in a Pecan Shell|
The town was named for early settler W. H. Kelsey - a doctor who arrived
sometime before the Civil War. In 1901 a colony of Mormons was founded on Kelsey
Creek. It drew Mormons from far and wide and a school was established that same
year - run by missionaries from the Mother Church in Utah.
office opened in 1902 and closed in 1918. In 1910 the Marshall and East Texas
Railway arrived and Kelsey's future seemed bright.
By 1911 the town had
a brick kiln, sawmills, a cotton gin, two blacksmiths, and a gristmill.
The Kelsey Academy, a public school staffed by Mormon missionaries opened in 1911.
Kelsey reached its zenith in 1917 with 750 people and more living nearby in Enoch,
a Mormon settlement. The railroad was abandoned in 1917, the post office closed
and during the 1920s and 1930s people moved away in droves. By 1938 there were
350 people left but after WWII
it declined further. Then came school consolidation which finished the town off.
By the mid-1960s all that was left was one store and a church and cemetery.
It is now known as a dispersed community and the remaining residents are descendants
of the original Mormon settlers.
Upshur County Map showing Kelsey W of Gilmer|
"P" in "UPSHUR")
Courtesy Texas General Land Office