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Hannah McCracken Kelly, Postmortem 1/6th-Plate Daguerreotype, Circa 1858 | by lisby1
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Hannah McCracken Kelly, Postmortem 1/6th-Plate Daguerreotype, Circa 1858

© Ann Longmore-Etheridge Collection

"Hannah McCracken Kelly, our mother, taken after her death."


Hannah B. McCracken was the daughter of John and Mary McCracken (or Mecracken), who had a farm in Claysville, Washington County, Pennsylvania. Named after Senator Henry Clay, the town is located on the line of the Cumberland Road which forms its Main Street. Claysville is 18 miles east of Wheeling, West Virginia, and 10 miles west of Washington, Pennsylvania. The town was laid out in 1817 and remained unincorporated until 1832.


John McCracken was born about 1795 in Pennsylvania and died 28 December, 1865, in Claysville. His wife, Mary, the daughter of Samuel Caldwell of Buffalo Township, was born in about 1797 and died 4 August, 1878. The couple had married in Washington County on 30 December, 1820. They are buried at Purviance Cemetery in Claysville. John's grave can be seen here:; Mary's grave is here:;


Hannah appears on the 1850 census for the town of Donegal Township, Washington County (about 3 miles northwest of Claysville), with her parents and siblings. Her date of birth is given as 1829. Next was Samuel C. McCracken, born in January 1830. He married Susannah R. McCay, and migrated to Longton, Elk County, Kansas, where she died in 1900 and he died in 1912. They had three children. Younger brother John H., born in 1834, is also listed. He appears to have moved to Desmoines, Iowa, by 1875, when he married Emily Robinson on 10 March. He listed his occupation on his wedding entry as merchant. The youngest was Mary, born in 1837.


Hannah married Dr. John W. Kelly on 12 September, 1852, in Claysville at the Presbyterian church. John Kelly was born in 1823 and was the son of John Kelly and his wife Mary.


Her marriage to Dr. Kelly resulted in the birth of three children: George M., born in 1854, Clara, born in 1855 or 1856, and Hannah Mary, born in 1858. A resonable speculation is that Hannah Kelly died, at approximately age 31, giving birth to her third child, to whom her name was then given in memoriam.


Hannah is probably buried in Purviance Cemetery in Claysville, although no headstone appears to be extant.


After Hannah’s death, widower John Kelly was left with two small children and an infant. He quickly remarried. His second wife, to whom he was wed by 1860, was Ann Eliza Laird, the daughter of John Laird of Donegal, and his second wife Agnes Maxwell. She was born 28 December, 1837, and died 7 August, 1914, in Washington, PA, age 76. She and Dr. Kelly are buried Washington Cemetery. He died 30 October, 1899. Their elaborate tomb can be seen here: They appear to have had one child together, a daughter named Laura M., born in 1861.


Ann Laird's obituary appeared in a local paper: "Ann E. Laird, widow of the late Dr. John Kelly, died at her home, 12 East Maiden street, Washington, Friday morning, August 7, 1914, aged about 76 years. The funeral service was held Sunday afternoon at three o'clock, conducted by Rev. Trenschow. The interment was private on Monday, in Washington cemetery.


"The deceased was a daughter of John and Agnes Maxwell Laird, born in Donegal township. The family were among the pioneers of this section, descending from John and Mary Snodgrass Laird, natives of Ireland, where he was born in 1758. He came to the United States in about 1792. His wife and family came about 1800. They traveled by team to Lancaster, where he had located. About the year 1801 they came to near Taylorstown, and later Mr. Laird bought a tract in Donegal township, where they made a home. There the deceased was born and reared. She was married to Dr. John W. Kelly, who for years was a prominent physician in Washington (PA), who died in 1899. One son and one daughter are bereaved -- Dr. George M. Kelly, of Washington, and Clara, wife of George E. Lockhart, who resided on the Kelly farm in Buffalo township., about a mile east of Claysville."


During his life, Dr. Kelly owned part of Kelly & Roberts Druggists.


Hannah and John’s son, George, also became a physician. His obituary, from an unknown newspaper, reads:


“Dr. George M. Kelly, native of Claysville, the present J. L. Milligan property being his birthplace, died at his home, East Maiden street, Washington (PA). He was a son of Dr. John W. and Hannah McCracken Kelly.


“His father rode the mud roads of his day in all the surrounding country on horseback to attend the sick and afflicted. For years he was the only physician residing here. Dr. Kelly attended the common school here and W. & J. college until completing his junior year, when he entered Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, graduating in a class of 170 in 1875. His thesis was entitled "Acute Pleurisy". He served as interne in Mercy Hospital, Pittsburgh, then associated with his father at 39 North Main street, Washington, continuing eight years until 1885, when he studied opthalmia in Morefield Hospital, London; eye, ear, nose and throat diseases in Berlin and Vienna. He had an office in the Joseph Horne Building, Pittsburgh, until it was destroyed by fire, May 1, 1927.


“He resumed partnership with his father, continuing 15 years, part of each year being spent in study in New York and Philadelphia, specializing in surgery, diseases of the stomach and other subjects. He was promoter of the old Washington Hospital and helped make it a reality. He served 15 years on both the surgical and medical staffs. He held similar postions with the City Hospital. Local educational and civic interests were also given of his time and mind, serving on the school board. He was a member of Trinity Episcopal church, and served as vestryman.


“He leaves his wife, Mrs. Rose LeMoyne Kelly, and one sister, Mrs. [Clara] George E. Lockhart, both of Washington."


The image beautifully tinted and housed in a nearly perfect union case. The glass over the image is domed.



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Taken on March 11, 2012