Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",  published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.

     JAMES L. KELLY is now one of the leading merchant of Waterville.  Although a young man, he had attained his present prominent position by reason of splendid executive ability and keen wisdom in the business world and an outline of his career will form very interesting reading matter for the history of Douglas county.
     James L. Kelly was born in New York city, on September 24, 1869, being the son of John and Mary A. (McCann) Kelly, natives of Ireland, where they were married.  They came to the United States in 1849, settling in New York.  The father died on April 30, 1903, at Waterville and the mother is still living with our subject.  James L. was reared principally in Cleveland and Springfield, Ohio, and attended school until fourteen years of age.  Then he entered as a clerk in a large dry goods store and for four years continued in that excellent training.  In 1888, he came with the balance of the family to Washington.  Each male member of the family took land as they became of age.
Our subject entered the employ of Rogers and Howe, well known pioneer merchants at Waterville, and for three years was an active salesman in their large establishment.  Then he was with Mr. Coleman and later went to Moscow, taking charge of the clothing department for Durnam, Kauffman & Company, for nearly three years.  Returning to Waterville, a few weeks later he purchased the general merchandise business of Fred Brockman at Douglas.  He operated the same for fifteen months and then sold to M. S. Cannon and bought the stock and business of Jerry Patternande and soon thereafter purchased the entire business of his former employer, A. L. Coleman.  The rapid strides made by Mr. Kelly in the business world proclaim better than words can do, his ability and cleverness.  He is a thorough merchant, well informed, a careul buyer and one of the best business men in this section of the country.
     Mr. Kelly has three brothers, John H., Ed F., and Joseph P., and one sister, Mary E. Wolverton.  Mr. Kelly is a member of the K. O. T. M., and in political matters, is a Republican.  For two years he was treasurer and now is councilman of Waterville.  He is possessed of a geniality and warm heartedness that have won for him many friends and one may predict for him, presaging the future by the past, a most sucessful and bright career.