senator for Oregon from 1871 to 1877, and later Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court.[1] Prior to his election to the Senate he had been elected to both houses of the local legislature, serving in the Territorial House and State Senate, and was a member of the Oregon Constitutional Convention in 1857.


1 Early life
2 Career
3 Political career
4 Later life
5 References

Early life[edit]
Kelly was born in Centre County, Pennsylvania in 1819.[1] There he attended the school at Milton, and later the Lewisburg Academies.[1] For his higher education, the future Congressman graduated from the College of New Jersey in 1839.[1] James Kelly then studied law in Carlisle, Pennsylvania at the Dickinson School of Law and was admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania in 1842.[1]
Upon entering the legal profession, Mr. Kelly began private practice in Lewistown, Pennsylvania, then was the deputy attorney general for Mifflin County, Pennsylvania.[1] In 1849 he left for California and the newly discovered gold fields, then moved on to the Oregon Territory in 1851.[1] In Oregon he set up a law practice in Portland and was one of three people selected to help re-write the laws of the territory.[1]
Political career[edit]
While living in Oregon, Kelly became active in politics and was elected as a Democrat to the territorial legislature serving from 1853 to 1857, and was selected as president of the legislature twice.[1] In 1857, he was a member of the constitutional convention formed to prepare for Oregon’s admission into the Union in 1859.[1] Upon statehood, Kelly was elected to the Oregon State Sen