Shelby County, Indiana
The Columbus Daily Morning News
William Jelf was born in Nov., 29, 1819, 10 miles from Versailes, county seat Woodford County, Kentucky. His parents were Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Jelf, Mrs. Jelf's maiden name being Jane Spaulding. There were three children, William, Isaac S., and Jane, in the order names. The father died in 1824 of lockjaw caused by running a nail in his foot, aged 37, at the old parental home.
Bartholomew County, Indiana
May 12, 1901
The mother and her three children and the grandmother, Mrs. Spaulding then emigrated to Indiana, and settled 4 miles east of Vernon, Jennings county, in 1829. Here the mother died three years later, and William and Isaac were bound out, William to learn the blacksmith trade and Isaac the saddler and harness trade, both in Madison. The grandmother and grand daughter, Jane, returned to the old home in Kentucky. William was now aged 14 and Isaac 12.
William was married September 21, 1840, to Isabelle Vanway, midway between Vernon and Paris, and lived there and in Jerreson county till 1852, then came to Bartholomew county settling in Elizabethtown and engaged in blacksmithing, till the war of the rebellion broke out. Mr. Jef then became a member of Co. H., 19th infantry, Captain, Dick Kelly of Edinburg. He was soon promoted to 1st., lieutenant, and took part in the battles of Gainsville, Bull Run and South Mountain. Just before the close of his second year's service he was compelled to resign because of ill health.
After coming out of the army he has not been engaged in any settled business. He moved with his family to Hope in 1870, and his wife died there March 3, 1891. Since that he visited around among his children for three years and since that time has has made his home with his youngest daughter, Mrs. Henry Fritz, in Shelbyville.
Mr. Jelf voted the democratic ticket all his life, except in 1896 and 1900 he voted for McKinley, being a gold democrat.
During his boyhood days he did not get more than two to three months school each years, and having an opportunity he went to school one term after he was married. Mr. Jelf is now almost 82 years old and hale and hearty, and gets about quite well.
Contributed by Lois Johnson
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