This is a picture of my grandfather Charles Rupert Kelly and his wife Cleo (Travis) Kelly. He was the son of Robert Forsyth Kelly and his first wife Vada Belle Hert. He was born in Trenton, Missouri in August of 1890 a couple of weeks after Cleo was born in Mill Grove Missouri about 20 miles or so north of Trenton. While grandma was rather short at 5 foot 3 or 4 inches, grandpa was about 6 foot 4 four inches and while not fat he was pretty well filled out. His father was a farmer and a carpenter and grandpa followed him as a carpenter, and he worked first worked as a carpenter for the Rock Island Railroad. He married Cleo Travis in Trenton and they had one daughter Margaret, my mom.
Soon after getting married grandpa and his family moved first to Billings, Montana where grandpa worked for the Northern Pacific Railroad for a while, and then the moved to Spokane, Washington and grandpa got a job with the Great Northern Railroad as a switch man. In 1924 he bought the house in the picture above and continued to work for the railroad until about 1947 when he started having health problems and went off on sick leave.
Grandpa was big and never shied away from a fight, mom said he would come home from work all battered up occasionally. He loved baseball and coached the Great Northern team for years, and win or lose they came to his house for beer after the game. (Note this was during prohibition and grandpa made the beer in the bathtub and bottled it, I saved a few of the bottles and rubber caps, now hard as iron). As a switch man his job was to deliver the railroad cars to the various buildings along the railroad tracks, each car had a long number to identify the car and he got a manifest where to deliver each car, he would look at the list once and deliver each car to the correct building without ever looking again.
He like practical jokes, and one of the things I found in his house after he died was a button that says "Charles Kelly for Grundy County Sheriff", now I really do not think he ran for sheriff, he was pretty young when he left Missouri, so a couple of possibilities; one he had that button made up as a joke, or it might have been from his uncle Charles Kelly, younger brother of his dad Robert Kelly.
He was a good carpenter, and after working for the railroad as a carpenter he built everything strong enough to hold up a locomotive. He also loved fishing and bought a lot on a lake north of Spokane and was going to build a cabin when he got sick, so he sold the lot and then after that he just went fishing on his front porch. He caught a lot of fish there, and we had fried fish many times. It was a big front porch all the way across the house, and he landed quite a few fish there. I never caught a single fish there, even though grandpa showed me how to bait the hook and hold it over the railing for hours waiting for the fish to bite.
I was not quite six when he died, and so I don't have a lot of memories of him, but I have heard a lot of stories on him over the years.
The picture above he is sitting in his favorite chair, by the front window with his smoking stand next to the chair. He rolled his own cigarettes, so that is probably why he died so young. He would wave at the bus as it passed his house, and when he died there was a nice article in the newspaper from the bus drivers, missing the waves from my grandpa as they passed his house.