Cecil Clifton KELLY, 1910-1946, accidental death in Cardin, OK

Yesterday I finished up writing about some of the Williams families in Ottawa County, Oklahoma, in the early 1900's. So I returned to my "goody box" of documents I've collected over the last 23 years and pulled out another one to share with you. This time I chose a copy of a newspaper page with several articles on it. The paper is The Tri-State Tribune out of Picher, Ottawa County, Oklahoma. The date on the paper is Thursday, May 9, 1946. The first article is transcribed in full below (all spellings remain exactly as they appeared in the paper regardless of correctness or lack thereof):

“Cause of Cecil Kelly’s Death at Central Mill Thursday Still Unknown”

Funeral services for Cecil Clifton Kelly, 35 years old, who was electrocuted at the Eagle-Picher Central Mill south of Cardin last Thursday afternoon, were conducted at the First Baptist church in Commerce, Sunday with the Rev. Scales officiating. Burial was in the G. A. R. Cemetery under direction of the Durnil funeral home.

Kelly’s body, severely burned, was found in an iron building approximately an hour after death occurred, it was reported. There was no indication, however that the building or nearby machinery had been struck by lightning. Neither was there evidence that he had come in contact with an electric cable, O. T. Counts, company official said. The cause of the man’s death was still undetermined.

Kelly is survived by his widow, Mrs. Katherine Lucille Kelly; two daughters, Judith Ann and Kathleen Naomi Kelly, and a son, Richard Kelly, all of the home; six brothers, William Kelly of Commerce, Tom Kelly of Miami, Roy and Herbert Kelly of Miami Route 2, Frank Kelly of Pascomi, Calif., and Donald Kelly of Phoenix, Ariz.; and three sisters, Mrs. Rhoda Austin of Commerce, Mrs. Mary Geohen of Tulsa, and Mrs. Lela Williams of Picher.

Since my goal on this particular research trip was not to find the KELLY family (since I am unrelated), I have no follow-up information. I only have what I found in a quick search online.

What I was able to learn about Cecil KELLY (from OneWorldTree) is that he was born 30 July 1910. He married Kathyrn Lucille DOWTY. He died 2 May, 1946. His parents were Herbert Seigel KELLY and Mary Ann MYERS KELLY. He had 11 siblings (Myrtle Elizabeth, Thomas Logan, Rhoda Isabelle, William David, Martha Mahalia, John Forson, Donald Dewey, Earl Herbert, Irvin Franklin, Lela Francis, and Roy Amos).

A curious piece of data found on OneWorldTree was that Cecil's youngest brother, Roy Amos, also married Kathyrn Lucille DOWTY. Kathyrn was Roy's first wife; she was Cecil's only wife. I have been unable to locate any information about marriage dates so I don't know which brother she married first.  While I was on http://www.odcr.com searching for marriage records, however, I did find a court case in which Cecil KELLY and Kathyrn Lucille DOWTY were both material witnesses.  It would be interesting to look at the court records to see what, if anything, can be learned about Cecil and Kathyrn's relationship at the time of the court case.  For anyone interested, the case was filed 14 May 1938 in Ottawa County, Oklahoma, as case number ML-2020-00207. I am assuming since Kathyrn was listed by her maiden name that she was single (or at least divorced) at the time of the court case.

There are a few inconsistencies in data between OneWorldTree and the newspaper article/obituary which I would like to point out.  OneWorldTree gives Cecil's death place as Miami, Oklahoma, whereas the newspaper states he died at the mill near Cardin, Oklahoma.  (The two locations are very close, but not the same).  OneWorldTree spells Cecil's wife's name as "Kathyrn" whereas the article spells it "Katherine". The article gives his sister Martha Mahalia's married name as Mary GEOHEN whereas OneWorldTree states she married a GOSHEN. It is unknown at what point she began going by the name Mary or whether this was another error in the newspaper article. There are similar problems with his sister Lela's married last name: the paper lists it as WILLIAMS whereas OneWorldTree says she married a WILLIAMSON.

Cecil's siblings- Myrtle and John- are not listed at all in the newspaper article. This is due to the fact that Myrtle died in 1886 at the age of 2. John died in 1908 at the age of 12. Cecil's parents had already passed away as well- his mother in 1916 and his father in 1926.

Before leaving this article to the annals of history, I want to take the rest of the week to research and discuss Reverend SCALES (who officiated Cecil's funeral) and O. T. COUNTS (the "company official" for Eagle-Picher Central Mill).  So keep coming back to see what else we can discover!

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